Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Psychological Science

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. Antonio Cepeda-Benito


Substance use, COVID-19, stress, undergraduate students


Drug and alcohol use among college students is ubiquitous and a serious health and educational risk. This study attempted to understand the relationship between drug use and psychological distress among college students (N = 97) enrolled at the University of Vermont during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers answered the same survey once at the beginning and again at the end of the fall 2020 semester. This study presented usage rates of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, alcohol, and cannabis, as well as examined the change in drug use over the 45-day period separating the first and second waves of data collection. The present study also tested whether drug use and psychological distress differed as a function of the students’ housing conditions (living at home with parents, on-campus, or off-campus). Overall, rates of drug use either remained unchanged or declined slightly from the beginning to the end of the semester, and drug use did not differ as a function of living conditions. Although psychological distress did not change as a function of time or living environment, 30-day marijuana use at the beginning of the semester was positively correlated with psychological distress measured at the end.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.