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Abstract

Objective COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, including Europe. In order to halt the spread of the pandemic by maintaining social distancing, all children in Spain have been completely confined to their homes, and from March 13th to April 26th they were forbidden from going outdoors at any time. The aim of this research was gather the voices of children in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain in order to examine how they are coping with this health crisis. Design: A sample of 250 Children from a region of Spain aged 3-12 years (mean 7.14) were openly asked about their lockdown activities, needs, and feelings. Main Outcome Measures: Responses were analyzed using Iramuteq software for lexical analysis. Results: Children reported having mixed emotions in lockdown; whilst they are happy and relaxed with their families, they also feel fear, nervousness, worry, loneliness, sadness, boredom, and anger. At a physical level, Children noted it was difficult to be deprived of fresh air for weeks, which also makes them primarily sedentary, and they missed outdoor exercise. Socially, they missed peers and caregivers. Conclusion: This study provides evidence about the need to safeguard children’s wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis.

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... Post-hoc follow-up assessment. Mental well-being and the development of negative symptoms during stressful life events have been suggested to be influenced by further variables of interest, including sex and parenting 44 , news exposure 2 or time spent outside 45 . For adult participants, multiple regression analysis controlling for age was conducted to assess whether variation in mental well-being (i.e., anxiety, depression, or distress) were explained by sex, news consumption, time spent outside or parenthood. ...
... Conversely, the present study did not identify significant changes for emotional and behavioral problems of the children comparing pre-and post-pandemic onset levels. Our findings further indicate that meeting friends predicted better mood, which is in line with prior evidence emphasizing the importance of friendships and peer relationships in developmental groups 11,45 . Quantitative measures obtained were further supported by qualitative reports, which provide a unique insight into children's values and further highlight sources of resilience. ...
... Interestingly, across two time points, positive mentions about returning to schools across all children solely focused on social domains (e.g., meeting friends, class, teachers again or in-person schooling), whereas negative mentions included less sleep, less free time or increased stress and homework, or restrictions. Themes reported were in line with findings of qualitative reports during Covid-19 11,45 . ...
Article
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Pandemics such as the Covid-19 pandemic have shown to impact our physical and mental well-being, with particular challenges for children and families. We describe data from 43 adults (31♀, ages = 22-51; 21 mothers) and 26 children (10♀, ages = 7-17 years) including pre-pandemic brain function and seven assessment points during the first months of the pandemic. We investigated (1) changes in child and adult well-being, (2) mother-child associations of mental well-being, and (3) associations between pre-pandemic brain activation during mentalizing and later fears or burden. In adults the prevalence of clinically significant anxiety-levels was 34.88% and subthreshold depression 32.56%. Caregiver burden in parents was moderately elevated. Overall, scores of depression, anxiety, and caregiver burden decreased across the 11 weeks after Covid-19-onset. Children's behavioral and emotional problems during Covid-19 did not significantly differ from pre-pandemic levels and decreased during restrictions. Mothers' subjective burden of care was associated with children's emotional and behavioral problems, while depression levels in mothers were related to children's mood. Furthermore, meeting friends was a significant predictor of children's mood during early restrictions. Pre-pandemic neural correlates of mentalizing in prefrontal regions preceded later development of fear of illnesses and viruses in all participants, while temporoparietal activation preceded higher subjective burden in mothers.
... O sentimento de solidão também foi referenciado em uma pesquisa na qual identificaram que as crianças sentiam falta de outras crianças, como amigos ou colegas de classe. Também mencionaram que sentem falta de alguns de seus cuidadores, como avós, professores ou treinadores (Mondragon et al., 2020). ...
... Algumas das crianças também expressam a necessidade de 'respirar' porque se sentem trancados, ou mesmo 'aprisionados'. O uso da linguagem figurada reflete as consequências de ser privado de ar fresco, o que tem um impacto muito profundo e holístico sobre eles, afetando as crianças fisicamente, emocionalmente e socialmente (Mondragon et al., 2020). ...
... O fato de estarem online pode ter ajudado os alunos a expressarem suas opiniões deixando a timidez de lado (Ruiz-Eugenio et al., 2020). É importante que a escola ofereça aos alunos a oportunidade de interagir com os professores e obter aconselhamento psicológico (Mondragon et al., 2020). Por esse motivo, seria altamente desejável garantir que essa conexão direta entre professores e crianças também seja mantida durante esse período de confinamento . ...
