The pandemic has certainly had an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young people, but how and to what extent? Dr Stephanie Thornton reviews the emerging research evidence and explores the implications for schools and those working with students

It was widely anticipated that Covid-19 and the lockdowns it engendered would have a devastating effect on the mental health of our young (Gruber et al, 2020).

Indeed, the numbers of youth suffering depression and other miseries has increased through the pandemic (Deng et al, 2021). But the impact has been more variable than was expected: while depression increased for many, some were not affected, and some even enjoyed improved mental health (Deng et al, 2021; Hutchinson et al, 2021).

A special issue of the Journal of Research in Adolescence (volume 31, issue 3) presents a collection of studies exploring risk and protective factors for mental health in adolescents in the pandemic. This article summarises the key findings of those studies and the practical implications for schools and staff.

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