January 25, 2022
A study published today in the Journal of Adolescent
Health found that supportive relationships with
family and friends; healthy behaviors such as engaging in
physical activity; and good-quality sleep were associated
with better mental health among youth during the COVID-19
pandemic. The research was supported by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), specifically the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Survey data of more than
3,000 individuals, ages 11 through 14, from the
Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD)
Study was used for this research.
The study also found that girls were more likely than
boys to experience psychological distress during the
pandemic. It was also revealed that psychosocial factors
such as poorer quality and functioning of family
relationships; more screen time; and witnessing
discrimination in relation to the pandemic were all
predictors of youth stress.
Nora D. Volkow, Director of NIDA, was quoted in a
NIH News Release saying, "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."
here to read more on this topic.