Black Adolescents’ Perceptions of COVID-19: Challenges, Coping, and Connection to Family, Religious, and School Support

Janise S. Parker, Natoya Haskins, Aiesha Lee, Ruth Hailemeskel, Oluwatobi A. Adepoju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic swept the nation by surprise, leaving a deep-seated impact on individuals’ social, mental, and physical health. Despite there being disparities between Black and White/non-Hispanic individuals, minimal research has been conducted to explore the effects of the virus on marginalized groups. This study aimed to investigate Black adolescents’ perceptions of their experiences with COVID-19, including the challenges they encountered, the coping strategies they employed, and their use of religious/spiritual and school-based support. Twelve Black youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years were interviewed during the early stages of the pandemic (June and July of 2020). Participants struggled with adjusting to the changes in their daily routines, navigating virtual learning, and emerging mental health difficulties (e.g., anxiety). To cope with these challenges, participants relied on emotion and problemfocused coping strategies, including strategies that were religious/spiritual in nature. Participants also relied on social support from family, school personnel, and their religious community, though they lamented about the varied support received from the latter two. Findings from this research support calls for mental health providers to employ culturally affirming mental health services and engage in interagency collaboration to support Black youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
JournalSchool Psychology
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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