The stress coping mechanisms used by undergraduate university students affects their psychological well-being, stress level, and mental health outcomes. Increasing students’ use of positive coping mechanisms may increase academic outcomes, and overall health and well-being. This study evaluated the stress coping mechanisms used by undergraduate university students prior to and since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Brief COPE inventory was used to measure stress coping responses. The results of this research indicated a significant change in 9 out of the 14 main coping mechanisms used by undergraduate university students prior to since the pandemic began. The top two stress coping mechanisms used by undergraduate university students both prior to and since the pandemic began were avoidance and humor. The third most commonly used coping mechanism prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was avoidance but since the pandemic began, students are using acceptance. Universities must create programs to increase students’ use of positive coping mechanisms to improve their academic and health outcomes. Future research should examine the mechanisms used by specific student groups to better target coping mechanism programs.
Date of Degree
Master of Science (MS)
Community Health Education
Allied Health and Nursing
Diefenderfer, K. (2022). Stress coping responses of undergraduate university students prior to & since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/1199/
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