Update on QuaranTEENing: Understanding the impacts of physical distancing on the health and habits of teens

The COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing measures present a unique and urgent opportunity to improve our understanding of how different environments impact the wellbeing and health-related habits of teens. The HEAL team has developed a teen-informed online survey to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the health, health-related habits, and vaping habits of Canadian teens ages 13 to 19 years. The survey was developed in consultation with the HEAL Youth Advisory Council (HEALYAC) and includes an extended set of questions on vaping behaviours as this was identified as a key health concern among youth.

While recent research has demonstrated a decline in self-reported mental health among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, no research to our knowledge has qualitatively examined outcomes of the pandemic. Thus, the HEAL team is currently working on a qualitative paper exploring the emotions that adolescents are experiencing and the coping mechanisms that are being implemented to manage these emotions. These results are based on the cross-sectional online survey mentioned above, conducted from June 2020 and August 2020.

Further, Teens Talk Vaping focus group participants, who were originally recruited through the QuaranTEENing survey had the opportunity to complete a follow-up QuaranTEENing survey to uncover how their mental wellbeing and health habits have changed since the first survey (completed from June 2020 to August 2020). All participants have completed the survey thus far.

In addition, the team has adapted the QuaranTEENing survey further, which will be dissertated through various school boards in Ontario. Again, this survey will examine adolescent’s mental wellbeing and health habits during COVID-19.

To participate, click here.

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