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Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on New Brunswick youth

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on New Brunswick Youth: A Youth, Pandemic, and Loneliness (Y-PAL) Survey of youth aged 19-24.

Background and purpose

Expanding social connections and developing peer competency through socialization are a few of youth's developmental milestones. During these years, children spend less time with parents and more time with their peers and develop a sense of independence as a prerequisite to launching into the adult world.

However, in recent months, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these interactions are reduced to a bare minimum in societies worldwide, including New Brunswick (NB). While the measures of reduced socialization and social distancing are sound public health protocols in combatting this pandemic, they will have developmental ramifications on youth.


This study will add to our understanding of the degree of loneliness experienced by NB youth during this pandemic and contribute to our knowledge of the family, neighborhood, and individual factors that have associations with youth loneliness. Youth are at the threshold of entering the adult world and workforce. Therefore, mitigating the decline in their mental health during the pandemic and working towards their full recovery during the post-pandemic, has considerable public health significance.


Youth aged 19-24 will be recruited to participate in this study and complete a questionnaire assessing: socio-demographic factors, experienced loneliness within the past year, perceived loneliness since the beginning of the pandemic, perceived overall psychological distress during the pandemic, and the feeling of connectedness within ones' neighborhood.

Implications for practice and policy

Such understanding of youth mental health is an essential prerequisite for any remedial action and intervention planning. Additionally, youth health has a determining role in the future workforce, contributing to societies' sustainable economic development. Therefore, youth mental health will have serious implications for the overall economy of the province.

Are you interested in participating?

Contact Lauren Cosgrove at

  • Honours Student: Lauren Cosgrove
  • Supervisor: Dr. Ziba Vaghri
  • Co-Investigators: Dr. Moira Law, Dr Enrico DiTommaso