Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Kristin J. Lurie - University of Cincinnati (work completed at Mary Baldwin University)
Co-Author(s): Dr. Jenna Holt, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA
As COVID-19 continues to ravage America, concerns about mental health, particularly among young people, have heightened. US-based studies have found consistent increases in depressive and anxious symptoms, but manic and psychotic symptoms, rarer and more difficult to measure, have not been sufficiently investigated. To fill that gap, this study had 129 college students from a small liberal arts college complete three mental health scales three times each, two retrospectively before the pandemic and during the lockdown and one for the current month. A cross-sectional follow-up had 213 students fill out the same measures. Analyses showed increased depressive symptoms during the lockdown that have decreased since but not to normal levels, while manic symptoms dropped during the lockdown and have since rebounded. Psychotic symptoms increased during the lockdown and have stayed elevated. Regardless of methodological debates, the conclusion that the COVID-19 lockdown led to increased depressive and psychotic symptoms in some students that continue today remains, meaning intervention by universities is necessary.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): N/A
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jenna Holt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I was an independent student researcher with some supervision from a faculty member and statistical advice from the IRB.