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Teenage lockdown life

How are teenagers coping with 'lockdown life'?

Published on: 10 August 2020

Researchers want to speak to 13-17 year olds from the North East about their experiences of ‘lockdown life’, as part of a study into how young people have been affected by COVID-19.

The project - led by Newcastle University - will explore the impact that lockdown regulations, such as the closure of schools and social distancing, have had on young people.

It will also ask young people to describe their coping mechanisms, their hopes and worries about the future, and their expectations of post-pandemic ‘normal’. 

Participants will be asked to complete a diary and share their thoughts in a range of creative ways. Anything shared will remain anonymous, and participants will receive a £20 Amazon voucher.

Taking part will help researchers to gather a snapshot of young people’s experiences, thoughts and feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At risk group

The project is being led by Dr Steph Scott, a Senior Research Fellow based at Newcastle University, who is currently working with the National Institute of Health Research Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for the North East and North Cumbria.

She said: “Lockdown has affected different groups in different ways, and children and young people are a group that have been placed at particular risk. In the UK, we’ve seen a shut-down of schools and colleges, bans on social gatherings and restrictions on who young people can meet and spend time with. 

“As a result, young people have experienced disruption to their lives as well as to their education. They’ve also seen then removal of ‘normal’ life and unprecedented lack of social contact, and we know that many have experienced feelings of uncertainty, loss and possibly grief. We also know that many have faced increased risks at home, due to parental substance abuse, domestic violence and food insecurity.

“On the other hand, we also know that for some young people, school and peers are the source of their anxiety, and that there have been aspects of lockdown that they find positive, such as reduced pressure of schoolwork, reduction in social pressure and expectations, and more time with their family.

“This study aims to explore some of those variations of real, lived experiences in order to bring together a rich picture of how young people have experienced and dealt with the challenges they’ve faced and continue to face.”

Study information

Questions will be sent out every week, but participants can share information as often as they like, in whatever format they prefer, including text, photos, videos, voice notes, drawings, poetry, memes, gifs and more.

At the end of the study, contributions will be collated and used anonymously in a variety of materials for young people and professionals. 

To take part, email  

The project has been part-funded by NE Youth – the North East’s leading youth development charity, which has provided the £20 Amazon voucher incentive as well as additional funding to support the development of dissemination materials or events at the end of the study. 


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