What You Need to Know About the Pandemic’s Lasting Effects on Adolescent Mental Health

The Teachers College at Columbia University has published an article on new research from the Icelandic Research Fund examining the implications and lingering impact of the pandemic on youth mental health. 

It states: 

“As the COVID-19 pandemic came with bouts of uncertainty and isolation for all, new research in a seemingly post-pandemic world has revealed evidence that the detrimental impact on adolescent mental health has persisted and points to multiple causes for concern. 

“These are some of the findings from a new study supported by the Icelandic Research Fund conducted by John Allegrante, Charles Irwin Lambert Professor of Health Behavior and Education at Teachers College and Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, along with a team of Icelandic and North American behavioral and social scientists with whom he has been collaborating for almost 20 years. . . . 

“The recent study, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, sampled over 64,000 13-18-year-old Icelandic adolescents, and builds on Allegrante and his Icelandic colleagues’ previous study, which monitored adolescents mental health during the height of the pandemic, the findings of which were published in Lancet Psychiatry in 2021. 

“Perhaps the most striking finding of the newest study is that the elevated depressive symptoms and worsened mental health that were observed among adolescent girls and boys during the pandemic were maintained for up to two years into the pandemic. Another is that while alcohol intoxication initially declined during the pandemic, it has increased as social restrictions have been eased.”

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