According to a study conducted by the University of Bristol, young people reported higher levels of anxiety at the beginning of the pandemic and the first lockdown.
The university focused on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health and found that people aged 27 to 29 years experienced a rise in anxiety levels. This increase went from 13 per cent to 24 per cent and was significantly higher than their parents.
The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, also known as Children of the 90s whose operating agency is the University of Bristol, recruited 14,500 pregnant mothers in 1991 and have obtained almost three decades worth of detailed health and lifestyle self-report data, via questionnaires.
In this study on mental health during the pandemic, researchers compared the participants’ data from 2019 with findings from their 2020 COVID-19 questionnaires. From this, they found that certain groups were at greater risk of increased anxiety and or depression during the pandemic, in both the younger and older generations.
These groups included people who lived alone, people who were self-isolating due to the pandemic, people who were facing recent financial issues, people with pre-existing mental or physical conditions, and women. Healthcare or key workers did not show any evidence of an increased risk of anxiety or depression.
Despite this being Bristol-based research, these findings were similar to those in the longitudinal study ‘Generation Scotland’, which studied 4000 Scottish individuals. Therefore, this significant effect of the pandemic on anxiety levels is not specific to Bristol.
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