Teenagers have been suffering a mental health epidemic that only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per a CDC report published in March 2022, 37% of U.S. high school students reported experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic. 44% also persistently felt hopeless or sad during 2021.
In addition, the new data revealed how many teenagers suffered at home amidst quarantine and isolation.
55% of teens reported experiencing emotional abuse at the hands of a parent or other adult living in the home– consisting of insults, swearing, or “putting down.”
11% also experienced physical abuse, including hitting, kicking, beating, or physical hurting in another form.
Although a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has revealed that not only can strong mental health during teenhood impact the mental fitness of young adults during their twenties and thirties, but it can also affect cardiometabolic health.
Previous studies have already found that psychological components of mental well-being– including optimism, self-esteem, belongingness, happiness, and feeling loved and wanted– might be related to stronger cardiometabolic health in the long term.
But, those studies primarily focused on older adults. So, this study hoped to expand the inquiry by focusing on teenagers, as well as by including a wider measure of cardiometabolic health indicators– such as inflammation and blood sugar levels.
“We learned a lot in the last few decades about the impact of discrimination and other social risks youth of color face that may explain their cardiometabolic disease,” added Farah Querishi, the study’s lead author.