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Anxiety, Depression, Impulsivity, and Mindfulness among Higher Education Faculty during COVID-19

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Objective: In this paper, we examine the relationships among symptoms of anxiety and depression, impulsivity, and mindfulness among university faculty members during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a unique focus on whether these symptoms and practices of mindfulness differed with age, gender, ethnicity, and location. Methods: Participants (N = 302) from 2 universities completed online questionnaires pertaining to anxiety, depression, mindfulness, demographics, and impulsivity. Results: Lower mindfulness and greater impulsivity were associated with higher rates of anxiety and depression. Gender differences emerged; female participants experienced greater anxiety, less mindfulness, and worsened eating and sleeping habits compared to males. Individuals with direct COVID-19 experience (self-and/or family) did not report significantly different levels of anxiety, depression, mindfulness, or impulsivity. Ethnicity differences also emerged; relative to white participants, non-white participants had significantly worsened exercise habits, and non-Latinx/Hispanic participants endorsed worsened alcohol and marijuana use than Latinx/Hispanic participants. Finally, participants who reported having at least one mental health diagnosis (N = 41) reported significantly higher anxiety, depression, impulsivity, and marijuana use, lower levels of mindfulness, and worsened eating habits. Conclusions: The findings highlight the relationship between college faculty mental health and lifestyle habits, differences based on gender and ethnicity, and elucidate the ongoing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2020

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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