Many of the social rituals that were rites of passage for young people, such as attending a school lecture, making a memorable first impression at their first office job, or packing the floor at a concert, coronavirus pandemic.
So people like Thuan Phung, a third-year Parsons School of Design resident of Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, find the actual interaction “weird.” After two years of virtual instruction, he is back in the classroom.
“Zoom lets you mute,” Phung, 25, said. “It took me a while to learn how to talk to people.”
Now, recent research into people’s personalities suggests that the discomfort he’s feeling isn’t uncommon for people of his generation, forced into isolation by pandemic restrictions in their 20s. A time of social unrest for many of them.
COVID has not only reshaped how we work and connect with others, but it has also reshaped the way we are, with the impact most pronounced among young adults, according to research. I have.
According to a study published last month in the journal PLOS ONE, we may be losing some of our key personality traits, becoming less extroverted and creative, and less agreeable and conscientious.
These declines correspond to “about 10 years of normative personality changes,” the study said. Those under the age of 30 showed ‘maturity disorder’. The changes are the opposite of how a young adult’s personality normally develops over time, the study’s authors wrote.
“If these changes persist, this evidence suggests that stressful events across populations can slightly bend personality trajectories, especially in young adults,” the study said. .
The authors of the personality study relied on data from the Understanding America Study, an ongoing Internet panel at the University of Southern California that began collecting survey responses in 2014, with approximately 7,000 participants who responded to personality assessments that were conducted. We used data published by Before and during the pandemic.
The study’s lead author, Angelina Soutine, a professor at Florida State University, said the findings, on average, indicate personality changes during the pandemic, but she said the findings were not the same. He emphasized that it captured “one snapshot at a certain point in time” and that it may be temporary.
“Personality tends to be pretty resistant to change. We might need something like a global pandemic,” Soutine said. “But it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what it was. pandemic That led to these changes. ”
Soutine and her co-authors also don’t know if these personality changes will last.
Researchers analyzed five aspects of personality. Openness defined as unconventional and creative. Extroversion, or extroversion of a person. Agreeable, or being “trustworthy and forthright.” And honesty, how responsible and organized a person is.
Gerald Croix, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Virginia, said the authors were “appropriately cautious” in drawing their conclusions, highlighting the need for more research to revisit their findings. Stated.
Clore said the pandemic itself was a “ridiculous experiment” and could have been a restructuring of routines rather than a holistic stress that reshaped people’s personalities.
Perhaps reflecting the changes, interest in psychotherapy has surged throughout the pandemic, some therapists said.
Talkspace, an online treatment delivery platform, has seen a 60% increase in the number of active individual users in the year since March 2020, said company spokesperson John Kim.
The number of teens seeking therapy on BetterHelp has nearly quadrupled since 2019, said a spokeswoman for the online therapy company.
A therapist practicing in the United States says she has observed clients struggle to navigate the boundaries of pandemic life and cope with shifting social norms.
Nedra Glover Tawwab, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based therapist with more than a million Instagram followers, says discomfort escalates as people slowly reintegrate into past routines like working in an office. said he noticed that
“We’ve gotten so used to being isolated that now we think we like it,” Grover Tawwab said. “But is that really who you are? Or is that something you had to accept in the meantime?
Delta Hunter, New York City therapist social anxiety therapy groupsaid the pandemic had “exacerbated” pre-existing fears.
“People want to connect and work together, and we just haven’t been able to do that,” says Hunter. “It made people feel really lost.”
Young adults, especially teenagers, face greater limitations to the activities and experiences typical of adolescence and adolescence, Sutin’s study concludes. They found that people under the age of 30 had the steepest declines in conscientiousness and agreeableness.
“When your whole world goes virtual, you lose the training ground to be more honest,” Harmon said, adding that there was a lot of social unrest among the younger generation. -Personal experience and coping skills.
A few months ago, Anviksha Kalscheur’s clinic in Chicago established a teen support program to help young people deal with feelings of disconnection and isolation.
Teenagers express an overall negative outlook on the future, increasing their social anxiety. I noticed that there are “slightly dark clouds”.
Connections, attachments and interactions with others are important for developing personality, Kalscheur said, adding that identities and personalities are still formed in teenagers.
“You’re at that stage of development, and they’re not receiving things like cues, attachments, learning, and other events that you don’t really think about,” she said. The environment has a huge impact in that particular time frame.”
How long will the change in Pandemic period Whether it will persist remains an open question, the study authors say.
Therapists, including Grover Tauwab, said the transition period to face-to-face life after the worst of crises may offer opportunities to slowly reintegrate and reconnect with people and experiences in a more intentional way. .
“This is a great time to really observe what you miss and what you enjoy being away from,” she said. have time to do it.”
This article was originally published in The New York Times.
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