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Publication Date

Summer 2021

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Cara Maffini Maffini


College Students, COVID-19, Resilience

Subject Areas

Developmental psychology


In California, the Latinx community comprises 39% of the state’s population, but accounted for 49.9% of all COVID-19 deaths (California Department of Public Health, 2021). The COVID-19 virus itself did not discriminate between people of color. Rather, systemic issues account for the reason why people of color are disproportionately affected by this global health crisis (CDC, 2020). Thus, it is critical that we examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Latinx college students. In the present study, I applied the Multi-System Model of Resilience (MSMR) to investigate the stressors that Latinx students experienced and factors that contributed to their resilience. One-hundred-seventy-three Latinx CSU students who ranged from 18 to 39 (93% women) completed a Qualtrics survey that contained five scales (Perceived Stress Scale, Latino/a Values Scale, Brief Cope, Higher Education Student Engagement Scale and shelter-in-place questions). Results indicate students experienced family disruptions when they moved back home. Although family-related stressors were common, Latinx students tapped into their cultural upbringing as a means to cope. In particular, religion and familismo values were critical in fostering feelings of purpose, persistence, and hope. Overall, findings highlight the adverse effects of the pandemic on Latinx college experiences and illuminates how they adopted coping strategies to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. As Latinx students return back to in-person learning, it is critical for colleges to understand the support families provide to students on their college trajectory.