Children's and adolescents' responses to the pandemic– future risks of increasing inequalities in learning and mental health (YoungEqual)

The project is a collaboration between universities in four Nordic countries: University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (Norway), Tampere University (Finland), University of Helsinki (Finland) and Aarhus University (Denmark). The project is hosted by the University of Gothenburg, Department of Education and Special Education. The project leader is Professor Curt Hagquist.

The living conditions and everyday life of young people have been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many studies are showing that the mental health, wellbeing and learning of young people was negatively affected by school closure, distance learning and other disease containment measures, it is hard to draw firm conclusions about the COVID-19 impact on young people’s mental health and learning because there is a scarcity of high quality studies.

We are responding to these challenges by planning for a number of empirical studies based on proper sampling designs and combining quantitative and qualitative analyses. The purpose of the project is to improve our understanding of the welfare for children and young people and the consequences of the pandemic and the restrictions on education, wellbeing, mental health, and living conditions.

The project is organised in five work package (WP), with an experienced research leader for each of them.

The WP’s cover some of the most essential aspects of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s and adolescents’ lives within and out of school.

  • WP A: Long-term changes of mental health and wellbeing among adolescents-disparities among and within sociodemographic groups.
  • WP B: Education, learning achievement and educational wellbeing among primary and lower-secondary students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – cross-country comparisons of pre-pandemic and post-pandemic time periods.
  • WP C: Impact of the pandemic on schools and school community – protecting and risk factors for mental wellbeing and learning.
  • WP D: Implications for adolescents’ mental health and wellbeing of changes in social relations and social media use during the pandemic.
  • WP E: Setting-up indicators for cross-country monitoring and comparison for digital learning and health.