Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Nursing (BSN)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Joshua Kies


Anxiety is likely to impact every single person in the world. It can, at times, be advantageous; however, at other times, it can be crippling. There is not a consensus as to its cause. But, through years of research it has been discovered it results from structural and chemical changes within the brain. It is believed these changes contribute largely to the development of anxiety. Other factors such as stressors, trauma, and substance abuse may exacerbate anxiety and accelerate its development. This has prompted researchers, scientists, and clinicians to explore ways in which individuals may cope with this condition. For example, physical activity, specifically exercise, may be used. Exercise affects the brain chemically, possibly increasing the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin which have been associated with decreased anxiety. This coping mechanism can induce positive outcomes for an individual. Conversely, alcohol use is a coping strategy that individuals who suffer from anxiety may employ. Alcohol has been shown to increase the effects of GABA which may induce a sedative-like effect. However, alcohol use can instigate negative consequences, both physical and emotional, for individuals. The present research focuses on anxiety experienced by college students as well as their use of the aforementioned coping mechanisms. Barriers, including poor linkage to psychiatric-mental health services for students, are explored, and possible solutions are discussed.

Included in

Nursing Commons