How Adverse Childhood Trauma Affects Coping Behaviors and Anxiety in College Students During COVID-19: A Neurobiological Perspective

Harshita Yepuri


The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has uprooted college students out of the traditional college environment and placed additional stressors on them, yet its effects are still emerging. In the present study, 329 college students (Mage=19.74, SDage= 1.96) completed measures of generalized anxiety, behavioral coping, and adverse childhood experiences between July 2020 and March 2021 of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hypothesized that more adverse childhood experiences would be associated with more maladaptive behavioral coping strategies. In addition, less adaptive coping strategies would be positively associated with more anxiety among college students. Results indicated that negative coping behaviors were associated with more adverse childhood experiences and anxiety symptoms. These findings highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college student mental health and the need for targeted inventions for this population.