Youth may have better mental health with social connectedness, sleep, and physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic as per a longitudinal survey data published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The study analyzed more than 3,000 adolescents among the age group 11 to 14 years, recorded before and during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
‘Social connectedness, sleep, and physical activity may promote better mental health among the youths during the COVID-19 pandemic.’
It was found that supportive relationships with family and friends and healthy behaviors, like engaging in physical activity and better sleep appeared to shield against the harmful effects of the pandemic on adolescents’ mental health.
“Early adolescence is a time when youth are already experiencing rapid change physically, emotionally, and socially, and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense disruption to this sensitive stage in life. This study helps us understand how modifiable lifestyle factors affect the mental health and well-being of adolescents, and it can inform the development of interventions to protect youth during a major life stress. This is important now, as we continue to grapple with the pandemic, and also in future crisis response at the local or national level,” says Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of NIDA.