Young people aged from 12 to 17 years old in Scotland are being asked to share their views and experiences of how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting their lives.
The changes in school and home life have caused massive upheaval for young people. The study – called TeenCovidLife – will gauge how young people have been affected by changes brought about as a result of lockdown.
The survey team say that an important outcome of this work is that young people’s voices will be heard by policy makers on how to best deal with the areas that directly affect them and how society should return to normal.
Questions put to these young volunteers will cover topics including loneliness, sleeping patterns, family relationships, how they are spending their days, and how lockdown is affecting their physical and mental health.
TeenCovidLife is led by the University of Edinburgh research team that is also working on CovidLife. So far, 14,500 volunteers from across the UK have taken part in the CovidLife survey, which is funded by Wellcome and is part of the long-running Generation Scotland project.
Parents and teachers are being asked to encourage their children and pupils to be part of the new survey. All young people will need to provide consent before taking part and their data will be stored securely.
The TeenCovidLife team in Edinburgh are working with researchers at the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Schools Health and Wellbeing Improvement Research Network (SHINE). Pupils from more than 100 schools within the SHINE network will be invited to participate by the Glasgow team.
Professor David Porteous, Lead Investigator for CovidLife, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives, none more so than for young people. Through our new research, we hope to understand how not being able to go school, sit potentially life-changing exams, keep up with clubs and sports or meet up with friends has affected them. ”
Professor Daniel Smith, Co-Lead for SHINE, said: “COVID-19 has led to increased levels of anxiety in young adults but we know almost nothing about how the mental health of teenagers has been affected. We really want the voices of young people aged between 12 and 17 years old to be heard and we’re delighted that SHINE network schools are playing an active role in recruitment to this vital study.”
Anyone living in Scotland aged from 12 to 17 years can sign up online for TeenCovidLife by visiting www.teencovidlife.scot