Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Victoria Follette

Second Advisor

Patrick Aragon

Third Advisor

Catherine Nicholson

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Graduate students experience significant amounts of psychological stress in terms of academic and professional settings. In addition, academic performance can fluctuate depending on the circumstance. The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant challenges for mental health, academic motivation, substance use, and other related domains. However, the research specific to psychology graduate students and the impact of COVID-19 is limited, specifically related to performance. Therefore, the current study examined the relationship between the pandemic and its impact on psychology graduate students' psychological health related to depression, anxiety, stress, and experiential avoidance. In addition, the study examined academic motivation related to degree specific requirements and practicum experiences. Overall, this study found that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted mental health, depression, and anxiety related to loneliness and feelings of wellbeing. Students also acknowledged motivations’ influence on academic performance. Contributions to the findings, limitations of the exploration, and future research directions are all discussed.


Copyright held by author.