LJMU and the University of Manchester have partnered up to conduct research into the effects of lockdown on teenagers. 

The research project Teenagers’ Experiences of Life in Lockdown (TELL) aims to explore the experiences of 16-to-19-year old’s in lockdown. 

The results of the project vary with teenagers giving different examples of positives and negatives to have come from lockdown. 

Dr Emma Ashworth colead of the project and Psychology Lecturer at LJMU puts this down to varying domestic circumstances. 

Dr Ashworth said: I think lots of young people have very different home circumstances and support in place. 

So for some it may be a really tough time being at home. 

“I think it depends on what an individual’s circumstances are and what an individual’s personalities are. 

“Not everyone enjoys going to school or going to college or gets on with their peers. 

 “So having that lockdown opportunity away from that is actually quite nice.” 

The TELL project shows how some teenagers felt less stressed by deadlines and schoolwork and placed greater focus on their own mental wellbeing. 

Dr Ashworth said: “That age is quite a pressurising time you know, you’ve got GCSEs or A Levels. 

“There’s a lot of social stuff that goes on during that age in terms of wanting to fit in or finding your identity. 

“I think to some young people it’s nice to take that time away, just to be able to relax. 

“I think that tells us a lot actually about the pressure we put on young people as a society, that some have actually found it to be a relief to be in lockdown.” 

The project also highlights the frustrations many teenagers have had towards the media in lockdown. 

TELL research suggests that many teenagers found the coverage of the pandemic to be daunting and scary. 

Dr Ashworth said: “Headlines are sometimes quite sensationalised and focus on the number of deaths and new cases every day. 

“I think potentially the ways in which it was presented were just a bit overwhelming.” 

Dr Ashworth believes that a greater focus on the positives of lockdown for teenagers would’ve made the coverage less daunting. 

Featured image credit – Andrew Farquhar (Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

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