REFLECTIONS ON PAST AND PRESENT COPING STRATEGIES FOR COVID-19 RELATED STRESS AND THE IMPACT ON MENTAL WELL-BEING: A PILOT STUDY IN COLLEGE STUDENTS**
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has left both physical and psychological scars. According to the CDC, in 2021, 37% of high school students reported experiencing a decline in mental health during the pandemic. Many of these students are now enrolled in college, where we are seeing similar trends in increasing mental health concerns resulting from the pandemic. Social isolation, financial concerns, fear of loved ones or themselves getting sick, and food insecurity are some explanations for these trends. At present, we are grappling with the long-term effects of the pandemic and processing what we have witnessed and experienced. We are interested in addressing two broad research questions: 1) How have college students been coping with COVID-19 related stress both in the past and presently and 2) What is the impact of different coping strategies on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic? We are asking college students to reflect on the coping strategies they used to cope with COVID-19 related stress in the past, defined as from March 2020 to July 2022, as well as what strategies they are currently using, defined as from August 2022 to the present. We are using the 28-item Brief COPE scale, which contains fourteen different subscales, each measuring different coping strategies. We are grouping these items into two categories, adaptive and maladaptive strategies, for the purpose of analyses. We are measuring emotional, social, and psychological mental well-being using the Mental Health Continuum Short-Form. We predict that students who use more adaptive coping strategies, both in the past and present, will demonstrate higher mental well-being than students who use more maladaptive coping strategies. Our research is an important piece for building a better understanding of the impact of the pandemic on mental health in vulnerable populations.
Schultz*, Elizabeth and Jett, Stephanie E.
"REFLECTIONS ON PAST AND PRESENT COPING STRATEGIES FOR COVID-19 RELATED STRESS AND THE IMPACT ON MENTAL WELL-BEING: A PILOT STUDY IN COLLEGE STUDENTS**,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 81, No. 1, Article 139.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol81/iss1/139