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Kraków youth in the conditions of the COVID-19 quarantine

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The report presents the results of research conducted among secondary school students from Kraków. The subject matter of the research are the psychosocial effects of the quarantine experienced by the students. Issues related to the students’ interest in the pandemic and their knowledge about it have been studied in the research. The respondents evaluated the efficiency of actions taken by the government and local authorities aiming to combat coronavirus. In the survey, youth evaluated the efficiency of actions taken in order to protect people from the infection. The level of fear of infection and the students’ well-being have also been estimated. Yet another field of research are the strategies for coping with the difficult situation. The students’ daily lives during the quarantine have also been studied. Internet activity and its main forms were under detailed observation as well. Moreover, the students’ attitudes towards on-line lessons and the evaluation of threats, which may emerge in connection with the suspension of regular classes have been researched. The results of the research indicate that youth are tracking the course of the pandemic and positively evaluate the actions and solutions taken by authorities aiming to protect people from coronavirus. The students are not afraid of the infection and reveal the fear of the disease to a lesser extent. Psychosocial consequences of the quarantine are a bigger problem. An average level of satisfaction with life and the presence of anxieties, boredom and loneliness have been observed among the respondents. They spend the time of quarantine on the Internet, maintaining social contacts, looking for entertainment and learning. Besides the Internet, they most often listen to music. Most of them participated in on-line lessons. They evaluate on-line education negatively. The students claim that the current situation will not influence their life chances to a great extent.
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Background: The enforced restrictions, including physical isolation and school lockdowns after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, have brought about anxiety and uncertainty the younger generation. Objective: The main objective is to analyse the everyday challenges faced by adolescents in Poland during the time of social isolation in the COVID-19 pandemic. Material and methods: A nationwide, online survey of adolescents aged 11-18 (N=2408) was conducted in April 2020. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were undertaken. Differences in the everyday challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic connected with gender, age and place of residence were analysed. Results: Girls were significantly more likely than boys to perceive the limitations in contacts with others (friends and family) and the concerns about the health of relatives as a big difficulty. Among the youngest students (11-12 years of age), the lack of contact with friends and family and worries about their health and the fear of infection ranked higher than for other students. For the oldest (17-18) the lack of private time and space and not being able to meet one's boyfriend/ girlfriend were the most troublesome. The necessity to stay at home and the inconvenience resulting from the lack of outdoor exercise were ranked higher by urban students than by students living in rural areas. Conclusions: When planning campaigns in the near future to support the mental health of adolescents in the context of the pandemic it is recommended to include especially the youngest adolescents and those living in small and medium-sized cities.
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