School closures, exam cancellations and isolation: the impact of Covid-19 on young people’s mental health

Schools often provide structure and safety to students but particularly for vulnerable children and young people. The Covid 19 pandemic has caused unprecedented upheaval across society as a whole but it is clear that the effects are uneven and that some groups have been more directly and negatively impacted, both in the UK and globally. While there are now much helpful quantitative data on the effects of Covid 19 on education, there has been little in-depth qualitative study which examines the experiences and attitudes of young people as students and specifically the effect of school closures and exam cancellations on their mental health and wellbeing. This paper discusses findings from online group interviews with a total of 45 young people and aims to understand the impact on mental health and wellbeing and what young people, themselves, suggest would help mitigate the effects of the global pandemic on their mental health and wellbeing in school.

  • Gillean McCluskey
  • Debi Fry
  • Sarah Hamilton
  • Albert King
  • Margaret Laurie
  • Lesley McAra
  • Tracy M Stewart


Journal of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Volume 26, 2021 - Issue 1 : Excluded Lives

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