Pandemic made Canadian youth meaner: study

Toronto –

Spending more time online during the coronavirus pandemic may have made Canada’s young people meaner, researchers said Wednesday, adding that the decline in empathy that emerged during quarantine could be seen in schools, including schools. He warned that it was contributing to an increase in brutality in face-to-face interactions.

Caitlin Mendes, an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario, told the Ontario Medical Association press conference that many parents are aware that their children have been exposed to more online harassment during the pandemic. said it might not.

Sociologist Mendez told reporters, “Teachers really noted that as young people returned to school, the way young people communicated with each other during lockdown changed and empathy really diminished. I did,” he said.

“This can be due to things like eye contact, facial expressions, humanity, and even lack of vocal intonation. It makes it harder, but it actually means there is harassment and abuse going on.It makes it a lot easier,” she added.

Mendez has yet to complete a comprehensive study of the mental health effects of segregation on Canadian youth, but it is based on anecdotal evidence and analysis based on research she conducted in the UK.

The study said 96% of UK 13-18 year olds, teachers and parents used more social media during the pandemic. She told reporters she expects similar results in a Canadian study she is conducting.

British youth surveyed increased their “experiences of sexual harassment, misogyny, racism, homophobia, as well as various forms of fraud and practices such as body shaming” when they spent more time online. I am reporting that

“We were also looking at sexuality-based harm, so we had a lot of young people report how they went out during COVID,” she said.

In the UK, young people also cite “increased anxiety and depression, as well as various forms of self-harm”.

Also, because of the stay-at-home issue, parents have become less strict about managing their children’s screen time, she said, calling for “increasing readiness, education, support and scaffolding for young people to use digital technology.” I asked

“It’s clear that young people don’t know where to turn for help when things go wrong, and that was one of the most surprising findings from our study,” Mendes added. .

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on April 19, 2023.

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