The Impact of COVID-19 on Access to Coping, Perceived Stress and Drinking Attitudes in Undergraduate Students

Author: Maggie Lewis
Major: Psychology
Approved: Spring 2020
Status: Completed

The objective of this study was to assess how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted students’ ability to access their preferred coping mechanisms and investigate if increased stress and decreased access has resulted in an increase in drinking as a means of coping. Participants were recruited from Roanoke College’s SONA system or via an external anonymous link and completed a brief survey focused on individual coping preferences, perceived stress and drinking behavior, with supplementary questions regarding commitments outside of academics as well. The initial expectation for this research was that students who were unable to access their preferred coping mechanism would be more likely to utilize drinking as a way to cope. Upon completion of data analyses it was found the subset of the sample population who were more engaged with extracurricular commitments did not report using alcohol as a means of coping, and the majority of participants did not self-report increased drinking as a result of stress in light of the pandemic when their preferred coping mechanisms were compromised.

Lewis Distinction Project Final