Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Mental Health

The novel coronavirus has introduced an unprecedented degree of unpredictability and disruption, impacting day to day functioning in both large and small ways for all people across the world. In the Stress and Development Lab, we launched a study to better understand how this outbreak has affected families by examining various related stressors, including social isolation, financial strain, and health risk. We are in a unique position to understand factors that contribute to risk and resilience following an external stressor because of ongoing data collection from nearly 400 families (children aged 8-17). Previous information on these families include environmental experiences, as well as cognitive, affective and neural development. The purpose of this study is to examine children's responses to an external stressor in a region of the country that was hit especially hard and early by the pandemic: Seattle, WA. By building upon these ongoing studies designed to address questions about how early life experience impacts brain, cognitive and emotional development, we are poised to examine how these factors contribute to risk and resilience following this global health crisis across a range of development.