Covid-19 Stress, Adaptation, and Coping Among Male and Female U.S. College Students

Denise Nathalie Prieto, Fordham University


The present study explored the relationship between binary gender, stress, adaptation, and coping in college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Study participants were college students, ages 18+, attending an institute of higher education in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because male and female students have been known to experience stress, adaptation, and coping differently, this study randomly selected males (n = 91) and females (n = 102) and analyzed their responses to validated scale items focusing on the effect of gender, coping, and school adjustment to stress and adaptation to COVID-19 across various domains. Students’ adjustment to college accounted for 28% of the overall variance in scores, with academic adjustment (28%) and school attachment (11%) impacting specific aspects of stress and COVID adjustment significantly. Coping also contributed to specific aspects of stress and COVID-19 adjustment, with escape avoidance (13%), planful problem-solving (8%) and positive reappraisal (9%) accounting for variance in specific domains. No significant overall effect of gender on stress and COVID-19 adaptation was found, although gender did play a significant role discriminatory impact adjustment. Findings can inform systemic interventions used by institutions during times of abrupt, high magnitude changes to education and students’ lifestyles.

Subject Area

Psychology|Community college education|Gender studies|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Prieto, Denise Nathalie, "Covid-19 Stress, Adaptation, and Coping Among Male and Female U.S. College Students" (2024). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30570841.