Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type




Director of Thesis

Dr. Nicole Zarrett, Ph.D

First Reader

Dr. Jongho Moon, Ph.D

Second Reader

Dr. Jongho Moon, Ph.D


The aim of this research is to identify any existing correlations between the COVID-19 pandemic and negative mental health outcomes in younger populations. This paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of those younger than 25 years of age, specifically focusing on students. It will investigate how various factors of the pandemic have affected people and how they have coped with psychological distress induced by the pandemic. Through a review of scientific data and scholarly literature, the impacts of the pandemic on mental health will be assessed. Coping mechanisms and the effects of physical activity on stress will also be analyzed. Hypotheses will be made regarding how living through a pandemic will prepare younger generations for future stressful events. There are several implications of this study including identifying means to improve the mental health of adolescents and young adults during stressful situations as well as identifying common external factors and internal perceptions that cause mental health issues in younger populations.

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