Changes in Internalizing Symptoms and Anxiety Sensitivity Among College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 4/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic saw significant increases in symptoms of anxiety and depression, particularly among college students. However, research has not examined how internalizing symptoms in this population have changed as the pandemic has continued into its second year. Further, there has yet to be an examination of potential changes in transdiagnostic vulnerability factors. Therefore, the purpose of the current repeated cross-sectional study was to examine differences by term in undergraduates’ symptoms of depression, anxiety, worry, social anxiety, and anxiety sensitivity in the Spring 2020 (n = 251), Fall 2020 (n = 427), and Spring 2021 (n = 256) semesters. Results indicated that there were significant increases in depression, anxiety, worry, and anxiety sensitivity from Spring 2020 to Fall 2020 that were maintained through the Spring 2021 semester, and levels of social anxiety were significantly higher in Spring 2021 compared to Spring 2020. These findings suggest that the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students have continued beyond the initial months, and colleges and universities will need to develop comprehensive plans to adequately address college students’ mental health needs.