COVID19 & Youth mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic has had unparalleled impacts on physical health around the globe. However, we are only starting to understand how this pandemic is affecting our mental health.
We are conducting a longitudinal study comparing pre-pandemic & current mental health profiles for adolescents to understand how, and for whom, mental health symptoms have changed.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While scientists have moved quickly to study the physical health implications of the disease, less attention has been paid to the negative mental health repercussions. The current study utilized a community sample of adolescents who had recently completed a two-year, four wave study of adolescent mental health (Wave 1 n=184, mean age=13.9 years; 50.3% female). Participants were recontacted to assess their anxiety, depression, and emotion dysregulation symptoms during the pandemic. Latent growth modeling based on four pre-COVID time points indicated the extent to which the fifth (COVID) time point deviated from trend expectations. Results showed that a) anxiety and depression scores were significantly higher than previous trajectories would have predicted, b) deviations from personal trajectories were associated with higher levels of perceived lifestyle impact due to the pandemic. Furthermore, gender-based analyses revealed that financial impacts, lifestyle impacts, and coronavirus fear were differentially associated with symptom increases for male and female participants. The current study is among the first to report that adolescent mental health trajectories have been altered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As physical distancing and other safety precautions may be required for several years, it is essential that we gain a deep understanding of how prevention efforts are associated with significant disruptions to youth mental health in order to bolster youth resilience during these unprecedented times.
Thanks to some generous funding from Concordia University, we have created infographic posters to highlight some of our key results and share some much needed information about the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic with the community.
These infographics are available in english and french. Please feel free to share widely!
If you are interested in creating knowledge mobilization infographics/posters, our wonderful graphic designer/animator, Etia Van Hell, is available! You can check out her website (https://www.etiavanhell.com/) & instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/studio.hyu/)