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Do Public Health Events Promote the Prevalence of Adjustment Disorder in College Students? An Example from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rong Fu*, Luze Xie

College of Economics, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou, 310018, China

* Corresponding Author: Rong Fu. Email: email

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2024, 26(1), 21-30.


COVID-19, as one of the most serious sudden public health problems in this century, is a serious threat to people’s mental health. College students, as a vulnerable group, are more likely to develop mental health problems. When the body is unable to adapt to new changes in the environment, the main mental health problem that arises is adjustment disorder. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and influencing factors of adjustment disorder among college students during the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Cross-sectional data collected by web-based questionnaires were obtained through convenience sampling and snowball sampling between March 07, 2023 and March 14, 2023. The online self-report questionnaire included measures of demographic characteristics, the International Adjustment Disorder Questionnaire (IADQ), and the Influencing Factors Scale. Data were analyzed through structural equation modeling. A total of 394 valid samples (55.33% female) were collected in this study, approximately 75.63% of college students had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and 28.68% of college students had an adjustment disorder. There was no significant difference between the different demographic characteristics and the prevalence of adjustment disorder, and almost all demographic characteristics had a high prevalence of adjustment disorder. Structural equation modeling revealed that physiological impact ( = 0.077), psychological impact ( = 0.626) and potential impact ( = 0.106) of the sudden COVID-19 outbreak had a significant positive effect on the prevalence of adjustment disorder. The prevalence of adjustment disorder among college students is increased under the outbreak of COVID-19. The government should provide psychosocial support and mental health services for college students while also paying attention to potential factors such as stressors to reduce the adverse effects of outbreaks.


Cite This Article

Fu, R., Xie, L. (2024). Do Public Health Events Promote the Prevalence of Adjustment Disorder in College Students? An Example from the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 26(1), 21–30.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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