The beginning of the pandemic was accompanied by a number of studies intended to reveal its consequences for the world population. Most of them are devoted to various aspects of the provision of healthcare services and the change in people’s health status resulting from social distancing. One of such articles is “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Lives and Mental Health of Australian Adolescents,” written by Li et al., and it examines teenagers aged 12-18. The orientation of scholars on this population group is defined by the lack of research on them (Li et al.). This gap attracted specialists and the writers of popular articles, and the piece of Sally Robertson reflects on the conducted study. However, in this case, the problem is in the distortion of information, which should be assessed.
The popular article described the general findings of the study while neglecting the positive aspects of the matter. Thus, it contains the data reflecting the decline in mental health and mentions that 75% of participants reported mental health issues (Robertson). Meanwhile, this source does not refer to a significant percentage of adolescents whose physical health either improved or remained the same (Li et al.). In this way, the situation is erroneously presented in a more negative light.
Moreover, it does not provide a full picture regarding online learning, focusing solely on the problems with students’ motivation and the lack of discipline (Robertson). In contrast to this description, the original source states that the issues are related not only to adolescents but also to their teachers. According to it, the challenges specified above are directly connected to the lack of support from educators, slow internet, and increased workload (Li et al.). Considering the above, it can be concluded that most provisions of the popular article are focused only on one side of the issues and, therefore, it seems to be biased.
However, despite the identified issues in the approach for reporting the latest evidence of the pandemic’s influence on adolescents, the source is well-written. It has a clear structure, contains graphs and other visual elements where it is necessary, and the material is divided into sections. These techniques make the article easy to navigate when searching for data from specific areas, such as the impact of online learning, the stress in families, or sleep disturbance among the participants.
The article of Sally Robertson conveys the main points of the study conducted by Li et al. and effectively summarizes the findings and future implications. It contains all figures and spheres of influence of COVID-19 restrictions and emphasizes the need to support this population group during the pandemic. Nevertheless, it can be improved to provide an actual picture of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on adolescents. It would be better if the author did not use the limited data in the way they were presented in research and analyzed it instead.
To summarize, the information on adolescents’ situation regarding their physical and mental health stemming from the pandemic is described by the popular article based on recent research. However, it examines only the adverse effects while neglecting the improvements. Its structure is well-thought, but this source lacks an analysis of the findings. Thus, a better approach would be the inclusion of all aspects of the study and the reflection on them.
Li, Sophie, et al. “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Lives and Mental Health of Australian Adolescents.” medRxiv, 2020.
Robertson, Sally. “The Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 in Australian Adolescents.” Medical News, 2020, Web.