Impact of COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on Inner-City Female Youth in New York City

Angela Diaz, Anne Nucci-Sack, Rachel Colon, Mary Guillot, Dominic Hollman, Marie Brunelli, Robert D. Burk, Nicolas F. Schlecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: New York City (NYC) was the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. A “shelter in place” mandate was issued in March 2020. The effect on vulnerable populations of adolescent and young adult females has not been well documented. Methods: We administered a monthly online survey between May and November 2020 to adolescent and young adult females participating in a longitudinal study at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. Surveys asked about death of loved ones, financial impacts, social interactions, exposure to dangerous situations, and mental health impacts. Differences in responses by age, race/ethnicity, and living situation were assessed, and compared to data obtained on the same cohort prior to the pandemic. Results: Four hundred seventeen females aged 15–28 years completed at least one survey, 94% of whom were youth of color. A third of responders (33%) had lost relatives or other people they were close to (loved ones). Most (68%) reported one or more financial losses, and 21% reported food insecurity, with those not living with parents or a guardian experiencing significantly higher rates. One in 10 reported experiencing sexual abuse or interpersonal partner violence during the “shelter in place” period. Over a third (37%) reported symptoms of clinical depression, which represented a significant increase compared to before the pandemic (p = .01). The negative financial impacts and higher proportion of patients with depressive symptomatology remained elevated for adolescents without support at home. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented negative short-term financial and psychosocial health impacts on inner-city female youth with potential long-term negative impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Abuse
  • Adolescent and young adult
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Depression
  • financial loss
  • Food insecurity
  • Interpersonal violence
  • “Shelter in place”

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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