Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Amy Damashek

Second Advisor

Lowell Bouchard

Third Advisor

Cristal Cardoso Sao Mateus


The intent of this literature review is to find gaps in the current literature and provide suggestions for future research. This review focuses on stress research and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States. Most people will experience stress in their lifetime. There are different types of stress caused by different stimuli. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many stressors increased. Although stress levels during the COVID-19 pandemic were increased for all demographics, certain stressors occur in higher frequency for BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) individuals. This literature review focuses on intersectionality and how co-occurring identities may have increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic increased pre-existing stressors and created new concerns. Overall, there is not much research completed on the topic, meaning that stress research with a pandemic component is needed. Specifically, there is a lack of research surrounding BIPOC individuals and high-stress coping mechanisms. Some career and employment identities were associated with higher COVID-related stress. Essential workers, healthcare workers, college students, and adolescents were all among populations correlated with higher COVID-related stress. There is a need for qualitative research regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects. Qualitative research methods including in-depth interviews, participant observation, and focus groups were difficult to complete during a pandemic that limited face-to-face contact. During the pandemic, quantitative research was easier to complete during the pandemic because participants could answer surveys in the safety of their home. Future research would benefit from a standardized stress measure and a common definition for waves of the pandemic. This would increase validity for future pandemic research. This was not the first pandemic to occur, but it was the first pandemic to occur with such worldwide communication. Setting up practices and a general understanding for defining waves of a pandemic would benefit future pandemic research. Perhaps research could be completed on coping strategies for high-stress situations for BIPOC individuals without a career component.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted