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Adolescent’s Lockdown-Inducing Coping Experiences: The ALICE Study

What is the ALICE Study?

The ALICE study is a research project aiming to explore the risk and protective factors that are associated with early adolescent (age 11-14 years) mental health difficulties during Covid-19.

Early adolescence is a critical period of development, where young people are developing social skills and forming relationships outside the family. During lockdown and tier restrictions due to COVID-19, usual developmental experiences in school and with family are interrupted. We wanted to find out how young people experience and manage their wellbeing during lockdown.

In total, 294 young people took part in the study from 5 schools across the North West of England. Between September and December 2020, young people completed an online survey that asked questions about themselves and their experiences of lockdown. They then completed some questions focusing on four different outcomes: overall wellbeing, optimism, and mental health. The mental health questions were split into internalising difficulties (e.g., anxiety and depression) and externalising difficulties (e.g., behavioural problems).

14 young people also participated in interviews, providing us with a more detailed account of their experiences of lockdown and home schooling, and how they felt during that time.

What Have We Learned So Far?

We have produced several reports and journal articles outlining our findings:

What’s Next?

The ALICE study is still ongoing. We are currently conducting follow-up surveys and interviews with young people. We have also interviewed parents, and are currently recruiting teachers for interviews to find out more about their experiences of schooling during the pandemic.

If you are a teacher who would be interested in participating, please read the participant information sheet. To confirm you would like to take part, please email Dr Saini.

The ALICE Team

The ALICE study is led by Dr Emma Ashworth and the Suicide and Self-Harm research group at LJMU. Co-investigators are Dr Pooja Saini, Dr Catrin Eames, Dr Shane McLoughlin, Dr Jennifer Chopra, and Prof. Dave Putwain.

Research assistants are Anna Hunt, Katie Duffy, and Dr Joanna Kirkby.

Related Research

Dr Emma Ashworth is a co-investigator on the TELL study, a project conducted in collaboration with the University of Manchester to explore the impact of the pandemic on 16-19 year olds.

Dr Ashworth is also the principal investigator of a study conducted in conjunction with the University of Liverpool, Edge Hill University, and Liverpool Health partners, identifying key implications of the COVID pandemic on the education, health and social care of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Who to Contact for Further Information

Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Ashworth