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U.S. Teens Suffered Heightened Toll of Pain, Abuse in Pandemic

  • Half of high school students reported emotional abuse at home
  • One-third reported alcohol or drug use in first half of 2021

U.S. high school students endured widespread emotional and physical pain during the relative isolation of Covid-19, reporting high rates of abuse, sadness and distress in the home during early 2021.

Roughly half of high-schoolers reported emotional abuse by a parent or difficulty completing schoolwork since the pandemic began, according to analyses of government surveys of about 7,000 ninth to 12th graders across the U.S. in the first half of last year. Around one in four reported experiencing hunger or economic insecurity, and one in 10 said they had been physically abused by a parent.