Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


Undergraduate Honours Theses


Research has demonstrated that adolescents’ social relationships have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (Ayers et al., 2021). Considering adolescence is characterized by a need for peer belonging and autonomy from parents, isolation from peers has been particularly challenging (Magson et al., 2021). Prior literature has noted the ability of parent connectedness to promote resiliency and instill self-care practices (Bender & Ingram, 2018), and for peers to provide additional necessary support and feelings of belongingness (Brown & Larson, 2009). Information on whether the same outcomes can result during the pandemic remains unknown. The purpose of this study is to determine the impacts of adolescent peer and parent connectedness on health-related outcomes, specifically, exercise, alcohol use, cannabis use, and internalizing symptoms. Participants for this study included 493 students aged 15-19 (79.1% female) residing in Ontario, Canada who completed a survey in June 2021, a year after the initial COVID-19 lockdown and at the end of another stay-at-home order. It was hypothesized that adolescents with weaker parent connectedness would engage in less exercise, more alcohol use, more cannabis use, and would report higher levels of internalizing symptoms. Further, the adolescent-parent relationship would be moderated by peer connectedness in that negative health outcomes would be significantly reduced when teens have stronger peer connectedness. Findings indicated that, in line with hypotheses, weaker parent connectedness only predicted more cannabis use when peer connectedness was also low, and peer and parent support independently predicted internalizing symptoms. Strengths, limitations, implications, and future directions are discussed.


Thesis Advisor(s):
Dr. Tara Dumas

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Psychology Commons