Generation CUB – how the events of Covid, Ukraine and Brexit will shape our teenagers’ lives forever

But not all of the problems young people are facing during the pandemic can be explained in terms of psychological impacts – or predicted to have uniform or long-term consequences. Researchers from University College London tracked families with children across the UK during the first and second lockdowns.

“Young people have shown a lot of resilience, but at the same time they told us that the biggest challenge they faced was learning to deal with enormous uncertainties in different parts of their lives,” explains Dr. Humera Iqbal, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Psychology.

“This was everything from insecurity surrounding education, personal and family health, the future, for many their parents and family finances, and even their friendships.”

Sarah Standish, a school counselor in Harrow, north-west London, has noticed a big improvement since regular service resumed. And as children have regained their lives, they have experienced more of the “normal” problems of growing up.

“I don’t see the numbers I saw a year ago; the fear presentations, the tics and so on,” she says. “Now I talk to them about broken relationships and parents getting divorced.”

Both Standish and Iqbal draw attention to young people’s fears of job loss and financial hardship that have received relatively little attention. “The stress issues now relate more to the economic downturn,” says Standish, citing “big issues” with parents’ employment and concerns about paying for heating and gas.

To the extent that broader societal events affect young people, we should be wary of formulating a response driven by our own fears, not theirs. Generation CUB – how the events of Covid, Ukraine and Brexit will shape our teenagers’ lives forever

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