Generalized anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental health concerns for college students. Resilience, one’s ability to recover from adversity, is a critical component in reducing anxiety. The association between resilience and anxiety may be strengthened by positive college experiences of institutional support and experiential learning, particularly among underrepresented students. This study explored whether positive college experiences (Gallup “Big Six”) moderated the association between resilience (Brief Resilience Scale) and anxiety symptoms (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7) among underrepresented college students (N = 430; 73.5% first year; 38.1% first generation) at a large public institution. Controlling for demographic variables, greater resilience was associated with lower anxiety (β = -.42, p < .001). Positive college experiences were not directly associated with anxiety (β = -.04, p = .45); however, positive college experiences moderated the negative association of resilience and anxiety (β = -.14, p < .01) such that the association between greater resilience and lower anxiety was stronger for students reporting more positive college experiences. The final model accounted for 21% of the variance in anxiety symptoms (F11,418 = 10.22, p < .001). Findings support a beneficial role of positive college experiences on the association between resilience and anxiety.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License