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The Effect of COVID-19 and Related Lockdown Phases on Young Peoples' Worries and Emotions: Novel Data From India

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Meenakshi Shukla, Rakesh Pandey, Tushar Singh, Laura Riddleston, Taryn Hutchinson, Veena Kumari, Jennifer Y.F. Lau

Original languageEnglish
Article number645183
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Published20 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © Copyright © 2021 Shukla, Pandey, Singh, Riddleston, Hutchinson, Kumari and Lau. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented stress to young people. Despite recent speculative suggestions of poorer mental health in young people in India since the start of the pandemic, there have been no systematic efforts to measure these. Here we report on the content of worries of Indian adolescents and identify groups of young people who may be particularly vulnerable to negative emotions along with reporting on the impact of coronavirus on their lives. Three-hundred-and-ten young people from North India (51% male, 12–18 years) reported on their personal experiences of being infected by the coronavirus, the impact of the pandemic and its' restrictions across life domains, their top worries, social restrictions, and levels of negative affect and anhedonia. Findings showed that most participants had no personal experience (97.41%) or knew anyone (82.58%) with COVID-19, yet endorsed moderate-to-severe impact of COVID-19 on their academics, social life, and work. These impacts in turn associated with negative affect. Participants' top worries focused on academic attainments, social and recreational activities, and physical health. More females than males worried about academic attainment and physical health while more males worried about social and recreational activities. Thus, Indian adolescents report significant impact of the pandemic on various aspects of their life and are particularly worried about academic attainments, social and recreational activities and physical health. These findings call for a need to ensure provisions and access to digital education and medical care.

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