National Study — Coping with COVID-19

National Study — Coping with COVID-19

Coping with COVID-19: How Young People Use Digital Media to Manage Their Mental Health

Download Report

Authors: Victoria Rideout, M.A., VJR Consulting, Susannah Fox, Internet Geologist LLC,  Alanna Peebles, Ph.D., Common Sense, Michael B. Robb, Ph.D., Common Sense 

Research sponsored by: Hopelab, Common Sense, California Healthcare Foundation 

March 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. After a year of lockdowns, remote schooling, and the disruption of social norms, teens and young adults are reporting growing levels of depression, stress, and anxiety.

Common Sense partnered with Hopelab and the California Health Care Foundation to better understand how young people have been using social media and digital health tools to take care of their mental health during the pandemic. Our new report, Coping With COVID-19: How Young People Use Digital Media to Manage Their Mental Health, reveals that depression rates have increased significantly since 2018, especially among teens and young adults who have had COVID-19 infections in their homes. Exposure to hate speech on social media is also on the rise. The good news is that young people are proactive in supporting their own mental health, and despite the negative content they see, digital media has been a lifeline for helping many of them access critical health information, stay connected to their peers, find inspiration, and receive comfort in a difficult time.

In addition to quantitative data, the report brings the experiences of young people into focus through their own words, and provides insight into how we can best support them in their mental health journeys.

Watch Interviews with Researchers and Gen Zers 

Watch Conversations with Common Sense

Coping with COVID-19 Presentation & Panel — March 17, 2021

Other Resources

Read the Press Release

One Year into the Pandemic, a New Survey Reveals That Teens and Young Adults Are Actively Turning to Online Sources to Cope with Mental Health

Read a Gen Z Perspective

Tik Tok, Gen Z, and Mental Health: The Rise of the Most Resilient Generation 

Read an LGBTQ+ Perspective

Glowing Up with Social Media — A zoomer’s queer perspective in the wake of a global pandemic 

Read our 2018 National Survey

Digital Health Practices, Social Media Use, and Mental Well-being Among Teens & Young Adults in the U.S. 

Fact Sheets:

Coping with COVID-19 Fact Sheet: COVID-19, depression, and social media use

Coping with COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Black Youth

Coping with COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Hispanic/Latinx youth

Coping with COVID-19 Fact Sheet: LGBTQ+ youth

Coping with COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Female youth

Coping with COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Problematic substance use

Coping with COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Telehealth

Press Coverage

The TODAY Show

New study spotlights teen use of digital media during pandemic

Psychology Today

5 Ways Social Media Helps Depressed Teens Cope

ABC News Denver

New study looks at how young people are using social media to cope during pandemic

USA Today

A double-edged sword’: Survey says young Americans are using social media to address mental health issues … caused by social media

The 74

 Survey: More Young People Are Depressed During the Pandemic. But They May Be Using Social Media to Cope

Axios

Hate speech soars for young social media users

 


Related Content

View all Research
Implementing Goal Mama
Behavior Change

The present study explores barriers and facilitators experienced by public health nurses introducing a mobile health technology platform (Goal Mama) to the Nurse-Family Partnership home-visiting program.

Read More
Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial on Nod
Loneliness

Read the results of the pilot randomized controlled trial on the nod smartphone app created to address loneliness among college students.

Read More
JMIR Randomized Controlled Feasibility Trial on Vivibot
Chatbots

This pilot randomized controlled trial examined the feasibility of delivering positive psychology skills via the Vivibot chatbot and its effects on key psychosocial well-being outcomes in young adults treated for cancer.

Read More
Hopelab’s Approach to Re-Mission
Cancer

The following summarizes results from a randomized controlled trial measuring Re-Mission’s impact on patient behavior and provides a short overview of the development process used to create the game.

Read More