Background: The COVID-19 pandemic could affect college students’ mental health. We examined screening rates for psychological disorders before and during the pandemic. Methods: Undergraduates were surveyed before (n = 3643) or during the pandemic (n = 4970). Logistic regression adjusting for participant demographics was conducted. Results: Frequencies of depression [OR 1.32, 95% CI (1.17, 1.48)], alcohol use disorder [OR 1.70, 95% CI (1.50, 1.93)], bulimia nervosa/binge-eating disorder [OR 1.54, 95% CI (1.28, 1.85)], and comorbidity [OR 1.19, 95% CI (1.04, 1.35)] were greater during (vs. before) the pandemic. Frequencies of posttraumatic stress disorder were lower during the pandemic [OR 0.86, 95% CI (0.75, 0.98)]. The upward trend in alcohol use disorder was stronger among women than men [OR 1.47, 95% CI (1.18, 1.83)]. The upward trend in depression was stronger among Black students than White students [OR 1.72, 95% CI (1.19, 2.49)]. Anxiety disorders, insomnia, anorexia nervosa, and suicidality showed no significant trends. Conclusions: Depression, alcohol use disorder, bulimia nervosa/binge-eating disorder, and comorbidity were higher, whereas posttraumatic stress disorder was lower during the pandemic. Women and Black students could face especially heightened risk for alcohol use disorder and depression, respectively, during the pandemic.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology