Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations


A Cross-sectional Study of the Mental Health Symptoms of Latin American, US Hispanic, and Spanish College Students Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Young adults and racial/ethnic minorities report the worst mental health outcomes during the COVID19 pandemic, according to the Center for Disease Control (2020). The objectives of this study were (1) to identify common mental health symptoms among Latin American, US Hispanic, and Spanish college students, and (2) to identify clinical features predictive of higher post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among this population. The study sample included 1,113 college students from the USA, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and Spain who completed an online survey containing demographic questions and mental health screeners. Findings revealed higher scores of depression, suicidality, and PTSS compared to pre-pandemic levels and current scores by non-Spanish speaking college students; however, less than 5% of participants endorsed clinical levels of anxiety. After controlling for demographic profiles and sociocultural values, clinical symptoms of depression, loneliness, perceived stress, anxiety, and coping strategies explained 62% of the PTSS variance. Age, history of mental illness, perceived social support, and familism were not significant predictors. This sample of college students revealed higher mental health symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. The high prevalence of PTSS highlights the need to develop pragmatic, cost-effective, and culturally sensitive prevention and intervention strategies to mitigate these symptoms. Implications for college administrators and clinicians are discussed.


Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2022 This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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Int J Ment Health Addict