Article
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Resumo Objetivo: analisar as evidências disponíveis na literatura sobre os principais resultados da pandemia da COVID-19 na saúde da criança. Método: revisão integrativa da literatura realizada de janeiro a abril de 2021 por meio da busca de estudos publicados em 2020 em periódicos indexados no PubMed/MEDLINE, LILACS e Web of Sciense. Resultados: a amostra foi composta por dez estudos primários, publicados em 2020 principalmente em inglês e realizados na Espanha e China. Os artigos que compuseram a amostra do estudo formam sistematizados e apresentados a partir das perspectivas da Saúde Mental, Física e Social. Conclusão: Problemas em sua saúde física e mental, envolvendo mudanças de comportamento, da ansiedade, da obesidade e do sedentarismo. Torna indispensável a criação de estratégias para o retorno ao mundo pós pandemia da COVID-19. Palavras-chave: Criança; Saúde da criança; Infecções por coronavírus; Revisão. Abstract Objective: to analyze the evidence available in the literature on the main results of the COVID-19 pandemic on child health. Method: integrative review conducted from January to April 2021 through the search for studies published in 2020 in journals indexed in PubMed/MEDLINE, LILACS and Web of Sciense. Results: the sample consisted of ten primary studies, published in 2020 mainly in English and carried out in Spain and China. The articles that made up the study sample were systematized and presented from the perspectives of Mental, Physical and Social Health. Conclusion: Problems in your physical and mental health, involving changes in behavior, anxiety, obesity and sedentary lifestyle. It makes the creation of strategies for COVID-19's return to the post-pandemic world indispensable.
... Symptoms of depression were the second most commonly reported outcomes (n = 24, 39.3%) [2,7,12,18,20,25,41,47,48,56,62,63,72,80,83,86,89,94,106,107,[109][110][111][112]. The prevalence of symptoms of depression ranged between 2.2% [110] and 63.8% [41] amongst studies. ...
... Family relationships improved in 41.6% of households during lockdown [44]. Some children felt safe, relaxed, and happy when with their families [47,48]. Healthy parent-child relationships were associated with positive parent-child communication [94]. ...
... Parent-child discussion frequency was positively correlated to current life satisfaction (p < 0.05) [94]. A further protective factor for the mental health of children was play [47] (Fig. 2). Physical activity in children was associated with a lower hyperactivity-inattention risk (OR = 0.44, for 1-2 days activity a week; OR = 0.56, for < 2 days of activity a week) [59]. ...
Article
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COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, resulting in many countries worldwide calling for lockdowns. This study aimed to review the existing literature on the effects of the lockdown measures established as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents. Embase, Ovid, Global Health, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and pre-print databases were searched in this PRISMA-compliant systematic review (PROSPERO: CRD42021225604). We included individual studies reporting on a wide range of mental health outcomes, including risk and protective factors, conducted in children and adolescents (aged ≤ 19 years), exposed to COVID-19 lockdown. Data extraction and quality appraisal were conducted by independent researchers, and results were synthesised by core themes. 61 articles with 54,999 children and adolescents were included (mean age = 11.3 years, 49.7% female). Anxiety symptoms and depression symptoms were common in the included studies and ranged 1.8–49.5% and 2.2–63.8%, respectively. Irritability (range = 16.7–73.2%) and anger (range = 30.0–51.3%), were also frequently reported by children and adolescents. Special needs and the presence of mental disorders before the lockdown, alongside excessive media exposure, were significant risk factors for anxiety. Parent–child communication was protective for anxiety and depression. The COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in psychological distress and highlighted vulnerable groups such as those with previous or current mental health difficulties. Supporting the mental health needs of children and adolescents at risk is key. Clinical guidelines to alleviate the negative effects of COVID-19 lockdown and public health strategies to support this population need to be developed.
... While most scholars would agree that students will learn less if they are taught remotely, predictions regarding the effects of school closures on students' well-being are less straightforward. On the one hand, students might enjoy that they can spend more time with their parents at home (Mondragon et al., 2021). On the other hand, prolonged levels of social isolation can be linked to increased levels of loneliness and worse mental health outcomes for school students and young adults (Bu et al., 2020;Loades et al., 2020). ...
