Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center.
Health professionals have little time to waste in responding to the coronavirus crisis, and child psychologists are no exception. The pandemic represents a unique juncture when researchers can “naturally” experiment—the natural conditions of the pandemic can reveal facts about its mass effects on people. Two studies—one in Toronto and another in Baltimore—have focused their natural experiments on children and teens, with the intention of discovering their changes in emotions and behaviors as a result of the crisis. Past crisis events, such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China, have already taught us ways in which youth typically react. Right away, that knowledge can teach adults how to help their children as the insidious coronavirus pandemic unfolds.