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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Specific to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Risk and Protective Factors Among College Students

Tatum Feiler & Dr. Christyn Dolbier, Department of Psychology, East Carolina University, E 5th Street, Greenville NC 27858

There is minimal research examining the effects of infectious disease outbreaks on college student mental health, so it remains unclear if there are risk and protective factors unique to this group that relate to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The objectives of this study are to: 1) determine the rate of positive screens for PTSD specific to the coronavirus pandemic in an undergraduate student sample; 2) determine which risk factors identified in previous research (e.g., higher actual or perceived risk of exposure) are associated with an increased rate of PTSD; and 3) determine which protective factors identified in previous research (e.g., social support) are associated with a decreased rate of PTSD. Participants are students at a large southeastern public university. A sample of 2000 students will be randomly selected and invited to participate. If the sample size does not reach the target of 400, students will be recruited from the university psychology department participant pool, university social media, and emails to student organizations, advisors, program directors, and faculty. PTSD will be assessed with the 20-item PTSD Checklist for the DSM-5. Risk and protective factors will be assessed using the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire, Brief COPE, PHQ-8, GAD-7, MOS Social Support Survey, UCLA Loneliness Scale, Lubben Social Network Scale, Brief Assessment of Family Functioning Scale, and items our team developed and sampled from other infectious disease outbreak studies. Psychology participant pool participants will earn research credit for participating and students enrolled in other courses will be entered into a gift card raffle. Data are being collected during the 2020 fall semester and will be analyzed during the 2021 spring semester. We anticipate that prior trauma experiences, greater actual and perceived risk, and longer duration of quarantine will pose a risk for developing PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Tatum Feiler

Institution: East Carolina University

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6629