Psychologists study impact of lockdown on young people
- University of Sheffield and Ulster University academics to investigate the mental health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on young people
- Experts will study why some young people are not adhering to physical distancing rules, as well as measuring rates of anxiety and depression
- Survey of 2,000 13-24-year-olds underway now, with initial results expected in two weeks
Psychologists at the University of Sheffield and Ulster University have launched a study into how young people are coping with the coronavirus lockdown, and why some may not be following government guidelines on physical distancing.
The team is surveying a UK representative group of 2,000 13-24-year-olds to examine the impact of the pandemic on young people at different stages of development and identify the factors influencing their mental resilience. They expect to publish initial results in around two weeks’ time, and will survey the same group in the future to investigate the longer term impacts of the crisis on their wellbeing.
Those taking part will answer questions about their current circumstances, wellbeing, experiences with Covid-19 and engagement with physical distancing guidelines.
The psychologists aim to measure rates of anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms among these young people. They will assess whether factors like family relationships and background increase their risk of pandemic-related mental health issues, and how their wellbeing affects their level of adherence to lockdown rules.
So far, little research has been done into how the pandemic is specifically affecting young people, so the experts hope this study will inform future government policy designed to support them and their parents and carers during and after the lockdown.
Dr Liat Levita, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield and principal investigator of the study, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought enormous uncertainty for young people studying for exams, hoping to start university and entering the world of work. Our study will uncover the impact this unprecedented lockdown is having on their mental health and help to explain why some are breaking physical distancing rules.
“In order for the government to deliver the support young people need to come through this crisis, we urgently need to understand how it feels to be growing up during a pandemic.”
The study is being conducted by the University of Sheffield and Ulster University Covid-19 Psychological Research Consortium – a group of clinical, developmental and health psychologists, as well as political scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Ulster, with additional collaborators from University College London, Liverpool and Royal Holloway and Bedford College.
The team's initial findings were published on 7 May 2020.
The University of Sheffield
With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.
Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
For further information please contact:
Media and PR Officer
0114 222 3687
07751 400 287