Bednarek, Mariana

Senior, College of Science and Health

Major: Psychology

Thesis Director: Ida Salusky, Department of Psychology

Faculty Reader: Michele Morgan, Department of Psychology

Bio: Mariana is graduating with a BA in Psychology concentrating in Human Services. She will continue at DePaul to pursue an MA in general psychology in preparation for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She has been in many psychology research labs, and is currently working in Dr. Ida Salusky’s REAL Lab. She is interested in researching mental health among marginalized populations, particularly Latinx immigrants, as she is a Latinx immigrant-origin college student herself.

Abstract: COVID-19 has negatively impacted the mental health of many college students. However, this effect may be even worse for Latinx immigrant-origin college students compared to other populations. This longitudinal, qualitative study aimed to (1) compare the mental health of (N=6) Latinx immigrant-origin college students before and after the onset of COVID-19 and (2) identify factors influencing psychological distress among this sample using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings suggest that various external stressors (i.e., academic, financial, work, and medical stress), the avoidance of these stressors, and barriers to mental health help-seeking frequently exacerbate psychological distress pre-and post-COVID-19.

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