The Schools of Psychology in NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin have collaborated on a study to find out how teenagers are coping with and responding to the ongoing restrictions and changes in their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Teenagers aged from 12 to 18 years are invited to take part in the study and if interested in taking part, parental consent is necessary. There are three surveys being carried out over 12 months, with each taking about 15 minutes to complete.
Young people have experienced many changes in their personal lives and have witnessed many changes in the lives of others over the last nine months. They have made many sacrifices to protect themselves, members of their family and the broader community. It is important we understand the impact of these changes on our teenagers.
The research team are interested in finding out about the impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health and wellbeing; and what has helped young people adjust to the ongoing restrictions and changes to their lives. They would also like to identify what has been most difficult for teenagers in recent months and whether any positive changes occurred for young people.
Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said: “The physical distancing measures that are in place, the limitations placed on opportunities for fun and recreational activities and the restrictions on our movements in recent times, can reduce the opportunities for face-to-face contact outside of the home. These restrictions may be particularly significant during adolescence, a time when social interaction with peers is of paramount importance.”
Dr Lorraine Swords, from the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, reminds us of the frustrations that young people may experience as their freedom and independence may be curtailed at a time when it is developmentally appropriate for it to be extended.