“Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Helping Teens Cope with the Impacts of and Restrictions Related to COVID-19

Adolescents are likely to be strongly affected by public health emergencies such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Public health directives to reduce transmission have likely meant cancellations of organized sport teams and recreational activities, missed celebrations, cancelled school trips, reduced or lost employment, loss of opportunities to socially engage with peers, and loss of in-class academic learning –proms, graduations and exams may soon follow. These impacts, combined with indirect exposure to the virus through social and TV media coverage, may challenge their coping skills in very significant ways.
The stressors of COVID-19 come during a period of great physical, social and emotional change for adolescents. At a time when they are forming identities, beliefs and values, they may be more likely than adults to act impulsively, push boundaries and assert their invincibility. These latter behaviours may make them particularly vulnerable to contracting an infectious disease like COVID-19.

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