10 Interesting Stats on the Mental Health of “Quaranteens”

For nearly everyone, 2020 has been an emotionally draining year filled with numerous and often unanticipated changes. Even for adults, those changes can be difficult to accept, but what kind of impact has a year spent largely in quarantine had on teenagers and younger generations? After all, the teenage years are often a welcome time of increased independence with exciting events like earning a driver’s license or gaining income after being hired for the first time.

To find out the mental health of teenagers living through this epidemic, the Institute for Family Studies, an organization that desires to strengthen marriage and family life and advance the well-being of children, asked more than 1,500 teens across the United States questions about their mental health, family time, sleep, technology use, and more. Here are 10 interesting and generally positive facts about 2020 “quaranteens” from those who responded.

1. The percentage of teens who were depressed or lonely was actually lower than in 2018. Overall, 17% of teens said they were depressed during the school year, while 20% cited depression out of school. In 2018, 27% of teens admitted to some form of depression.

2. 53% of teens said they believed they had become a stronger and more resilient person since the beginning of the pandemic.

3. During the pandemic, 84% of students in school were getting seven or more hours of sleep. By comparison, only 55% of students in a 2018 survey were getting that much sleep.

4. In 2020, only 16% of teens who regularly got at least seven hours of sleep were depressed, compared to 31 percent of teens who did not.

5. 56% of teens said they spent more time talking to their parents than before the pandemic.

6. 54% of teens said their families ate dinner together more often this year.

7. 68% of teens said their families had become closer during the pandemic.

8. Both before and during the pandemic, teens from two-parent families were least likely to be depressed.

9. While video chat and TV/video usage on electronic devices did go up, time spent gaming, texting, and using social media went down.

10. Apps that allow teens to message without revealing their phone numbers are rising in popularity, including GroupMe, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

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