Longitudinal Change in Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Symptoms from before to during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Marjolein E. Barendse, University of Oregon.
Jessica Flannery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Caitlin Cavanagh, Michigan State University.
Melissa Aristizabal, The University of Texas at Austin.
Stephen P. Becker, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Estelle Berger, University of Oregon.
Rosanna Breaux, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Nicole Campione-Barr, University of Missouri.
Jessica A. Church, The University of Texas at Austin.
Eveline A. Crone, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Ronald E. Dahl, University of California Berkeley.
Tracy A. Dennis-Tiwary, City University of New York, New York, USA.
Melissa R. Dvorsky, The George Washington University.
Sarah L. Dziura, University of Maryland.
Suzanne van de Groep, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Tiffany C. Ho, University of California San Francisco.
Sarah E. Killoren, University of Missouri.
Joshua M. Langberg, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Tyler L. Larguinho, The University of Texas at Austin.
Lucía Magis-Weinberg, University of Washington.
Kalina J. Michalska, University of California Riverside.
Jordan L. Mullins, University of California Riverside.
Hanna Nadel, University of Oregon.
Blaire M. Porter, The University of Texas at Austin.
Mitchell J. Prinstein, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Elizabeth Redcay, University of Maryland.
Amanda J. Rose, University of Missouri.
Wendy M. Rote, University of South Florida.
Amy K. Roy, Fordham University.
Sophie W. Sweijen, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Eva H. Telzer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Giana I. Teresi, Stanford University.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of research on adolescence : the official journal of the Society for Research on Adolescence




COVID-19; collaborative; depression and anxiety


This study aimed to examine changes in depression and anxiety symptoms from before to during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample of 1,339 adolescents (9-18 years old, 59% female) from three countries. We also examined if age, race/ethnicity, disease burden, or strictness of government restrictions moderated change in symptoms. Data from 12 longitudinal studies (10 U.S., 1 Netherlands, 1 Peru) were combined. Linear mixed effect models showed that depression, but not anxiety, symptoms increased significantly (median increase = 28%). The most negative mental health impacts were reported by multiracial adolescents and those under 'lockdown' restrictions. Policy makers need to consider these impacts by investing in ways to support adolescents' mental health during the pandemic.


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences