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Psychology Faculty Member’s Research Featured in International Academic Journal

Fri, 08/26/2022 - 14:52pm | By: David Tisdale

Dr. Michael MadsonA University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Education and Human Sciences faculty member’s collaborative research with multiple colleagues in his field is featured in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Dr. Michael Madson, a professor in the college’s School of Psychology, co-authored the article “Mental Health Risk Profiles and Related Substance Use During Coronavirus Pandemic Among College Students Who Use Substances” which is based on a large multisite study with representation from all major regions of the United States. 

According to Dr. Madson, the study’s findings suggest college students’ levels of anxiety and depression have remained relatively consistent over a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and are a concern as anxiety was the most prevalent mental health complaint among college students prior to COVID-19. The study also examined the sustained impact of COVID-19 compared to many studies that investigated the initial effects.

“The fact that we found high levels of alcohol and cannabis use amongst students with slight, mild and severe mental health symptom profiles highlights that students might be using these substances to cope with their distress,” Dr. Madson explained. “This is important for university personnel to monitor and address as students return to campuses in person full time. Colleges and universities will need to give increased attention and resources to substance use and mental health and intervention than prior to the pandemic.” 

Further, Dr. Madson noted that he and his colleagues found disparities involving ethnoracial and sexual minorities who were more significantly affected negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they experienced more psychological distress. “Universities would benefit from implementing culturally informed mental health and substance use help-seeking campaigns to focus on reducing these disparities,” he said. 

The article can be viewed at this link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11469-022-00813-1

A member of the USM faculty since 2005, Dr. Madson’s areas of expertise include substance misuse harm reduction among college students, brief health interventions, health promotion, motivational interviewing, and addiction and recovery.

For information about the USM School of Psychology, visit usm.edu/psychology/index.php.