Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Gabriel Ybarra

Second Advisor

Dr. Dawn Witherspoon

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Lange, Lori


This study aimed to explore the mental health of undergraduate college students within the context of COVID-19 pandemic, as well as cognitions about health threat and engagement in protective health behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were (N = 276) undergraduate students attending the University of North Florida. Students completed a SONA systems survey between March 2021 and December 2021. Participants received course credit for completing the survey. Survey questions were taken from the Perceived Effectiveness of COVID-19 Prevention Effectiveness Protocols scale (Prasetyo et al., 2020). Three types of variables were assessed: demographics, perceived threat, and planned action. Correlational analyses were conducted to assess potential significant relationships between these variables and self-reported anxiety (GAD-7) and depression (PHQ-9). Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to explore relationship among demographics, perceived threat, and planned action and dependent anxiety and depression. Perceived threat was found to be a significant predictor variable for both anxiety and depression. Further research should look more into cultural factors that impact engagement in health behaviors.