Gender and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Undergraduate and Graduate Students’ Mental Health and Treatment Use Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

This study aimed to investigate gender and racial/ethnic disparities in mental health and treatment use in undergraduate and graduate students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results showed that in the initial period of the pandemic, students identified as cis women, non-binary/genderqueer, or Hispanic/Latinx reported higher internalizing problem severity compared to their privileged counterparts. Additionally, Asian and multiracial students reported less treatment use than White students while controlling for internalizing problem severity. The findings revealed unique mental health challenges faced by different demographic groups and served as a call that specific actions to enhance mental health equity, such as continued mental health support for students with marginalized gender identities, additional COVID-related mental and practical support for Hispanic/Latinx students and promotion of mental health awareness, access, and trust in non-White, especially Asian, students are desperately needed.

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