CNN: Poor mental health during lockdown was most common among younger women in Britain, a study from University College London (UCL) suggests.
UCL researchers surveyed more than 18,000 people in four cohorts — those aged 62, 50, 30 and 19 — in research conducted in May 2020 during Britain’s coronavirus lockdown.
They found that poor mental health during the lockdown was most common among the 19-year-olds, followed by the 30-year-old bracket. Women were more likely than men to experience difficulties with mental health across all four age categories.
Over a third of women and a quarter of the men among the 19-year-olds had symptoms of depression during lockdown in May, and 45% of women and 42% of men said they felt lonely during this time, according to the study.
The researchers had data on the three older cohorts across several years, predating the pandemic. They found the 30-year-old women displayed a significant increase in poor mental health during the lockdown, when compared to when they were last surveyed at the age of 25.
“This change in mental health between age 25 and 30 will reflect change that may naturally occur at this stage of life, as well as change attributable to the pandemic, however this finding chimes with other studies which have also shown that young women have experienced the largest increase in mental health problems due to Covid-19,” said Professor Emla Fitzsimons, the study’s co-author.
UCL noted that the study was limited by the fact that it includes people at specific ages rather than at all ages.
“However the findings about high levels of difficulties especially among young women at the ages of 19 and 30 are likely to apply to young women in their twenties too,” the university said in a statement.
“Our findings clearly highlight high levels of difficulties being experienced by young people aged 19 and 30, especially young women,” said Dr. Praveetha Patalay, a co-author of the briefing.
“More needs to be done to support these age groups and limit the impact of the pandemic on their future health and wellbeing.”