IMR Press / JIN / Volume 21 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2105143
Open Access Original Research
Adolescence and COVID-19: Traumatic Stress and Social Distancing in the Italian Epicenter of Pandemic
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1 EMDR Italian Association, 20814 Varedo, Italy
2 EMDR Europe and Association EMDR Italy, 20814 Varedo, Italy
3 Clinical Psychology Department, St Anna Hospital, 22100 Como, Italy
4 Italian Ministry of Education, 0153 Rome, Italy
5 Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the National Research Council (CNR), 00185 Rome, Italy
*Correspondence: (Chiara Maiorani)
Academic Editor: Pasquale Calabrese
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2022, 21(5), 143;
Submitted: 25 March 2022 | Revised: 7 May 2022 | Accepted: 11 May 2022 | Published: 15 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Related Restriction Measures and Their Impact on Cognition)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Introduction: The spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic led the Italian government to impose restrictive measures. Schools were closed and the organization of Distance Learning (DL) made adolescents face the psychological impact of the pandemic and the loss of their social life. Objective: This research aimed to evaluate the psychological impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and DL on students, attending two high schools in the Lodi area (Lombardy, Italy). Method: A questionnaire, composed of PSYCHO-COVID 19 and EMOTION THERMOMETER applied to DL, was administered anonymously through the Google Drive School platform, from May 5th to June 5th 2020. Results: Analysis of the protocols revealed stress reactions in 35% of students (12% High, 7% Moderate, 16% Mild). Principal Components Analysis also revealed the presence of a “distress entity” characterized by anxiety, depressive and somatic symptoms (comparable to those of post-traumatic stress syndrome), with a greater impact on females. The analysis of data on DL showed that online teaching was experienced negatively, in an almost linear correlation, by those subjects who had expressed distress. Conclusions: The results suggest that the pandemic had a traumatic impact on adolescents, especially on girls; psychological distress negatively influenced individual experiences with DL. Appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions are needed to prevent the chronicization of stress reactions and to facilitate the adaptation of adolescents to possible rapid changes in educational management.

mental health
distance learning (DL)
Fig. 1.
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