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"Stress and Health Disparities in Adolescents and Young Adults During COVID-19"

Professor Margarita Azmitia from UC Santa Cruz and Professor Camelia Hostinar from UC Davis
Jul 07, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
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 * In light of the community concerns regarding COVID-19, this talk will be given as a webinar.*  

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health regulations to curb the transmission of the SARS-COV-2 virus created myriad challenges for youth and their families, and also highlighted and exacerbated long-standing disparities that have disadvantaged California’s minoritized and marginalized communities. These included disproportionately experiencing reduced and eliminated employment, increased exposure in “essential” but lower-wage occupations, the digital divide of inadequately supported remote learning, household and community crowding, lack of access to healthcare including vaccinations, racism and discrimination, and more. This complex panoply of stressors has threatened the well-being of an entire generation of adolescents and young adults, with lifelong implications for their physical and mental health, educational and occupational success, and future contributions to society. In this session, two UC faculty will discuss the basic and applied research on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth that they have pursued over the past 16 months. Dr. Camelia Hostinar will discuss the impacts of economic stressors during the pandemic on family processes and youth mental health, with particular attention to youth’s executive function skills, which are critical for goal pursuit and successful adjustment. Dr. Margarita Azmitia will discuss the collaborative effort that she and a network of experts undertook to translate years of education research into policy recommendations for understanding and mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on K-12 students and their families, with particular attention to anti-racist policy issues.

Dr. Margarita Azmitia, an immigrant from Guatemala, is a professor of psychology at UCSC. She investigates the roles of immigration, family, peers, and schools in the identity development and Azmitia Photoeducational and career pathways of diverse adolescents and college students. She is especially interested in how young people navigate the transitions to middle school, high school, college, and work, and in particular, how they cope with stress, discrimination, and other challenges, including how they access resources in pursuit of their educational and life goals.

Dr. Camelia Hostinar is an assistant professor of psychology at UC Davis. She researches the ways in which childhood poverty and other forms of early-life adversity influence later development Hostiner Photoand health. She has particular interest in protective factors that may buffer children and adolescents from chronic stress and subsequent physical or mental health problems. Her research examines developmental processes at multiple levels of analysis, incorporating endocrine and immune biomarkers, electrophysiological data, genetic assays, and behavioral measures. She seeks to improve understanding of the role of early-life stress in shaping self-regulatory skills, and to illuminate how stress-buffering processes such as supportive social relationships exert their effects.

In light of the community concerns regarding COVID-19, this talk will be given as a webinar. The link will be provided on July 6th to those that have registered by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 2nd.

Please click here to view the policy brief. 

Please click here to view the video

Please click here to view Professor Margarita Azmitia's PowerPoint presentation.

Please click here to view Professor Camelia Hostinar's PowerPoint presentation.


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