Psychologists see difference in how kids are handling the pandemic

Kids show their difficulty coping through aggression and acting on newfound fears.
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:19 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Class has been back in session for Rapid City area schools for a few weeks now, so how are students and their families handling the transition in an uncertain world? Two psychologists with different viewpoints on the topic weigh in.

From the office of one school psychologist, kids seem to be doing great.

“Most of the students are doing very very well,” said Keyra Comer, a school psychologist for Central High School. “A lot of them are able to function with the support of their family and their friends and really come in and have that connection and it really works for them.”

But from the office of an outside psychologist, things look a little different.

“There’s been an influx,” said Kari Scovel, a clinical psychologist. “Definitely. I would say with children and teens. There’s a huge influx of patients at this time coming into the practice.”

Scovel said kids show their difficulty coping through aggression and acting on newfound fears. Whereas teens express it in other ways.

“There’s more irritability in teens,” said Scovel. “They might be more edgy or difficult to manage or control. I think that’s something that I’ve seen recurrent, so it’s really important to try to get your child to talk about their feelings when you’re seeing these symptoms.”

Scovel said the pressures of uncertain school schedules, cancellations, and decreased time with friends are some of the causes behind growing stress levels in students. And Comer agreed.

“Unknowns, when we don’t have that routine, that throws us a little bit,” said Comer. “So I think the more routine we can give our students, the better for them and the more structure that we can give them. So, I think we’re back now to a known structure that’s a little more predictable for them.”

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