Mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students

Wood, Caroline I. and Yu, Zuojin and Sealy, Diadrey-Anne and Moss, Ian and Zugbuo-Wenzler, Enia and McFadden, Carrie and Landi, Dillon and Brace, Andrea M. (2022) Mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students. Journal of American College Health. ISSN 0744-8481 (

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The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound effects on college students, and those with mental health conditions are more vulnerable to the impact of this stress. Objective: To study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students’ mental health. Participants: Participants (n=489) were mostly female, undergraduate, and aged 18–25. Methods: Participants completed an online survey assessing symptoms of mental health problems including hopelessness, loneliness, sadness, anxiety, sadness, and anger. Results: Approximately 81.6 % self-reported at least one negative mental health symptom. Students reported increased feelings of hopelessness (+7.8%), loneliness (+6.7%), sadness (+8.8%), depression (+2.6%), anxiety (+5.2%), and anger (+14.6%) during the pandemic than before. LGBTQ students and Black students had significantly more mental health symptoms during the pandemic than straight and White students. Conclusions: Results of this study highlight the negative impact of the pandemic and resultant changes on college students’ mental health.