A fifth of younger individuals are dissatisfied with their lives

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(Photo: Unsplash / Aaron Burden)

Almost one in five adolescents aged 10 to 17 years is unsatisfied with their lives after months of coronavirus, a new study by the Children's Society found.

The charity surveyed just over 2,000 young people and their parents in the UK between April and June, and found that 18% were unsatisfied with their lives overall, far more than the 10% to 13% in the five years before the pandemic.

Half of the parents surveyed expect the pandemic to affect their children's happiness in the coming year.

When asked what problems they struggled with most during the pandemic, over a third of young people (37%) said they could not see their friends, while 30% said they had not seen other family members.

When asked generally about what they were dissatisfied with, most children said it was the amount of "choices" they had.

Many parents were concerned about finances. Around half (49%) indicated that household income had decreased during the pandemic. Around one in ten parents (11%) stated that an adult in the household had lost their job.

Children in poverty were more likely to be "very concerned" about the corona virus than children from wealthier families (23% vs. 15%).

Overall, nine out of ten adolescents surveyed (89%) stated that they were somewhat concerned about the corona virus.

In response to the results, the children's society is asking the government to invest in psychosocial services and to review school education with a focus on student well-being.

She also wants more financial support for low-income families by abolishing the benefit ceiling and the two-child limit.

Mark Russell, CEO of Children’s Society, said: “Children's lives have been turned upside down by the coronavirus crisis, and these worrying results suggest that this has already affected the happiness and well-being of many young people .

"They could not go to school or see friends and relatives while being trapped at home with parents and siblings who may have their own concerns and fears about the situation.

"Before the pandemic, children's happiness was at its lowest for a decade, and we know that there is a connection between poor well-being and mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

"We now need to take urgent measures to promote children's well-being and prevent this crisis from harming an entire generation of young people.

"It must mean that child wellbeing, return to school support, an adequately funded early intervention strategy and better financial support for low-income families are introduced."

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