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Research project on long-term consequences of the Corona pandemic for young people

2023-07-03 Lüneburg/Göttingen. The COVID-19 Research Network Lower Saxony (COFONI) is funding fourteen interdisciplinary Lower Saxony cooperation projects with more than seven million euros to research the long-term medical and social consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Social education professor Dr Claudia Equit from Leuphana University Lüneburg is involved in one of these projects. Together with two colleagues from the University of Hildesheim, she is researching the psychosocial long-term consequences of the Corona pandemic for young people.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach declared the Corona pandemic over in April this year. However, many people, especially young people, continue to suffer from the consequences. With the JuPaCo project, the research team wants to investigate the long-term consequences of the pandemic in terms of psychosocial well-being and self-perceived health for the age group of 15 to 30-year-olds.

One focus is on young people with exhausted or precarious parental support who grow up in homes or foster families. The data basis is formed by nationwide quantitative studies on the stresses and worries of this group during the Corona pandemic and qualitative studies on the social participation of young people in residential educational support in times of pandemics.

Two central research gaps are to be closed with the current project: On the one hand, the aim is to analyse the psychosocial consequences of the pandemic for older adolescents and young adults from the perspective of social pedagogy and child and adolescent psychiatry. So far, there are only insufficient research findings in this field. On the other hand, qualitative data will be used to examine support structures and coping strategies in more detail.

The project aims to identify health-promoting arrangements for young people under stress, especially in foster families and homes. The results of the work will be made available online in the form of freely accessible podcasts and short videos. Adolescents and young adults in particular, as well as professionals in health and youth welfare offices, foster families, institutions of inpatient educational assistance and child and youth psychiatries are to benefit from this.

Since February of this year, Professor Equit and a colleague from the Technical University of Dortmund have been researching the effects of the corona crisis on participation and development conditions as well as educational disadvantages of adolescents in inpatient youth welfare facilities, both from the perspective of the adolescents themselves and from the perspective of youth welfare professionals. This three-year project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Further information on this project is available here