Impacts of the coronavirus on social support and mental health

Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented source of stress for today’s college students. In addition to the physical health threat COVID-19 poses to students and their loved ones, the psychological impact of the pandemic has been profound, with stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms increasing globally.

Many college students in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are taking classes remotely while living at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. These students may look to parents as readily available sources of social support. However, the pandemic presents challenges that may make it more difficult for students to seek and receive adequate social support at a time when they need it most. In this post, Penn State researchers discuss how Relational Turbulence Theory (or RTT) can help shed light on challenges students may encounter when living with, and seeking support from, parents during the pandemic.

For more, visit the Insights from Experts website — a partnership of Penn State's Social Science Research Institute and the Center for Health Care and Policy Research.

Last Updated October 13, 2020