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Publication Detail
“You’re just there, alone in your room with your thoughts” A qualitative study about the impact of lockdown among young people during the COVID-19 pandemic


Adolescents and young adults have been greatly affected by quarantine measures during the coronavirus-19 pandemic. Quantitative evidence suggests that many young people have struggled with their mental health throughout “lockdown”, but little is understood about the qualitative impact of social distancing restrictions on mental health, wellbeing and social life. We therefore sought to elicit the views and experiences of adolescents and young adults living in the UK during the pandemic.


Semi-structured qualitative interviews were undertaken with 37 participants aged 13-24.


We identified 4 superordinate themes most commonly described by participants about their experiences during the pandemic, including: a) missing social contact during lockdown, b) disruption to education, c) changes to social relationships, and d) improved wellbeing during lockdown. Although we identified some positive experiences during the pandemic, including an increased awareness of mental health and stronger relationship ties, many said they struggled with loneliness, a decline in mental health, and anxiety about socialising after the pandemic.



uggest that some young people may have felt less stigma talking about their mental health now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many are worried about how the pandemic has affected their education and social connections and may require additional psychological, practical and social support. Our findings highlight the important role that education providers play in providing a source of information and support to adolescents and young adults during times of uncertainty.
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