Research tells a story of student’s experiences with COVID-19 from early 2020, during the height of the pandemic, to now, 2022.

Dean Bernadette Boden-Albala of the UCI Program in Public Health is conducting a 5th survey to further examine student’s knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices regarding COVID-19.

In early 2020, not much was known about the COVID-19 virus. Our best defense against the spread of COVID-19 was quarantine, lockdowns, social distancing and masking. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic came economic hardship, political divide, disjoined COVID-19 information, and violent attacks on Asians and Asian Americans due to anti-Asian sentiments related to the origin of the COVID-19 virus. This was a stressful time for all, especially students, who at the same time had to adjust to the transition to online classes, staying at home, and social distancing from loved ones in different households. More than two years later, many in California have been vaccinated, college campuses have re-opened, and social distancing and masking guidelines have eased. Much has changed since 2020, yet the COVID-19 virus is still here, and continues to affect us all, including our students and their mental health.

In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, director and founding dean of the UCI Program in Public Health, Dr. Bernadette-Boden Albala, surveyed students at UCI to understand their concerns regarding COVID-19. She conducted four waves of survey, two in February and March before California’s stay at home order; and two in April and November of 2020. The first two surveys assessed students concerns, their knowledge about how to prevent the spread of the virus, and where they got their COVID-19 information. In the third and fourth survey she added questions to assess their experiences with stigma related to COVID-19, their health and emotional well-being during original lockdown, their recent engagement in COVID-19 protective health behaviors, and sociodemographic information. She is now continuing her research with a 5th survey that is currently open to all UCI students for survey responses.

With this 5th survey, she hopes to gather more information related to the current context of the pandemic, which includes similar questions from the previous surveys to assess student’s current concerns, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to COVID-19. However, questions around COVID-19 vaccination, vaccine hesitancy, addressing misinformation, and access and use of UCI COVID-19 resources and communication channels have been added to the survey. Currently, she has collected 350 survey responses and aims to reach around 1000 responses by the end of the Spring Quarter.

Dr. Boden-Albala hopes to use this data to continue analyses on student’s behaviors and experiences of stigma and racial discrimination related to COVID-19 to observe changes overtime, from 2020 to 2022. With the added questions around COVID-19 vaccination, vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, she also aims to understand vaccine status among students. The survey digs deeper into what resources and skills students need to have conversations about vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 misinformation with their loved ones as well as the importance of defending science to support public health efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Additionally, the data collected can be used to help UCI continue to address student’s concerns regarding the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, assess UCI’s COVID-19 related services and communication methods, and provide needed support to students.

To take the survey, see the link.

All UCI STUDENTS are invited to participate in the anonymous survey. The survey takes about 15-20 minutes and students who complete the survey have the option to be entered into a raffle to win one of five $50 door dash gift cards.


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