Teens in Quarantine

By: Kailani Clark

Quarantine has affected everyone immensely. I’m sure there are things in your household that are very different than before quarantine. People all around the world are having a hard time adjusting to this new normal, showing symptoms of depression and loneliness. Adults are experiencing anxiety and mental distress, worrying about their family’s safety and health. Everyone is sure to be looking out for their children as well, knowing that a lack of interaction with friends can change their mental state. However, teens in the United States have shown less mental worries than their parents.

A study conducted by Jean M. Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, showed that the percentage of teens showing depression or loneliness was lower in 2020 than other studies conducted in 2018 and 19, yet the percentage of unhappy teens was slightly higher. The unhappiness seemed to be caused by the following reasons: knowing someone diagnosed with Covid-19, worries about having enough food for the family, a parent who lost their job, worries of catching the virus, and separation from friends. Other reasons could consist of the screen time for virtual school or the news about protests and violence. Notwithstanding, quarantine does seem to be providing teens with some benefits they were lacking before such as sleep and more interaction with family.

The 55% of teens that got seven or more hours of sleep before quarantine jumped to 84% during. Without the time needed to commute to school physically, some teens are able to sleep hours longer than usual. Quarantine has also caused many families to grow closer. Many teens are saying their families began to eat dinners together and have, therefore, grown closer. Teens’ use of social media also showed a decline as their watching of tv shows and movies increased. It is assumed that teens are not feeling as lonely as before because social media is keeping them connected to friends and the quarantine is connecting them to their families. So though quarantine is not ideal for our society, it is bringing out some things in life that may have been lacking before and that are showing to be helpful, if not necessary, for a happy life for teens and adults alike such as family time, sleep, and overall interaction with others whether that be virtual or physical.

Bibliography

Twenge, Jean M. “Teens Did Surprisingly Well in Quarantine.” The Atlantic, 13 October 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/10/how-teens-handled-quarantine/616695/. Accessed 25 October 2020.