... In a Danish survey-based study for example, students reported that they missed their friends and felt lonely during the spring 2020 lockdown (Wistoft et al., 2020), while a qualitative Spanish study indicated that students had mixed experiences. On the one hand they were happy to spend time with their families, but on the other hand they also missed their peers and felt lonely and deprived of fresh air (Mondragon et al., 2021). One British study suggested there had been an increase in depression symptoms among children aged 8-12 (Bignardi et al., 2020), while a Dutch study did not find any effect on children's (10-13 years old) externalizing or internalizing behavior (Achterberg et al., 2021). ...
... One British study suggested there had been an increase in depression symptoms among children aged 8-12 (Bignardi et al., 2020), while a Dutch study did not find any effect on children's (10-13 years old) externalizing or internalizing behavior (Achterberg et al., 2021). However, these studies have various methodological limitations, such as a reliance on cross-sectional data (Mondragon et al., 2021;Wistoft et al., 2020), limited longitudinal designs that did not adequately account for how student well-being develops with students' age and varies during the school year (Bignardi et al., 2020), or small sample size (Achterberg et al., 2021). These limitations make it difficult to evaluate the impact of the initial lockdowns on students' well-being. ...
Article
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We study the effect of the temporary closure of Danish schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 on students' reported levels of well-being and test whether the effect varies among students of different socioeconomic status. To this end, we draw on panel data from the mandatory annual nationwide Danish Student Well-being Survey (DSWS) and exploit random variation in whether students answered the 2020 survey before or during the spring lockdown period. This enables us to compare reported levels of student well-being for selected measures – whether students “like school” and whether they “feel lonely” – among students in grades 6–9 to their responses from previous years. We use an event-study design with individual as well as year, month, and grade fixed effects. Our results indicate, firstly, that students' well-being with respect to liking school improved during the lockdown, even if students who answered during vs. before the lockdown were not on parallel trends in terms of previous levels of reported well-being. Secondly, school closures seemed to not affect students’ reported levels of loneliness. Thirdly, the spring lockdown might have had a more positive impact among students of lower socioeconomic status.
... Adequately addresses research question Haig-Ferguson et al., 2020 Medium. Adequately addresses research question Mondragon et al., 2020 High. Methods addresses the research question from large qualitative sample Fegert et al., 2020 Medium. ...
... A variety of study designs were employed including 2 qualitative studies (Idoiaga et al., 2020;Mondragon et al., 2020), two literature reviews (Haig-Ferguson et al., 2020;Kontoangelos et al., 2020) exploring the psychological impact of COVID-19 on children and young people. Two narrative reviews (Fegert et al., 2020;Guessoum et al., 2020) were undertaken while one was a quantitative study which assessed the treatment of health related worries in children and young people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
... Moreover, a study conducted by Mondragon et al. (2020) involving qualitative surveys with 250 children (aged between 3-12 years) in a region in Spain, also identified that children reported feeling 'lonely', 'bored' and 'sad' during the pandemic due to losing social interactions, notably, with extended family, including grandparents who were also care givers. The consequences of enforced separation were noted by Kontoangelos et al. (2020) literature review, of 65 international papers. ...
Article
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes to the lives of children and young people. Our aim is to explore the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children and young people (ages 5–21). Methods The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines was used to report the findings of this rapid review. Results Children and young people are potentially very vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events that disrupt their daily lives. Key areas of concern include: Death Anxiety and Fear of Infection; lack of social interaction and loss of routine. Conclusions Despite some early and responsive studies, the evidence base for pandemic impact on children and young people is very limited. Such evidence is urgently needed if adequate and responsive services, that can mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic for children and young people can be established.
