From the inside. How the feelings of the closeness and the remoteness from others changed during lockdown
The study aims to explore the adolescents' affective dimension during lockdown, in particular how the perception and processing of the presence of others in adolescents’ relational experience has changed and how their closeness and remoteness was experienced during the period of limitation of social relations. If lockdown forced young people to share spaces and times with family members, we asked if this forced stringency has favoured psychic closeness at home, or rather if it contributed to create new forms of remoteness, changing the perceptions of significant others. Moreover the study intends to probe how and to what extent the health emergency impacted on school experience of young people. The participants were 113 middle and high school students aged between 11 and 18 years. Adolescents completed an ad hoc questionnaire to investigate their feelings of closeness and remoteness during lockdown and their experience to come back to school. Our results show that the closest affectional bonds during lockdown were with both family and friends. Adolescents’ siblings occupied a prominent place, serving often as the only “peers” consistently present in-person in their daily lives. The children in our sample, despite not being able to socialize with their friends face-to-face, have worked well to cultivate friendships outside the home. To confirm the importance of the emotional experience lived through during lockdown, we observed that the return to school was strongly oriented by the most significant relationships perceived during lockdown that supported to come back to normality.
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