mental health; stressors; anxiety; depression; COVID-19 pandemic


Community Health | Epidemiology | Other Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Virus Diseases


Research suggests that mental health disorders heighten the risk of exposure to life stressors. Drawing on a sample of 754 adults from a survey distributed at six primary care clinics, we examine whether adults who reported ever being diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to experience an employment disruption, a housing disruption, and/or report more COVID-19-related stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals who reported ever being diagnosed with depression reported a greater burden (B=.75) of COVID-19-related stressors. Those who reported ever being diagnosed with anxiety had higher odds of experiencing an employment disruption (OR=1.90) and a housing disruption (OR=2.92) and reported about one (B=.97) additional COVID-19-related stressor. Our results suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may have deepened existing mental health disparities by exposing those with a depression or anxiety diagnosis to additional life stressors.