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COVID-19: Teen Stress Assessment Tool



Authors as Published

Authored by Bethany Eigel, State Program Leader for Families and 4-H Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech; and Crystal Tyler-Mackey, Community Viability Specialist, Department of Agricultural, Leadership, & Community Education, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech

Obstacles & Opportunities

Social distancing during COVID-19 presents great challenges. Teens may be experiencing significant disruption to their social lives during a time when connections to friends are most vital. As an essential component of Extension programs and volunteerism, learning how to best engage and support teens is critical. Understanding the helpful and harmful stressors they are facing could guide programming.

This survey was created using a Qualtrics template. While brief, it provides ample feedback. Data from Chesterfield, Virginia 4-H Teen Club members (n=48) informed later club discussions. Adult staff and volunteers were also better equipped to both relate to the teens regarding how they are coping and to identify additional support that 4-H can provide.


  1. On a scale from 1-5 how stressful has your experience been in relation to COVID-19? (1=not stressful, 5=extremely stressful)
  2. What has MOST contributed to your feeling of stress during this time?
  • Negativity in the news; hearing about illness, death, job loss, etc.
  • Complete interruption of daily life
  • Feeling confined to my home; loss of freedom
  • Increased tension with people at home
  • Physical separation from friends and my social life
  • Cancellation of plans such as sports, clubs, concerts, graduation, etc
  • Loss of employment/financial stresses (mine or family member)
  • Other 
  1. Based on this situation, move the statements around to rank your emotional state:
  • Sadness, feeling of loss
  • Disappointment
  • Scared, worried
  • Bored!
  • Happy – I love being out of school
  • Sense of unfairness, feeling cheated
  • Annoyed, crazy stuck in the house
  1. What have you found that helps you stay positive during this time? Please give detailed explanation:
  2. Has there been an unexpected upside to this time? Please select as many as you would like, add details in text box if you can:
  • Slower pace of life; not rushing around so much
  • Finding creative ways to stay connected
  • Positive impact on our environment
  • Appreciation for simple things
  • More quality time for family or self
  • New opportunities to try or learn something I may not have otherwise
  • Other

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Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law

Publication Date

May 1, 2020