Psychological responses associated with stress during pandemic by COVID-19 in Colombian and Mexican adolescents




COVID-19, Adolescents, Stress, Confinement, Predictive model


The COVID-19 pandemic has not only resulted in high morbidity and mortality rates across the globe but has caused significant changes to the ways in which people live their lives and their perceptions of pandemic conditions. The aim of this study was to examine the association between stress indicators with psychological responses related to individual, family and school factors (e.g., school pressure, family dynamics, relaxation and leisure, changes in routine, preventive behaviours) in Colombian and Mexican adolescents during confinement due to COVID-19. We administered a COVID-19 youth perception survey and an informed consent on-line, with the help of teachers, school counsellors, and school social workers, to 464 adolescents aged 13 to 24 years from secondary-schools, high- schools and higher-education institutions of Colombia and Mexico. MANOVAs revealed perceptions and psychological responses were similar in Colombian and Mexican adolescents, although there were some differences overall by gender. Stress indicators were positively associated with fear and worries, school pressures, family dynamics, and changes in routine. A hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that changes in routine, fears and worries, family dynamics, and school pressures were predictors of stress indicators that together explained 47% of the total variance in Colombian adolescents and 43% of the variance in Mexican adolescents. Findings show that personal, family and school factors, combined, can increase stress responses in both samples despite potential contextual differences. These results could be used to planning preventive and selective interventions during and after the pandemic to promote resilience in youth.