Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

MA in Psychology



First Advisor

Andrea Bergman

Second Advisor

Elissa J Brown


The novel coronavirus has resulted in mass infection and death. To prevent spread of the virus, colleges and universities shut down and transitioned to remote learning, which mandated all college students to leave residential housing and relocate to a permanent address. Previous literature suggests college students who experienced housing displacement due to a natural disaster reported heightened distress and poorer overall functioning (Davis, Grills-Taquechel, & Ollendick, 2010). Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, college student mental health was deemed a public health concern, however, it is expected to worsen following the outbreak (Galea, Merchant, & Lurie, 2020). Researchers suggest peer support and connection buffers against worsened psychological symptoms when students experience disaster (Kuhl & Boyraz, 2017). This study seeks to understand pre-COVID place of residence and campus connectedness as a predictor for emotional functioning two months into the pandemic. A moderated regression analysis was used to evaluate if campus connectedness and emotional functioning varied as a function of place of residence before the outbreak. Findings suggested no significant interaction between pre-COVID place of residence and campus connectedness, however, exploratory analyses revealed that gender and trauma history affect emotional functioning among students. Implications of this research suggest that historical trauma should be considered for students who experience disaster and, perhaps, universities should adopt a trauma-informed approach to welcome students back on campus during the pandemic.