... Considering that stressors, such as experiencing a pandemic in early childhood can increase vulnerability to future mental disorders (Albott, Forbes, & Anker, 2018;Arpawong et al., 2022), it is necessary to understand the pandemic's psychological consequences in order to intervene. School-age children and adolescents have shown increased depression and anxiety symptoms since the beginning of the pandemic (Cabana et al., 2021;Duan et al., 2020;Fong & Iarocci, 2020;Gorrotxategi Gorrotxategi et al., 2020;Loades et al., 2020;Magklara, Lazaratou, Barbouni, Poulas, & Farsalinos, 2020;Mondragon, Sancho, Santamaria, & Munitis, 2021;Morgül, Kallitsoglou, & Essau, 2020;Ravens-Sieberer et al., 2021;Russell, Hutchison, Tambling, Tomkunas, & Horton, 2020;Sarkadi, Sahlin Torp, Pérez-Aronsson, & Warner, 2021;Saurabh & Ranjan, 2020;Shorer & Leibovich, 2020;Srivastava, 2020;Tang, Xiang, Cheung, & Xiang, 2021). As a result of lockdown restrictions, children have also faced changes in their daily routines, such as increases in screen use, indoor time and sleep duration (Aguilar-Farias et al., 2021;Alonso-Martínez, Ramírez-Vélez, García-Alonso, Izquierdo, & García-Hermoso, 2021;Cellini, Di Giorgio, Mioni, & Di Riso, 2021;Delisle Nyström et al., 2020;Erades & Sabuco, 2020;MacKenzie et al., 2021;Magklara et al., 2020;Morgül et al., 2020;Yeasmin et al., 2020). ...
... Argentina is a Latin American country with a poverty rate of 37.3% (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos [INDEC], 2022). Its pandemic lockdown has been one of the longest and strictest in the world, which has been associated with worse mental health outcomes (Brooks et al., 2020;Erades & Sabuco, 2020;Mondragon et al., 2021). Therefore, Argentina provides a unique scenario for studying vulnerable preschoolers' mental health. ...
... Children are among the most susceptible populations to be psychologically affected because of their limited understanding of the pandemic. This makes them more likely to be concerned, in addition to the uncertainty of the situation and the imposition of lockdowns (Cabana et al., 2021;Mondragon et al., 2021;Saurabh & Ranjan, 2020;Srivastava, 2020). However, early childhood mental health has not been much explored, as most studies focus on older children. ...
Article
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, children have presented with increased psychiatric symptoms. Little research has been done regarding early childhood mental health, particularly those from vulnerable socioeconomic contexts who are exposed to adversity. We aimed to assess mental health and the impacts of the pandemic on this population. A survey and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire were administered to the caregivers of preschoolers who were enrolled in a food-assistance programme. The participants were 807 preschoolers from the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was ranked among the cities with the longest lockdown. Around 39% of preschoolers were classified as having a ‘possible/probable’ psychiatric disorder. Externalizing problems were predominant. Most caregivers (82.78%) reported increased psychological symptoms during the lockdown, mostly externalizing problems. Caregivers’ burdens were associated with the severity, duration, and exacerbation of their child’s symptoms. Further research should continue to monitor preschoolers’ well-being, with the goal of preventing future problems.
... Lockyer et al. BMC Psychology (2022) 10:140 distancing has been explored in a number of studies [5][6][7][8][9][10][11]. This research has helped us to record and understand children's reactions to the pandemic, including increased feelings of loneliness, low mood, social isolation and higher rates of depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as exploring particular vulnerabilities and protective factors [4,6,12]. ...
... Previous studies have documented the impact of Covid-19 on children through large scale surveys [5,7,9,11,38,39]. some of which included open ended questions which children themselves responded to [8], In contrast, there have been few studies which have conducted interviews with children, and these have been with older adolescents [40] or joint interviews with children from a wide range of ages and their parents [6]. O'Sullivan et al. [6] found that Covid-19 public health measures had adverse implications on children and adolescents' mental health, particularly for children with existing developmental disorders. ...
... Their study however relied mainly on parental observations. Using Reinart method analysis, Idoiaga Mondragon et al. [8] were able to identify the main ideas held by children regarding the lockdown, revealing children's starkly negative emotional responses to the lockdown. They included open text responses written by children which were particularly resonant and enlightening. ...
