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Coastal Scholars Showcase 2021: College Students’ Stress Responses and Anxiety During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic


Poster Details

Presenter: Dr. Neda Moinolmolki

Title: Assistant Professor of Psychology

Department: Social Sciences



We are in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic (the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic) that has and will certainly continue to have consequential impacts on college students’ lives. The emotional toll and stress from social isolation, confounded with educational and economic disruptions, have undoubtedly influenced college students' lives and behavioral health in many ways. The purpose of this study was to assess the behavioral health of American college students during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, this study sought to identify the contribution of demographic, COVID-19 related stress, and social support factors on college students' anxiety and stress responses. Results indicated that 49.01% of the sample reported clinical levels of anxiety (GAD >10), and 48% identified COVID-19 as a stressor. Those who identified COVID-19 as a stressor reported a higher prevalence of physiological responses to stress and higher levels of anxiety symptomology. Four multiple regressions on stress responses and anxiety were conducted to assess the contribution of demographic/descriptive variables on criterion variables. Results found gender and having a family member with COVID-19 to contribute significantly to physiological responses to stress. Additionally, gender, ethnicity (dichotomously coded as African American and Caucasian), and social support significantly contributed to both behavioral and emotional responses to stress. Lastly, gender, considering COVID-19 a stressor, and social support, contributed significantly to generalized anxiety levels.  


Dr. Neda Moinolmolki