Study shows mental health among teens deteriorating during COVID-19 pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new national poll shows as many as 46% of parents reported their teenagers faced new or worsening mental health conditions since the coronavirus pandemic began last year.

And for girls, it appears to be significantly worse.

One in 3 parents of teen girls admitted higher levels of anxiety in their children, compared to only 1 in 5 parents of teen boys.

Researchers said they believe the disturbing new findings are the result of less socialization during the pandemic.

Half the parents said their teens’ symptoms improved when COVID-19 rules were relaxed, and the teens were able to socialize again with more friends.

Another effective and helpful coping strategy — seeking help from mental health care providers for their teens.

In some cases, allowing more time on social media to connect with friends also appeared to help.

But too much social media could do more harm than good.

Psychologists warn the sites can give teens the impression that their peers have “perfect lives,” which can add to feelings of anxiety and depression.