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Exploring college students’ flourishing: The interplay of demographic characteristics, time allocation in daily activities and responsibilities, and sense of belonging

The purpose of this study is to investigate how college students’ flourishing relates to their demographic characteristics, students allocating time in daily activities and responsibilities, and sense of belonging to the university. The total sample for this study includes 553 undergraduate students, of which 69% identified as female, 24% as male, 7% as non-binary, 29% as underrepresented minority (URM) students, and 38% as first-generation students. Method. The study utilized the ACHA-NCHA III survey data from a large public 4-year university. The researchers conducted an exploratory factor analysis to identify prominent components, resulting in seven constructed variables to measure students’ level of involvement in managing roles related to their academic, extracurricular, and personal life. The researchers then used multiple regression models to examine the relationship between student flourishing outcomes and students’ time allocation in fixed roles (as a student, caretaker, and employee) and other activities, and their sense of belonging to the university. The results showed that college students who assume additional roles besides being a student, who spend more time engaging in prosocial activities while balancing socializing, and have a strong sense of belonging, also have a higher level of flourishing. Conversely, media consumption was negatively associated with students’ flourishing.

An intersectional examination of the impact of COVID-stress and discrimination on college students’ resilience and mental health

Objective: To investigate the impact of COVID-stress and discrimination on mental health among a group of diverse college students using an intersectional framework. Participants: One thousand six hundred seventy-one undergraduate students (M age = 20.42, SD = 2.74) were recruited from nine college campuses. Methods: Participants completed an online questionnaire assessing mental health symptoms, COVID-stress, and in-school discrimination. Hierarchical regressions and multi-group SEM path analysis were conducted to examine differences across intersectional identities. Results: Female-identifying students reported higher COVID-stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and lower resilience compared to males. COVID-stress and discrimination were highest among certain minoritized student groups. Using an intersectional framework, more COVID-stress and discrimination were associated with increased anxiety for almost all women of color. Unexpectedly, COVID-stress predicted anxiety symptoms for almost all male intersectional groups. Conclusions: Findings reaffirm the intersectional framework and highlight significant disparities in how students experience COVID-stress, discrimination, and mental health outcomes along dimensions of gender and race/ethnicity.