Background. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a public health crisis, and college campuses and areas in the southern U.S. are high-risk environments for disease spread. Purpose. This study examined variation in COVID-19 concerns, prevention behaviors, and related experiences among college students at a large, public university in the southeast region of the U.S. Methods. A sample of 544 undergraduate students completed an online survey in the final weeks of the Fall 2020 academic semester. Subgroup variation in level of COVID-19 concern by history of COVID-19 diagnosis and associations between individual correlates and COVID-19 outcomes were explored. Results. Students were most concerned about COVID-19 risk for their loved ones. Being young, female, and having a mental health condition were associated with higher levels of concern. Positive associations were found between level of concern and adherence to hygiene, social distancing, and mask wearing guidelines. A COVID-19 diagnosis was associated with taking all online classes, Greek life or athletic involvement, and having quarantined during the semester. Conclusion. Findings highlight student subgroups that may require increased attention when addressing COVID-19 concerns and prevention behavior adherence. Future research should also explore the relationship between COVID-19 concerns and behaviors with vaccination efforts among college students.


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