Article
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Background Whilst children and young people have not often been at forefront of the immediate Covid-19 pandemic health response there has been concern about the indirect consequences of Covid-19 on children’s physical and mental health and what the effect of the pandemic will be throughout their lifetimes. Early adolescence is a time of transition and reorientation. This study considers the impact of the first UK Covid-19 lockdown on early adolescents. Methods The study topic was identified through a consultation process which aimed to provide appropriate evidence to local decision makers in Bradford, UK and plan for future interventions. A group of children and their parents from the longitudinal Born in Bradford (BiB) cohort study were randomly selected and then purposively sampled by ethnicity, age, sex and deprivation. The BiB cohort is made up of 13,776 children and their families and were recruited at Bradford Royal Infirmary between 2007 and 2011. 41 interviews (with 20 families: 20 parents and 21 children) were carried out between August and September 2020. Interview data was analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results The transitional age of the children interviewed had an important influence on their experience Covid-19 and the first UK lockdown. Their age combined with lockdown and school closures meant that they missed out on key learning and social opportunities at a crucial time in their lives. Covid-19 and lockdown also disrupted their daily mental wellbeing and led to increased anxiety, lethargy and low moods, during a period of personal change and social transition. Conclusion For children at the start of their adolescence undergoing change and formation, the experiences and feelings Covid-19 has set in motion will likely have an impact on their mental and cognitive functioning as they develop further. It is important to acknowledge these early adolescent experiences and continue to monitor and provide targeted support to this group of young people.
... In the case of COVID-19, research has found that lockdown is generating feelings of fear, worry, sadness, loneliness or stress (Idoiaga, et al., 2020(Idoiaga, et al., , 2021Jiloha, 2020;Pisano et al., 2020) but also resilience (Jiao et al., 2020;Leung et al., 2020) among children. ...
... In "real life" schools provide spaces for children's socialization every day (Wentzel and Looney, 2007), but now, with schools closed, the opportunities for play and interaction have been dramatically reduced. In addition, several investigations suggest that this lack of socialization due to lockdown is causing feelings of loneliness (Idoiaga et al., 2021;Singh and Singh 2020). ...
... With regard to physical activities, it should be highlighted that in the drawings analysed here, physical activities adapted to the home (dance, rope, jumping, zumba) emerged, although these represent only 14.17% of the total range of activities. These results are in line with other research which suggests that lockdown is having a physical impact on children, since they are presented with fewer opportunities to move their bodies (Idoiaga et al., 2021). In fact, both academics and health professionals have stressed the importance of physical activity for children during this lockdown (Grechyna, 2020;Lippi et al., 2020). ...
Article
Spain is one of the European countries most affected of COVID-19, and also the one with the most stringent restrictions for children. This study aims to explore how COVID-19 lockdown affects children by analysing 151 drawings from children in lockdown. Findings were represented in four main categories: (1) Activities; (2) Emotions; (3) Socialization; and (4) Academic. The results indicate the need to manage the lockdown situation taking into account also children’s voices and by placing greater emphasis on social and inclusive policies to help alleviate the possible effects of the pandemic and the lockdown on them.
... Collected during the Covid-19 pandemic, the current data offers a unique insight into children's understanding of loneliness that may have been absent previously; many children may have experienced loneliness because of the related lockdowns and social distancing rules. The benefits of play to development and emotional wellbeing for supporting a sense control (Bignardi et al., 2020;Office for National Statistics, 2021;Play England, 2020) are also highlighted, supporting the prioritisation of play and friendships following return to school (Carpenter & Carpenter, 2020), including opportunities to become reacquainted with friends (Mondragon et al., 2021), which will also to support self-worth (Maunder & Monks, 2019). In the absence of the school environment, which plays a central role in peer and adult interaction, difficulty maintaining friendships and subsequent increased loneliness during extended periods of school closures is evident (Mondragon et al., 2021) so should be addressed as children return to school after the pandemic. ...
... The benefits of play to development and emotional wellbeing for supporting a sense control (Bignardi et al., 2020;Office for National Statistics, 2021;Play England, 2020) are also highlighted, supporting the prioritisation of play and friendships following return to school (Carpenter & Carpenter, 2020), including opportunities to become reacquainted with friends (Mondragon et al., 2021), which will also to support self-worth (Maunder & Monks, 2019). In the absence of the school environment, which plays a central role in peer and adult interaction, difficulty maintaining friendships and subsequent increased loneliness during extended periods of school closures is evident (Mondragon et al., 2021) so should be addressed as children return to school after the pandemic. Interventions for loneliness typically focus on improving social skills, increasing social support and opportunities for interaction, and addressing abnormal social cognition (Masi et al., 2011). ...
