Emotions such as fear and uncertainty are prevalent. According to a recent report, the coronavirus outbreak has had the most significant impact on children and adolescents. Some of the most challenging obstacles teens and young adults face as they prepare to reach adulthood have occurred during this era of tremendous upheaval.

AP-NORC & MTV Poll’s Isolation: Pandemic Stress Affects Generation Z

In fact, more than a third of Americans aged 13 to 56 say the pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives, and many say it has made essential elements of their lives more difficult.

AP-NORC & MTV Poll's Isolation Pandemic Stress Affects Generation Z

An MTV Entertainment Group and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey indicated that Generation Z’s education, friendships, and dating lives had been significantly impacted by technological disruption.

Those ages 13 to 24 who participated in a survey indicated the pandemic has made it more difficult for them to attain their educational or professional goals, compared to 36 percent of Millennials and 31 percent of Generation Xers. 40% of Generation Z said that dating and having a personal connection had gotten more complicated while they were in high school.

A higher percentage of Generation Zers than Generation Xers reported difficulty maintaining close friendships (45% vs. 39%, respectively). Only 18 percent of Gen Zers said that the pandemic made it easier to maintain friendships, while 24 percent reported that it made it more difficult.

A majority of Americans, including members of Generation Z, believe that the pandemic has made it more difficult to enjoy one’s leisure time while also protecting one’s mental health.

According to the authors of the study, results are consistent with what experts in health and education have seen. Researchers have shown that young people report higher levels of depression and anxiety following months of studying at a distance and having little or no contact with their peers.

It’s not only students who are having academic difficulties as a consequence of online education. Cora Breuner is a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and says that children and adolescents are affected by the tragedy more than adults because of their age and stage in brain development.

These are the stages of life when people’s executive function, which relates to their ability to manage their daily lives effectively, increases the most.

It’s a “perfect storm” when you have divided learning, less social contact with peers, and parents who are also struggling with comparable difficulties, according to Breuner. When children and adolescents fall behind in education, they also fall behind in their ability to cope with stress and make decisions.

A 16-year-old girl named Ivy Enyenihi has trouble recalling anything from her previous school year. In Knoxville, Tennessee, her parents continued to work, but she was left alone at home every day. Her online high school classes required just two days of face-to-face interaction with a teacher each week, leaving her feeling entirely alone.

Given his tendency for socializing, Enyenihi noted that being alone was perhaps the most challenging aspect of his trip. It was tough to carry out everyday tasks because of it. And I’m sure it had a role in my sadness as well. When the spring semester ended, she had missed assignments and was doing the bare minimum to make ends meet and live. She felt alone since she could not connect with her friends and teachers at school.