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.


This item is restricted to the University of Strathclyde Repository staff until 17/3/23. Please use the "Request a Copy" button beneath the file on their repository to request a copy of the author accepted manuscript for personal use. The licence for this manuscript is: https://purl.org/strath-1

Cite as

Wood, C., Yu, Z., Sealy, D., Moss, I., Zugbuo-Wenzler, E., McFadden, C., Landi, D. & Brace, A. 2022, 'Mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students', Journal of American College Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2022.2040515

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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