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Oxford study to investigate impact of covid-19 pandemic on school life

Students heading back to class will bring with them 'unique experiences and traumas' from lockdown.

Teenagers have struggled with their mental health during lockdown, more than their parents, according to Oxford University research.

The Oxford ARC study (Achieving Resilience during COVID-19) has revealed around 35% of teenagers are saying they feel lonely often or most of the time, compared to 17% of parents.

Since it launched in May, teenagers consistently reported that they felt unable to control the important things in life, with rates as high as 60% last month.

Now, the study is moving into a new phase, to try and understand how certain aspects of school-life are helping or harming young people's mental health.

The Oxford ARC team says this year's students will bring with them unique experiences, worries, and traumas from lockdown.

75% of mental health conditions present themselves during this key phase in child development.

Teenagers interested in taking part can CLICK HERE to find out more.

Professor Elaine Fox, Professor of Psychology & Affective Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, said, 'It is vitally important that we include the voice of young people in understanding the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on mental health and wellbeing.

"Little is known about what factors promote resilience in times of uncertainty and the Oxford ARC study is designed to answer this question.

"We urgently need lots of young people to take part in the study now that schools are beginning to re-open so that we can truly begin to understand what most concerns young people.'

Elina Thomas Jones from the TRIUMPH Network's Youth Advisory Panel said, 'Personally, my mental health has been up and down throughout lockdown.

"To begin with, it was being affected by the fact it felt as if everything had been ripped away so suddenly. However, at this point, it is the uncertainty of what comes next that affects my mental health the most.

"With the anxiety regarding the transition of going to university, along with the pressure leading up to A-level results day, the education system has had a major impact on my mental ill health; and I think that would be similar for most young people.'

Over 1000 teenagers and their parents have been participating in the Oxford study so far.

The researchers are calling for more people to get involved and say the results 'will provide vital information that can help us better respond to the mental health needs of teenagers now and in the future.'

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