The COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic effect on the health of both adults and adolescents. While the effect of the pandemic on the physical health of the youth has been lower in comparison with adults, adolescents’ psychological health remains a matter of concern (Tardif-Grenier et al., 2021). While there are several reasons adolescents may experience more severe psychological symptoms during confinement compared to adults, the literature review provided by Tardif-Grenier et al. (2021) focuses on two matters. First, people are more susceptible to deprivation from socialization during their adolescent years.
During this period of life, people are characterized by developing increased autonomy from parents, identity exploration, and the start of romantic relationships. Confinement limits the ability of adolescents to meet their socialization needs during the pandemic. Moreover, lock-down increased the number of stressful situations, and the youth was unable to benefit from the support of their peers to cope with these situations. Thus, lack of the ability to socialize is one of the central reasons for adolescents’ increased susceptibility to psychological distress.
The second factor that affects adolescents’ psychological health is the lack of access to the resources of school during the pandemic. The school environment reduces the disparities in education and health during normal times (Tardif-Grenier et al., 2021).
During the pandemic, students may experience problems with studying due to the lack of space at home to provide a favorable environment. Additionally, schools helped to ensure adolescents’ adequate screen time, sleep duration, and physical activity. Without additional control and support from teachers, adolescents experience increased pressure, which can no longer be relieved using normal patterns. In summary, deprivation from socialization and lack of support from the school environment make adolescents more susceptible to psychological distress than adults.
Tardif-Grenier, K., Archambault, I., Dupéré, V., Marks, A. K., & Olivier, E. (2021). Canadian adolescents’ internalized symptoms in pandemic times: Association with sociodemographic characteristics, confinement habits, and support. Psychiatric Quarterly, 92, 1309-1325. Web.