Abstract: Neal-Barnett, Goar, Evans and Solomon

Examining the impact of systemic racism and COVID-19 on the well-being of Black college students at Kent State University

Angela Neal-Barnett, Ph.D., Psychological Sciences, Kent State University

Carla Goar, Ph.D., Sociology, Kent State University

Na’Tasha Evans, Ph.D., School of Health Sciences, Kent State University

Starr Solomon, Ph.D., Sociology, Kent State University

Black college students must simultaneously navigate the dual pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19. Race-related stress exacerbates the impact of COVID-19 for Black students, making them more susceptible to heightened fear, anxiety, depression, and stress than their White peers. Systemic racism increases the risk of chronic health conditions associated with fear, anxiety, depression, and stress. Growing concerns surrounding police behavior may amplify the effects of systemic racism on mental health among Black students. The current study relies on a sample of Black and White Kent State students to examine how COVID-19, racist events, racial discrimination, and perceptions of police behavior operate independently and interactively to predict psychological and physiological fear, anxiety, and stress.