Article
Loneliness in childhood and adolescence is currently measured using questionnaires and checklists. The most used questionnaires for youth are psychometrically limited, partly due to the absence of the young person’s voice from the measurement development process. Given this gap in the literature, the current study explored primary-school aged children’s understanding and experiences of loneliness, providing new information about the experience of loneliness in childhood to better inform conceptualisation and measurement of loneliness in children. Interviews took place during the COVID pandemic and were conducted with six Year 4 and 5 children (aged 8–10 years) and analysed using hybrid thematic analysis. Findings fit with existing conceptualisations of social and emotional loneliness and provide novel perspectives on solutions, the importance of play, and children’s perceptions of the adult experience. Directions for future research, and the impact after COVID are discussed.
... In addition, children have been showing clinginess, distraction, irritability, and a fear of asking questions related to the pandemic . Similarly, studies carried out in Spain have found that, during this lockdown, children are showing fears that they had never expressed before, including increased irritability, nervousness, behavior problems, and loneliness (Ezpeleta, Navarro, de la Osa, Trepat & Penelo, 2020;Idoiaga, Berasategi, Eiguren, & Picaza, 2020;Idoiaga, Berasategi, Dosil, & Eiguren, 2021;Orgilés, Morales, Delvecchio, Mazzeschi, & Espada, 2020). Moreover, a recent review of research articles on the impact of lockdowns in previous epidemics (Brooks et al., 2020;López-Bueno et al., 2020) reveals that the psychological impact was wide-ranging, substantial, and long lasting, and included problems such as anxiety, anger, sleep disorders, depression and even post-traumatic stress. ...
... In addition, results related to emotional responses were also somewhat negative, with the majority of parents stating that their children cried more than usual, felt more nervous than usual, got angry more than usual and were sadder than usual during the lockdown. These results are in line with previous studies conducted in Spain showing that lockdown generated clear negative emotions among children (Ezpeleta et al., 2020;Idoiaga et al., 2020;Idoiaga et al., 2021;Orgiles et al., 2020). ...
Article
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The Covid-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on societies. In the interest of maintaining social distancing, schools in many countries have closed their doors and children have been confined to their homes. Thus, the objective of the present study was to holistically analyze the well-being of children during a period of full lockdown in Spain, by considering physical, emotional, social, and academic indicators. The scale “Well-being of Children in Lockdown” (WCL) was used to measure the well-being of 1225 children from 2 to 12 years old from Northern Spain. The survey was completed by the parents and was designed to analyze children’s well-being in terms of physical, emotional, social and academic aspects. The results suggest that the general well-being of children during lockdown was at an intermediate level. Analysis of the various measures of well-being revealed that the lowest levels were obtained for physical activity, along with creative and playful activities. Girls, younger children, and those who have access to an outdoor space showed the greatest levels of well-being. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings for the well-being of children and, in particular, how this can be improved amid the current Covid-19 crisis.
... It is unclear what the full significance of these consequences are. However, there is a growing body of evidence examining young people's health and wellbeing during the pandemic [17][18][19]. The aim of this study is to explore predictors of wellbeing for children and young people during COVID, providing recommendations that span from primary school to higher education. ...
... This was mirrored in school staff recommendations made in a previous study which noted that teachers observed pupils' weight gain, lethargy, anxiety, low mood and social disconnection [33] upon the return to school as they felt children were engaging in less physical activity. Wider research has suggested that lockdown restrictions saw children (aged [3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] unable to leave their homes and concluded that not only did this have a considerable impact on wellbeing at a psychological level but also in social and physical terms with children reporting missing their peers and opportunities to be active outside [17]. A recent report highlighted that behavioural and emotional difficulties in children, as well as anxiety and stress in caregivers has increased throughout the pandemic with current findings surpassing that of the first lockdown [34]; perhaps as a result of the negative links between parental stress and child wellbeing [35]. ...
