Mental health of international students in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic and its relevant political climate: A descriptive cross-sectional study

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Journal of American College Health




Objective: To address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its relevant political climate on college-level international students in the United States. Participants: International students aged 18 years and older in the San Francisco Bay Area. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey using PHQ-9 and the GAD-7. Results: The prevalence of depression and anxiety significantly decreased during the last two weeks from the survey completion in April or May in 2021 (Time 2) as compared to the two weeks after the July 6th policy directive in 2020 (Time 1). However, both depression severity, 2.172 (95% CI: 1.900, 2.445), and anxiety severity, 1.897 (95% CI: 1.655, 2.138), during Time 2 were still mild, indicating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had still negatively impacted their mental health status. Conclusions: Future research can expand the target population and analyze the long-term effects of policy changes and disease outbreaks on international students in the United States.


Cross-sectional study, PHQ-9, GAD-7, July 6th 2020 policy directive, COVID-19


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Public Health and Recreation