FOCUS on Adolescents: A mixed-methods study to optimize COVID‑19 recovery and renewal efforts among adolescents in Canada and France

Knight, Rodney E | $149,965

British Columbia University of British Columbia 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

The COVID‑19 pandemic and corresponding health, social and economic implications have presented the potential for the health and social well-being of adolescents ages 15-19. For example, experiences of school closures and other public venues have had significant effects on adolescents – an age group whose need for social engagement and connection is developmentally rooted and exacerbated. As we move into the recovery and renewal phases of the COVID‑19 pandemic, ongoing social, economic, and cultural changes are likely to impact the health and social trajectories of adolescents, underscoring the urgency for health, social and economic systems to keep pace with these changes. Our aim is to provide time-sensitive understandings about adolescent health and social well-being during and following the next phases of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Specifically, we plan to strike a FOCUS on Adolescents Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) to co-lead adaptations to our existing FOCUS research infrastructure in Canada and France that currently only has the capacity to focus on young adults (i.e., those over the age of majority). Alongside the YAC, we will identify strategies to identify the adaptations that need to occur within our broader program of FOCUS research, including age-based and country-specific adaptations to involve adolescents ages 15-19 in a series of annual interviews (n=20 per country) and biannual cross-sectional national online surveys (n=3,500 per country per wave, including ~1,000 between the ages 15-19). Towards the end of our study, using a community-based approach to mixed-methods synthesis, we will also host one Participatory Planning Summit in both Canada and France with knowledge users (e.g., clinicians, decision-makers) and other stakeholders (e.g., YAC members, adolescent youth organizations) to identify strategies to improve adolescent health as we move into the next phases of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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