Social Issues in America: Their Impact on the Anxiety Level and Coping of
College Students

                                                                                     Adelphi University

                                                                                     Informed Consent

IRB protocol title: Social Issues in America: Their Impact on the Anxiety Level and Coping of College Students

Principal investigator:   Erica Coleman
Co-investigator/faculty adviser:  Carolyn M. Springer, Ph.D.

Research purposes

This survey research study investigates the impact of current social issues on the level of anxiety experienced by college students and strategies they are using for coping.

Description of research

You will be asked to complete a 20 minute long online survey that asks questions about you, your reaction to different social issues, your personality and your coping strategies. 

Potential risks

The study risks are minimal.  The choice of participating is up to you. You do not have to answer any question that makes you feel uncomfortable.  If you do feel upset after taking part, you can contact the Counseling Center  at (516) 877- 3646 (University Center Room 310) or Derner Psychological Services at (516) 877-  4820 (Hy Weinberg Center) to speak with someone.

Potential benefits

The information you provide may not directly benefit you but a better understanding of the impact of social issues on college students can help inform the design of appropriate interventions.


There is no compensation for participating in this study.

Additional Information

If you have any questions at any time about this research or want to discuss any possible study-related incidents, please contact Erica Coleman at or (516) 877-4753 or Carolyn Springer at or (516) 877-4753.


Your identity as a participant in this research study will be kept confidential in any publication of the results of this study. The information obtained during this research (research records) will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. However, this research record may be reviewed by government agencies (such as the Department of Health and Human services), the agency sponsoring this research, individuals who are authorized to monitor or audit the research or the Institutional Review Board (the committee that oversees all research in human subjects at Adelphi University), if required by applicable laws or regulations.  

Your IP address will not be collected.  The survey is hosted on survey monkey which meets the standards for internet security. However, there is a limit to the confidentiality that can be guaranteed due to the technology itself.  Specifically, although the risk is small, no guarantees can be made regarding the interception of data sent via the Internet by any third parties. Please complete the survey in a location that is private.

The materials will be maintained for at least seven years on a password protected computer. Only the researchers will have access to the data.

Voluntary participation

Participation in this study is completely voluntary.  It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. You can stop participating at any time without any penalty.

Institutional Review Board approval: This research has been reviewed and approved by the Adelphi University Institutional Review Board. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please contact Dr. Carolyn M. Springer, Ph.D. chair of the IRB, at 516. 877-4753 or

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* 1. I would like to participate in this study

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* 2. Gender

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* 3. In what year were you born? (enter 4-digit birth year; for example, 1976)

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* 4. What is your current year in school? 

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* 5. Are you a commuter or resident?

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* 6. Do you work?

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* 7. What is your race/ethnicity? (Check all that apply)

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* 8. How anxious are you about each of the following?

  Not at all anxious Not that anxious Somewhat anxious Extremely anxious
Over-reliance on social media use
Increased use of drugs/alcohol
Financial cost of college
Getting a job after graduating college
Mistrust of political leadership
Poor healthcare/ lack of healthcare
Environmental issues/ climate change
Finding a healthy relationship 
Intense pressure to succeed
Pressure to grow up too fast
Loss of personal Freedoms
Keeping myself and my family safe
Financial concerns/ paying bills and expenses
Impact of politics on daily life
Relationships with family/friends/coworkers
Gun violence
Hate Crimes
Low wages

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* 9. Here are a number of statements that may or may not apply to you. For the most accurate score, when responding, think of how you compare to most people -- not just the people you know well, but most people in the world. There are no right or wrong answers, so just answer honestly!

  Very much like me Mostly like me Somewhat like me Not much like me Not like me at all
I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge.
New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.
My interests change from year to year.
Setbacks don't discourage me. 
I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest.
I am a hard worker.
I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one. 
I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete. 
I finish whatever I begin. 
I have achieved a goal that took years of work. 
I become interested in new pursuits every few months. 
I am diligent. 

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* 10. A number of statements which people have used to describe themselves are given below. Read each statement and then select the answer that indicates how you generally feel. There is no right or wrong answer. Do not spend too much time on any one statement but give the answer which seems to describe how you generally feel.

  Almost never Sometimes Often Almost Always
I feel pleasant
I feel nervous and restless
I feel satisfied with myself
I wish I could be as happy as others seem to be
I feel like a failure
I feel rested
I am calm, cool, and collected
I feel that difficulties are piling up so that I cannot overcome them
I worry too much over something that doesn't matter
I am happy 
I have disturbing thoughts
I lack self-confidence
I feel secure
I make decisions easily
I feel inadequate 
I am content
Some unimportant thoughts run through my mind and bother me
I take disappointments so keenly that I can’t put them out of my mind
I am a steady person
I get in a states of tension or turmoil as I think over my recent concerns and interests

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* 11. These items deal with ways you've been coping with the stress in your life. There are many ways to try to deal with problems. These items ask what you've been doing to cope. Obviously, different people deal with things in different ways, but I'm interested in how you've tried to deal with a current problem. Each item says something about a particular way of coping. I want to know to what extent you've been doing what the item says. How much or how frequently. Don't answer on the basis of whether it seems to be working or not—just whether or not you're doing it. Use these response choices. Try to rate each item separately in your mind from the others. Make your answers as true FOR YOU as you can.

  I haven't been doing this at all I've been doing this a little I've been doing this a medium amount I've been doing this a lot
I've been turning to work or other activities to take my mind off things. 
I've been concentrating my efforts on doing something about the situation I'm in. 
I've been saying to myself "this isn't real." 
I've been using alcohol or other drugs to make myself feel better. 
I've been getting emotional support from others. 
I've been giving up trying to deal with it. 
I've been taking action to try and make the situation better. 
I've been refusing to believe that it has happened. 
I've been saying things to let my unpleasant feelings escape. 
I've been getting help and advice from other people. 
I've been using alcohol or other drugs to help me get through it. 
I've been trying to see it in a different light, to make it seem more positive. 
I've been criticizing myself.
I've been trying to come up with a strategy about what to do. 
I've been getting comfort and understanding from someone.
I've been giving up the attempt to cope. 
I've been looking for something good in what is happening. 
I've been making jokes about it.
I've been doing something to think about it less, such as going to movies, watching TV, reading, daydreaming, sleeping, or shopping.
I've been accepting the reality of the fact that it has happened. 
I've been expressing my negative feelings. 
I've been trying to find comfort in my religion or spiritual beliefs. 
I’ve been trying to get advice or help from other people about what to do.
I've been learning to live with it.
I've been thinking hard about what steps to take. 
I've been blaming myself for things that happened.
I've been praying or meditating. 
I've been making fun of the situation.