Academic department under which the project should be listed

Psychology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Amy Buddie

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Previous research on COVID-19 suggests that college students are experiencing increased symptoms of anxiety and depression (Saladino et al., 2020; Son et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2020). Researchers have argued that there is an “urgent need to develop interventions and preventative strategies to address the mental health of college students” (Son et al., 2020, p. 2). Although there is a growing literature on the negative effects of the pandemic on the mental health of college students, there is little research on how students cope with these negative effects. In this study we will be investigating the effectiveness of certain coping mechanisms in response to the high stress caused by COVID-19. We intend to do this by developing a survey and administering it to the Kennesaw State University student body. The survey will initially consist of questions about students' symptoms of anxiety and depression before and during COVID. Next, students will be asked about the effectiveness of coping strategies before and during COVID (e.g., exercise, recreational entertainment, positive affirmations, hobbies). We hypothesize that students will experience more symptoms of anxiety and depression during COVID in comparison to before. We expect an increase in the severity of negative symptoms and a decrease in the effectiveness of most coping mechanisms post-COVID. We expect that even coping mechanisms that can still be utilized in a pandemic, like virtual human interaction, will not be effective post-COVID and may now be stressful for participants. Our study will help researchers better understand the effects of COVID-19 on mental health and can help propose solutions to high stress levels during a global pandemic.

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Psychology Commons

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Positive and Negative Coping Mechanisms due to High-Stress of COVID-19

Previous research on COVID-19 suggests that college students are experiencing increased symptoms of anxiety and depression (Saladino et al., 2020; Son et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2020). Researchers have argued that there is an “urgent need to develop interventions and preventative strategies to address the mental health of college students” (Son et al., 2020, p. 2). Although there is a growing literature on the negative effects of the pandemic on the mental health of college students, there is little research on how students cope with these negative effects. In this study we will be investigating the effectiveness of certain coping mechanisms in response to the high stress caused by COVID-19. We intend to do this by developing a survey and administering it to the Kennesaw State University student body. The survey will initially consist of questions about students' symptoms of anxiety and depression before and during COVID. Next, students will be asked about the effectiveness of coping strategies before and during COVID (e.g., exercise, recreational entertainment, positive affirmations, hobbies). We hypothesize that students will experience more symptoms of anxiety and depression during COVID in comparison to before. We expect an increase in the severity of negative symptoms and a decrease in the effectiveness of most coping mechanisms post-COVID. We expect that even coping mechanisms that can still be utilized in a pandemic, like virtual human interaction, will not be effective post-COVID and may now be stressful for participants. Our study will help researchers better understand the effects of COVID-19 on mental health and can help propose solutions to high stress levels during a global pandemic.