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Adolescents’ social relationships and mental well-being before and during the corona crisis: Longitudinal and momentary predictors of resilience


Nina van den Broek, Maaike Verhagen, Junilla Larsen, Jacqueline Vink (& external parties)


Due to the corona-measures taken during the lockdown (social distancing, closing of schools, limited leisure-time activities, having to rely on parents, less contact with friends), adolescents could face changes in the adequate performance of essential developmental tasks in the social domain. It is of utmost importance to investigate what the negative and positive effects are of the coronacrisis on the well-being of (vulnerable) youth, and to assess the differential impact of the coronacrisis and the resilience on the short- and longer-term of youth.

Research Questions

The general research question of this project is: How are the social relationships (with parents and friends) affected by the coronacrisis, and what is its impact on the mental well-being of (vulnerable) youth? More specifically, in the current project, we aim to answer the following research questions:

  • Building on longitudinal research from before the coronacrisis: What is the effect of the coronacrisis on the resilience of youth who had a lower mental well-being before the coronacrisis, compared to youth who had a higher mental well-being?
  • Parents and friends: What is the effect of (changes in) parent- and friend-relationships during and after the coronacrisis on the well-being of youth?
  • Macro- and micro-processes: What is the role of (fluctuations in) social relationships after the coronacrisis on (fluctuations in) well-being of youth on the short- and longer-term?
  • Lifestyle: What is the influence of (changes in) lifestyle behaviors during and after the coronacrisis on the well-being of youth?


We expect that changes in social relationships (during and after the coronacrisis) are related to (changes in) mental-wellbeing of youth, and that micro-processes and lifestyle play a role. We expect both negative and positive effects in (vulnerable) youth.

Plan of Action

  • Longitudinal survey study: Participants of the “G(F)OOD together!” research project (N = 700 youth; N = 500 parents; T1-T3 collected since 2017) will be asked to participate in follow-up measurement waves (T4-T7) in the school year of 2020/2021 to assess their social relationships, mental well-being and lifestyle.
  • ESM-study: A randomly selected group of 100 parent-child dyads will fill out a few short questions about their social relationships and mental well-being, 4 times a day for a week.
  • Knowledge transfer: The results of this project will be used in several levels, varying from locally (schools, parents, municipalities, academic workplaces) to nationally (knowledge institutes, informative websites, policy makers), but also internationally (by means of scientific publications).

Contact Information

Maaike Verhagen: m.verhagen@pwo.ru.nl