It’s been quite some time since checking in here… but I’ve had to make some crucial decision in this journey.

My pace in developing a road map for my thesis is somewhat slower than most in my class, as I intend to present my thesis next Spring. My possible stakeholders will develop as new studies and research develop in the coming year regarding rising cases of individuals seeking therapy and self help in coping with the stressors created by Covid-19. I am still in the exploratory phase of my research which will continue through to the Fall.

One concrete decision that I have made is that I will want to collaborate with NYU mental health programs to reach individuals diagnosed with adjustment disorder whether  they are students, faculty or any other employee of New York University. This should give me a sample size that eventually can be filtered down to a narrower range of demographics for generative research late Fall and Winter.

Covid -19 presents the ideal situation for the study of adjustment disorder creating multiple “stressful” life events affecting people living and working in urban settings. For those of us in living in New York City and surrounding metropolitan areas, similar to other cities that are international hubs, Covid – 19 and its repercussions were evident in the first months of the lockdown. Majority of New Yorkers were directly affected by Covid-19 crisis. There was immediate stress on the health care system, first responders and essential workers who had to be exposed to the virus because of the nature of their work. There was also stress on educators, parents and students due to the uncertainty in the criteria for transmission.  “Normal” no longer existed… businesses closed, people lost jobs, family, friend, collogues, acquaintances and relatives were dying or became sick.

In Current Psychiatry Report (2021) ‘Covid Stress Syndrome: Clinical and Noslogical Considerations’, by Steven Taylor of University of British Columbia, reviews the proposed COVID Stress Syndrome. Listed below are the five intercorrelated elements:

  1. fear of SARSCoV2 infection and fear of coming
    into contact with objects or surfaces contaminated with the coronavirus
  2. fear of socio-economic impacts of the pandemic
  3. fear of foreigners for fear that they are infected
  4. pandemic-related compulsive checking and reassurance-seeking
  5. pandemic-related traumatic stress symptoms.

A severe form of the syndrome, characterized by clinically significant distress and impairment in functioning, is the COVID Stress Disorder, which is regarded as a pandemic-related adjustment disorder.[1]


1. Taylor, S. (2021). COVID stress syndrome: clinical and nosological considerations. Current psychiatry reports23(4), 1-7.

There are 3 elements to my project and each needs a collaborative entities. 

  1.  Medical support for determining participants – NYU/Langione HealthServices
  2.  Field Study – The Motivation Lab at NYU School of Psychology 
  3.  HCI – AI development – Immersive Computing Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering

I will also need an IDM thesis advisor to guide me through to the completion of my project.