Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Piercarlo Valdesolo

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© 2022 Stephany Ruelas


The Covid-19 pandemic has incredibly impacted the lives of millions of people in different ways, whether it be physically, economically, or psychologically. The effects of this deadly virus seem to not be helped from the social distancing measures put in place by government officials worldwide due to the increasing number of worse mental health outcomes. While the physical health of people is a main priority for moving forward from the Covid-19 illness, the mental health of people cannot be forgotten. Loneliness has been widely known as an epidemic due to its associations with detrimental mental and physical health outcomes. This essay discusses how loneliness from social distancing and isolation can greatly impact one’s experience of the pandemic. Furthermore, I highlight how personality and Internet use can be protective factors that may moderate one’s mental health outcomes. From the literature and interpretations about personality, I find that those who have high introversion, conscientiousness, and openness to experience may be at a lower risk for loneliness due to the likelihood that they view the pandemic as more of a growth period rather than a time without social interaction. Aspects of the Internet such as video sharing, parasocial relationships from Internet use, anonymity, and social media may give people safe spaces to be themselves, create genuine connections, and overall remind them that they are not alone during this time. This work can further prove why individual differences are so crucial to the general mental health outcomes during disaster. These differences can help us support those at a higher risk for loneliness.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.