Correlates of Psychological Distress Among African American Young Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Brittany D. Miller-Roenigk, Jasmine K. Jester, Danelle J. Stevens-Watkins, Diane B. Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects African Americans in the United States, including disparate rates of mortality and higher mental health consequences compared to Whites. However, African American young adults are underrepresented in the literature examining psychological distress (i.e., anxiety and depression) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors associated with psychological distress are important to examine among African American young adults during the pandemic to better inform culturally appropriate mental health interventions during times of increased uncertainty and isolation. The present study, grounded in the transactional theory of stress and coping, was a secondary analysis of 420 African American young adults exploring gender, age, coping, fear of missing out (FOMO), and COVID-19 news exposure as correlates of anxiety and depression. Results showed that gender, age, level of resilient coping, and experiences of FOMO were associated with psychological distress. Therefore, interventions to reduce psychological distress among African American young adults may need to focus on younger individuals and women, identify adaptive coping skills during times of significant change, and target individuals who experience FOMO.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • African Americans
  • COVID-19
  • anxiety
  • coping
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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