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Teens’ mental health took a turn in opposite direction because of pandemic: Study

A new study found teens in a good head space saw a decline in their mental health during the pandemic, while those who were in poor mental health took a turn for the better.

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How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the mental well-being of teenagers? Well, it depends.

According to a new study, adolescents who were in a good head space prior to COVID-19 saw a decline in their mental health during the pandemic, while those who were in poor mental health took a turn for the better.

The study, expected to be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on a U.K. survey involving 886 teens aged 10 to 16 who were surveyed before and after the pandemic.

It found adolescents with better than average mental health before COVID-19 struck reported an increase in “emotional and conduct problems, hyperactivity and problems interacting with their peers and friends,” said University of B.C. sociologist Dr. Yue Qian, who co-authored the study with lead researcher Dr. Yang Hu of Lancaster University.

Those teens also experienced a decline in their “prosocial tendencies — such as being caring and willing to share and help others — during the pandemic,” said Qian in a UBC news release.

In contrast, adolescents with lower than average mental health saw their mental health improve during the pandemic, possibly because they spent more time at home with their parents, which prevented bullying or fighting with their peers.

The study also found teens from lower-income families experienced a greater decline in their mental health during COVID, while those living in one-parent households had more issues interacting with peers and friends.

More to come… 

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