Noor Jassim

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Angela D. Staples, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jamie M. Lawler, Ph.D., L.P.

Third Advisor

Rusty McIntyre, Ph.D.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health diagnosis that is a reaction to very stressful experiences. PTSD may hamper the quality of life for individuals suffering from it. It has been shown that being part of disadvantaged groups racially and socioeconomically may pose a higher risk of experiencing PTSD. The stress component of PTSD is the imbalance between the demands of an environment and an individual's ability to cope. A mismatch between degree of demands and coping ability influences psychological and physiological well-being. The impact on well-being varies by stress being acute, chronic, or a combined state of acute chronic stress. Acute stress combined with chronic stress can contribute to an increase in psychopathological symptoms. An event that qualifies as acute and chronic stress is the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic due to its prolonged and unpredictable presence. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the disparities in economic, interpersonal, and social components of racial groups and different socioeconomic status (SES) classes. This study investigated race and SES as disparities that may induce greater stress, which may increase the likelihood of PTSD symptoms in these vulnerable populations. Results indicated that there were no significant differences in COVID-19 stress or PTSD based on race. Furthermore, race and the interaction of race and COVID-19 stress did not significantly contribute to the variability of PTSD. Lastly, results showed that as SES status increased, COVID-19 stress decreased.

Included in

Psychology Commons