October 28, 2022

Oneida County Releases Results of COVID-19 Student Survey

News Photo

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today announced the results of Oneida County’s COVID-19 Student Survey that focused on measuring the mental health and well-being of local junior high and high school students during the pandemic.

The assessment — which was developed by the Oneida County Planning Department and SUNY Polytechnic Institute — was administered as a modification of the Teen Assessment Survey (TAP) which occurs every four years, and was last done in 2019. Ten school districts participated, with 3,630 seventh, ninth and eleventh graders being surveyed earlier this year.

“We know that COVID-19 changed the landscape for most students in one way or another,” Picente said. “Decisions were made with the best information available at the time, and now we need to understand that impact those decisions had and use that data to help us move forward effectively. This survey gave us the crucial knowledge to do just that.”

Some of the COVID-19-related findings highlighted in the 2022 TAP Report include:

  • Individuals identifying as LGBTQ+, female or as non-English speakers were among those most impacted by the pandemic and had the highest frequency of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
  • The most common challenges associated with virtual learning included:
    • Loss of motivation and concentration.
    • Lack of direct access to teachers compared to in-person students.
    • Lack of one-on-one educational assistance opportunities.
  • Throughout the pandemic, students experienced a variety of adverse behavioral changes:
    • Chronic sadness and hopelessness.
    • Poor sleeping habits.
    • Poor eating habits.
  • COVID-19 emotional resilience was linked to positive social relationships and emotional resources:
    • Positive family relationship.
    • Reliable friend network.
    • Reliable person/place in which to express worries, problems or concerns.

Compared to the 2019 TAP Survey, some of the following rates changed in 2022:

  • Youth homelessness decreased by 1.3%.
  • Respondents who seriously considered suicide decreased by 3%.
  • Respondents who thought about running away from home or hurting themselves on purpose decreased by 2.8% and 0.6% respectively.
  • Respondents who reported being cyberbullied increased by 2.8%.
  • Respondents who felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities increased by 5.3%.

“The concern and disruption the pandemic brought to the lives of our youth had a huge impact,” Picente said. “While many students showed strong resiliency, just as many have struggled with what they experienced. It is now up to all of us to utilize the knowledge we have gained to help them move past it and to better handle these issues in the future.”

The intended uses of Oneida County’s 2022 COVID-19 TAP survey are to:

  • Provide feedback to individual school districts regarding their strengths and areas for improvements for transitioning students to and from an online learning environment.
  • Develop recommendations for school districts on how to effectively utilize financial and human resources to address the report’s highlighted areas of concerns (i.e. cyberbullying, mental health, etc.).
  • Create guidance on existing best practice solutions for school districts to address areas of concern, as well as to improve services to vulnerable populations.
  • Identify funding/grant opportunities that directly relate to the report’s highlighted areas of concerns for school districts. The report itself will serve as a substantial advantage to school districts when applying for competitive grants.

To view the survey report click here.

To view the presentation click here.

Oneida County Partners