The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic intersects with rising adolescent mental health problems and harmful behaviors, such as depressed mood, anxiety, and self-harm, and suicidal behavior. Addressing this pressing public health concern, the overarching objective of this project is to determine what psychological, environmental and genetic factors contribute to adolescent mental health and behaviors during COVID-19. Specific aims: 1) Examine the short- and long-term effect of COVID-19 on adolescent’ mental health and behavior; 2) Identify risk and protective factors associated with short- and long-term adolescent’ mental health problems and harmful behaviors during COVID-19; 3) Determine the genetic contribution towards mental health problems and harmful behaviors in adolescents following COVID-19. Participants comprise 2,378 adolescents (61% of youth born in Iceland in 2004) in the one-of-a-kind longitudinal population-based LIFECOURSE cohort in which extensive social survey data, including four-waves of survey data collected during the pandemic, is coupled with genotypes and official data from the unique Icelandic health and developmental registries. Conducted by an international team of scientists, this multidisciplinary project will through its scope and exceptional data sources fundamentally advance our knowledge of what adolescents are most at risk of being negatively affected by this pandemic and inform prevention/intervention efforts needed to mitigate its impact.
We are particularly interested in other cohorts with longitudinal data on youth prior to and following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are generally open to collaborating with others.