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1.
J Am Coll Health ; : 1-6, 2021 Jul 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303838

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between COVID-19-related distress and mental health among first-year college students. PARTICIPANTS: Data for this longitudinal study (n = 727) were collected before the school year (August 2019), end of fall semester (December 2019), and soon after the university suspended in-person instruction (April 2020). METHODS: We used multivariable log-linear and logistic regressions to examine continuous and dichotomous outcomes on the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire and the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale. RESULTS: The most consistent predictor of during-pandemic mental health was feeling extremely isolated (versus not at all), which was associated with increased symptom severity of depression (proportional change[95% CI] = 2.43[1.87, 3.15]) and anxiety (2.02[1.50, 2.73]) and greater odds of new moderate depression (OR[95% CI] = 14.83[3.00, 73.41]) and anxiety (24.74[2.91, 210.00]). Greater COVID-19-related concern was also related to increased mental health symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Results highlight the need for mental health services during crises that lead to social isolation.

2.
Addict Behav ; 118: 106879, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095789

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with reports of increased substance use. College students are a population of concern for high risk binge drinking and their behavior may be particularly impacted by COVID-19 campus closures. Therefore, we examine first-year college students' binge drinking soon after their university's pandemic-related suspension of in-person operations. METHODS: Students from a single campus (N = 741; age: M = 18.05, SD = 0.22) completed one assessment in April-May 2020 post-campus closure (March 2020) including theoretically-informed measures (e.g., drinking motives, norms) and two items of self-reported pre- and post-closure binge drinking frequency, the focus of these analyses. RESULTS: About half of students consistently reported not binge drinking pre- and post-closure; 6.75% reported a consistent frequency of binge drinking pre- and post-closure. Many (39.41%) reported lower 30-day binge drinking post-campus closure compared to their pre-closure reports; few (4.18%) reported higher 30-day binge drinking frequency post-campus closure. Students reporting lower binge drinking post-closure showed differences in coping, social, and enhancement drinking motives and isolation. Students reporting greater post-closure binge drinking reported higher perceived drinking norms and were more likely to be in Greek life. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates self-reported patterns in binge drinking among first-year college students at the point of COVID-19 campus closures. Pandemic-related college closures may have been a temporary environmental intervention on this high-risk behavior for some students. Although many students were not binge drinking, some continued binge drinking after closure and may benefit from preventive interventions.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College , Binge Drinking , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Binge Drinking/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Peer Group , Students , Universities
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