How girls may have struggled more than boys during the Covid-19 pandemic

Girls may have struggled more than boys during the Covid-19 pandemic. — Reuters pic
Girls may have struggled more than boys during the Covid-19 pandemic. — Reuters pic

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REYKJAVIK, Aug 6 ― The pandemic's impact on the mental health of teenagers may have been greater for girls than for boys, an Icelandic study suggests.

Psychologically, teen girls appear to have struggled more than boys during the pandemic, according to a study published in JCPP Advances for the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH). Researchers looked at the various impacts of the pandemic and its associated restrictions on adolescents based on their gender.

Based on a sample of 523 Icelandic adolescents, the study found that girls experienced greater deterioration in their well-being, and were more susceptible to depressive symptoms than boys.

According to the researchers, during the pandemic, well-being was challenged by factors including the fear of having loved ones infected with covid, changes in daily and school routines, and not seeing friends due to lockdowns and social distancing.

Depressive symptoms, however, had different causes depending on gender. For girls, these were linked to increased use of social networks and lack of contact with family. For boys, they were mainly due to increased time spent playing online video games and reduced sleep.

Overall, girls appeared to be more likely than boys to perceive that the pandemic negatively affected their overall day-to-day lives.

In their findings, the researchers suggest ― especially for young girls ― establishing a regular routine, and telephone interactions to maintain social connections in response to the distance imposed by the pandemic. They also urge the entire medical and academic community to pay particular attention to depressive symptoms, especially in girls. ― ETX Studio

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