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COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented disruption of normal social relationships and activities, which are so important during the teen years and young adulthood, and to education and economic activity worldwide. The impact of this on young people’s mental health and future prospects may affect their need for support and services, and the speed of the nation’s social recovery afterwards. This study focused on the unique challenges facing young people at different points during adolescent development, which spans from the onset of puberty until the mid-twenties. Although this is an immensely challenging time and there is a potential risk for long term trauma, adolescence can be a period of opportunity, where the teenagers’ brain enjoys greater capacity for change. Hence, the focus on young people is key for designing age-specific interventions and public policies, which can offer new strategies for instilling resilience, emotional regulation, and self-control. In fact, adolescents might be assisted to not only cope, but excel, in spite of the challenges imposed by this pandemic. Our work will feed into the larger societal response that utilizes the discoveries about adolescence in the way we raise, teach, and treat young people during this time of crisis. Wave 1 data has already been collected from 2,002 young people aged 13-24, measuring their mental health (anxiety, depression, trauma), family functioning, social networks, and resilience, and social risk-taking at the time of the pandemic. Here we present a preliminary report of our findings, (Report 1). Data collected 21/4/20- 29/4/20 - a month after the lockdown started).
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