Samantha Sanchez-Garcia is an undergraduate student at Eastern Washington University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in communication, sociology, and industrial/ organizational psychology. She is also working on Eastern’s Inclusion and Diversity certificate and co-president of Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology. Samantha is a research assistant in Dr. Jillene Seiver’s clinical psychology lab looking into how the mere presence of a cell phone may be distracting. Samantha is particularly interested in researching domestic violence to help bring greater awareness and support to victims and potential victims. Samantha continued her research with Dr. Seiver for her 2020 EWU McNair Summer Research Internship studying this topic. Samantha’s goal is to attend graduate school and pursue a career as an Industrial or Organizational Psychologist.
2020 McNair Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Jillene Seiver, Psychology
Research Title: Traumatic Experiences and Mental Health Among College Students
Abstract: Because most college students have experienced one or more traumatic experiences before reaching college, they may be at increased risk of experiencing a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study examined the relationship between a history of traumatic events and mental health disorders among college students. There were direct correlations between traumatic experiences and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. In addition, after dividing respondents into “low,” “middle,” and “high” levels of trauma, the high group scored significantly higher on symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Women reported more symptoms of anxiety and depression and more physical/sexual trauma than men did. Some of these effects were moderated by ethnicity. These results support the findings of previous research, and suggest that there is a need for more research to determine the kinds of support and treatment needed for college students who may have experienced trauma.