Stress, social support, and health among college students after september 11, 2001

Erina L. MacGeorge, Wendy Samter, Bo Feng, Seth J. Gillihan, Angela R. Graves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The current study was designed to examine associations among stress due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, social support, and health (depression and physical illness) in a college student sample. In December 2001, students from Eastern universities (N = 666; 482 women, 184 men; average age 19.5 yrs.) completed measures of stress from terrorism (developed by the authors), supportive behaviors received from friends and family (Experienced Support Scale; Xu & Burleson, 2001), symptoms of depression (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), and illness (Pennebaker Inventory of Limbid Languidness; Pennebaker, 1982). The results indicate that even among college students with low exposure to the 9/11 attacks, terrorism-related stress was associated with greater depressive and illness symptoms (p <. 05), and that emotional and tangible support were associated with fewer symptoms fp <.05). Findings are considered for their practical implications for college students and personnel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-670
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of College Student Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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