If you feel like you’ve had trouble making friendships over the last few years, you’re not alone. A new study found that the COVID-19 pandemic has been so traumatic for young adults that their social development skills have been stunted.
The study focused on young Americans’ level of satisfaction with their relationships and friendships. Compared to 2019, young people felt less satisfied in their relationships due to rising stress and anxiety.
While the differences were not drastic, researchers found that isolation and social distancing limited young people’s interactions enough to have a detrimental effect. Younger adults will likely struggle to form life-long friendships and relationships, and might even have more issues advancing in their careers due to a lack of social skills.
“If everything goes well, young adults select into social networks, initiate friendships and romantic relationships, and find their occupational niche,” said lead study author Dr. Janina Bühler in a statement. “Our findings, however, show that external stressors and environmental variations may set young adults on a less fortunate path.”
So while President Biden may have announced that COVID-19 is “officially over,” its’ impact will effect society for generations to come.