Article
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COVID-19 infection and the resultant restrictions has impacted all aspects of life across the world. This study explores factors that promote or support wellbeing for young people during the pandemic, how they differ by age, using a self-reported online survey with those aged 8–25 in Wales between September 2020 and February 2021. Open-ended responses were analysed via thematic analysis to provide further context. A total of 6,291 responses were obtained from 81 education settings across Wales (including primary and secondary schools as well as sixth form, colleges and universities). Wellbeing was highest in primary school children and boys and lowest in those who were at secondary school children, who were girls and, those who preferred not to give a gender. Among primary school children, higher wellbeing was seen for those who played with lots of others (rather than alone), were of Asian ethnicity (OR 2.17, 95% CI: 1.26 to 4.3), had a safe play area (OR: 2.4, 95% CI: 1.67 to 2.56) and had more sleep. To support their wellbeing young people reported they would like to be able to play with their friends more. Among secondary school children those who were of mixed ethnicity reported lower wellbeing (OR: 5.14, 95% CI: 1.68 to 15.79). To support their wellbeing they reported they would like more support with mental health (due to anxiety and pressure to achieve when learning online). This study found self-reported wellbeing differed by gender, ethnicity and deprivation and found younger children report the need for play and to see friends to support wellbeing but older children/young people wanted more support with anxiety and educational pressures.
... The change in lockdown measures was positively rated and the allowed time outdoors was mostly used for sports activities. Actually, it has been shown that children missed outdoor exercise during strict lockdown (13), and that having an outdoor exit in the house (e.g., garden, terrace) contributed to lower levels of psychological and behavioral symptomatology (14). Indeed, we showed physical and sports activities were highly decreased during lockdown in most children and adolescents as previously reported (13)(14)(15)(16), and 39% of children and adolescent did not do sport at all. ...
... Actually, it has been shown that children missed outdoor exercise during strict lockdown (13), and that having an outdoor exit in the house (e.g., garden, terrace) contributed to lower levels of psychological and behavioral symptomatology (14). Indeed, we showed physical and sports activities were highly decreased during lockdown in most children and adolescents as previously reported (13)(14)(15)(16), and 39% of children and adolescent did not do sport at all. In addition, 41% of parents reported their children to have suffered weight increases, probably as a result of the reduced physical activity and the reduction of fruit and vegetable consumption (15). ...
Article
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Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown strategies have been widely used to contain SARS-CoV-2 virus spread. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to suffering psychological effects as result of such measures. In Spain, children were enforced to a strict home lockdown for 42 days during the first wave. Here, we studied the effects of lockdown in children and adolescents through an online questionnaire. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain using an open online survey from July (after the lockdown resulting from the first pandemic wave) to November 2020 (second wave). We included families with children under 16 years-old living in Spain. Parents answered a survey regarding the lockdown effects on their children and were instructed to invite their children from 7 to 16 years-old (mandatory scholar age in Spain) to respond a specific set of questions. Answers were collected through an application programming interface system, and data analysis was performed using R. Results: We included 1,957 families who completed the questionnaires, covering a total of 3,347 children. The specific children's questionnaire was completed by 167 kids (7–11 years-old), and 100 adolescents (12–16 years-old). Children, in general, showed high resilience and capability to adapt to new situations. Sleeping problems were reported in more than half of the children (54%) and adolescents (59%), and these were strongly associated with less time doing sports and spending more than 5 h per day using electronic devices. Parents perceived their children to gain weight (41%), be more irritable and anxious (63%) and sadder (46%). Parents and children differed significantly when evaluating children's sleeping disturbances. Conclusions: Enforced lockdown measures and isolation can have a negative impact on children and adolescent's mental health and well-being. In future waves of the current pandemic, or in the light of potential epidemics of new emerging infections, lockdown measures targeting children, and adolescents should be reconsidered taking into account their infectiousness potential and their age-specific needs, especially to facilitate physical activity and to limit time spent on electronic devices.
... Of the 110 empirical studies included in this review, 58 149 and parent-to-child interviews. 98 ...
... Three studies used device-based measures of PA, including accelerometry 73 and pedometry.95,96 Four studies used qualitative approaches, including interviews, 97 parent-to-child interviews,98 open-ended questions,92 and a case study.99 The remaining studies relied on non-validated measures of PA through self-reported questionnaires constructed by the researchers. ...
