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.
Hirai, M., Vernon, L.L. & Hernandez, E.N. Psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in a Hispanic sample: Testing the buffering role of resilience and perceived social support. Curr Psychol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-023-04664-4