Analysing the mental well-being of adolescents and young adults during COVID-19

Analysing the mental well-being of adolescents and young adults during COVID-19

The onset of puberty, associated with profound changes in drives, motivations, psychology and social life throughout adolescence, is a challenging time. The disruptive effects of COVID-19 that have impacted millions of lives render it crucial to explore the mental health needs of the young. Partially supported by the EU-funded PROSOCIAL project, an interdisciplinary research group has started examining how the adolescent brain is affected by the coronavirus lockdown. Quoted in a news item, Prof. Eveline Crone from PROSOCIAL project host Erasmus University Rotterdam states: "The goal of this research is to find out if this pandemic crisis has an impact not only on adolescents' mental health, but also if it influences the way they contribute to the needs of others. The research is ongoing, but the first results show that during lockdown teenagers have been making a greater effort than before to understand others' points of view – 'social perspective taking,' in the language of this research field." According to the findings, teenagers took into consideration the needs of others during the lockdown. "At the same time, we noticed that their opportunities for prosocial actions—actually helping out others—decreased compared to prior to the pandemic, possibly indicating the effects of social distancing and being in lockdown," Prof. Crone comments. Although "the virus feels like a war we need to battle, there is a very high level of trust. Having said that, there have also been some isolated but worrying incidents of anti-social behavior in teens," she adds. Prof. Crone hopes that young people will show ...
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