Ordinary magic in extraordinary circumstances: factors associated with positive mental health outcomes for early adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Emma Ashworth, David Putwain, Shane McLoughlin, Pooja Saini, Jennifer Chopra, Benjamin A. Rosser, Catrin Eames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have had a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many people worldwide, but this may have been particularly challenging for adolescents. However, there is a paucity of research examining the factors associated with good mental health during this time. The aim of the current study was to identify the protective factors among early adolescents in the UK that were associated with better mental health outcomes (internalising and externalising difficulties, and wellbeing) during the first national COVID-19 lockdown. Between September and December 2020, 290 11-14 year olds across North-West England completed an online survey consisting of several measures pertaining to experiences of lockdown, and mental health and wellbeing. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to analyse the data. Results indicated that higher participant-rated lockdown experience (the extent to which it was fun, easy, and good) and higher levels of optimism were protective factors for all three outcomes of interest. Greater adherence to Government guidance and peer support were protective factors for internalising difficulties and wellbeing. Community connection was a protective factor for internalising difficulties, family connection and number of parents at home were protective factors for externalising difficulties, and parent keyworker status was a protective factor for wellbeing. In summary, the ‘ordinary magic’ of supportive relationships and positive experiences appear to be some of the key factors needed to maintain adolescents’ mental health and wellbeing, and to help them overcome difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdversity and Resilience Science
Early online date31 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Protective factors
  • Mental health
  • Resilience
  • COVID-19

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Ordinary magic in extraordinary circumstances: factors associated with positive mental health outcomes for early adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this