Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

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The current study examined the effects of specific COVID-19 stressors (i.e., family member’s death due to COVID-19, COVID-19 infection, and school/financial stressors) on stress, anxiety, and depression and the potential buffering roles of resilience and perceived social support in the association between COVID-19 stressors and psychological symptoms in a Hispanic university student sample (n = 664). Participants were classified in three stressor groups: those reporting a family member’s death due to COVID-19 (15.7%), those reporting their own or a family member’s COVID-19 infection but no COVID-19 death (35.5%), and those reporting only school and/or financial stressors due to the pandemic (48.8%). Participants completed self-report measures online. Over 50% of participants with a COVID-19 death or infection in the family reported clinical levels of depression symptoms and over 40% endorsed clinically elevated anxiety symptoms. A series of moderation analyses with multi-categorical predictors found that among relatively highly resilient people, the magnitudes of the impact of COVID-19 infection or death on stress, anxiety, and depression were similar to the effect of a financial/school stressor alone, suggesting the buffering role of resilience. Perceived social support did not play a buffering role in the associations. Family member death due to COVID-19 and COVID-19 infection had significant negative psychological impacts on Hispanic young adults. Internal personal resources such as resilience, rather than external personal resources such as perceived social support, appear to be a critical factor that may help protect Hispanic individuals’ mental health from the worst stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic.


This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:

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Current Psychology


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Psychology Commons



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