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Anxiety in young people grew from 13% to 24% amid lockdown: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 26, 2020 Published on November 26, 2020

This happened during the early stages of the lockdown

A new study corroborates previous findings and stated that anxiety levels have doubled in young people during the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, noted that the number of young people with anxiety doubled from 13 per cent to 24 per cent. This happened during the early stages of the lockdown.

“The findings suggest that there is a need to protect mental health at this time (especially managing anxiety) and support mental health services,” said study author Rebecca Pearson from the University of Bristol in the UK.

Methodology

For the study, researchers used ‘Bristol’s Children of the 90s’ questionnaire data, which revealed that young people (27-29 years) reported higher levels of anxiety during the early phases of the pandemic in the first national lockdown. This was higher than their parents.

Bristol’s Children of the 90s health study recruited 14,500 pregnant mothers in 1991-92 and has collected almost three decades of detailed health and lifestyle data about the mothers and their babies, who will soon be turning 30.

Researchers then compared participants’ previous years of data with findings from two 2020 Covid-19 questionnaires to understand the impact of the pandemic on mental health.

Findings

Researchers observed that anxiety levels continued to remain high even when lockdown restrictions were eased in June and, thus, a similar situation could be expected this winter.

The study also indicated that this could be worse for individuals with a history of mental health problems, especially women and those who had experienced pre-pandemic financial problems.

Abuse of women at home rose during lockdown

The researchers further noted that there was lack of proof that depression was higher overall, however, specific groups of individuals were more likely to experience greater levels of depression and anxiety during the pandemic.

Furthermore, researchers did not find evidence of an elevated risk of anxiety in key workers or healthcare workers.

“The highly detailed Children of the 90s questionnaire data reveals a worrying rise in young people's anxiety,” said study researcher Alex Kwong.

“This looks like it is due to the pandemic itself and potentially the societal and economic fallout caused by the lockdown measures used to control the spread of the virus,” Kwong added.

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Published on November 26, 2020
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