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Objective: The objective of this scoping review was to systematically summarize the available literature investigating the relationships between the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and movement behaviors (physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep) of school-aged children (aged 5−11 years) and youth (aged 12−17 years) in the first year of the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Methods: Searches for published literature were conducted across 6 databases on 2 separate search dates (November 25th 2020 and January 27th 2021). Results were screened and extracted by 2 reviewers (DCP and KR) independently using Covidence. Basic numeric analysis and content analysis were undertaken to thematically present the findings of included studies according to the associated impact on each movement behavior. Results: A total of 1489 records were extracted from database searches; of those, 150 met inclusion criteria and were included for analysis. Out of 150 articles, 110 were empirical studies examining physical activity (n = 77), sedentary behavior/screen time (n = 58), and sleep (n = 55). Results consistently reported declines in physical activity time, increases in screen time and total sedentary behavior, shifts to later bed and wake times, and increases in sleep duration. The reported impacts on movement behaviors were greater for youth than for children. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic is related to changes in the quantity and nature of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep among children and youth. There is an urgent need for policy makers, practitioners, and researchers to develop solutions for attenuating adverse changes in physical activity and screen time among children and youth.
... Die 12-jährige Schülerin Eliane, die mit ihren Geschwistern zusammen bei ihren Eltern lebt, schildert, wie sie die Zeit im Confinement erlebt hat. (Pauline,22 Jahre,5:19) Mehrere Studien über Jugendliche in Deutschland (Calmbach et al., 2020) und in den USA (GENYOUth, 2020) sowie Kinder in Spanien (Mondragon et al., 2020) kamen ebenfalls zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Einschränkung der Freiheit und das Gefühl, eingesperrt zu sein, große Belastungen darstellen. ...
... Well meng Eltere schaffen, meng Schwëster schafft elo och e bësschen. Ech sinn an der Schoul, also jo." (Noah,14 Jahre,7:30) In verschiedenen internationalen Studien wird ebenfalls auf positive Auswirkungen der Covid-19-Pandemie verwiesen, insbesondere auf das Zusammenleben in der Familie und die Verfolgung persönlicher Interessen (Ali et al., 2020;Branquinho et al., 2020;Mondragon et al., 2020). Die zusätzliche Zeit, die Jugendliche mit ihrer Familie verbringen und die sie persönlichen Interessen widmen, kann nach Dvorsky et al. (2020) und Fegert et al. (2020 die Entwicklung von Resilienz fördern. ...
... ; Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg & medienanstaltrlp., 2020; Langmeyer et al., 2020;Mondragon et al., 2020;Ortner et al., 2020). Die Jugendlichen erklären dies selbst damit, dass sie mehr Zeit zur Verfügung haben, jedoch nicht vielen alternativen Freizeitaktivitäten nachgehen können. ...
... There are few parents who have helped or have been able to help their sons and daughters, either because they were working too (Roig and Nebot, 2020) or because they did not have the necessary academic level (Vivanco-Saraguro, 2020). Indeed, another fact to take into account is that schoolwork has been one of the causes of conflict in families during lockdown (Burgess and Sievertsen, 2020;Cluver et al., 2020;Idoiaga et al., 2020). In fact, the involvement of parents in helping their children academically and taking care of relationships could help not only in their performance, but also in the development of the adolescents' self-concept, an important aspect to foster during adolescence (Álvarez et al., 2015). ...
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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world we knew in recent months. In the interest of maintaining social distance, lockdown periods have been established and schools in many countries have closed their doors. In this context, the objective of this research was to analyze the well-being of adolescents in Spain after lock-down and during the de-escalation process in a holistic way; taking into account their indicators on physical, emotional, social, and academic levels. The “Well-being of Children in Lockdown” (WCL) scale was used to measure the well-being of adolescents using these same parameters. The results point out that the general well-being of adolescents in the pandemic situation was situated at an intermediate level. Taking into account the different aspects measured within the general well-being, the domains that obtained the lowest scores were the domains of addictions and playful and creative activities. Intermediate scores were also obtained in the physical activity, emotional and academic domains, with the routine and academic domains having the highest scores. Boys and younger adolescents are those who show higher scores in the general well-being. Moreover, correlations appear between academic task stress and emotions, playful and creative activities, addictions, physical activity, routine, academic and overall well-being.
... A suspected consequence of this was that children had gone backwards in terms of education, personal development, and physical fitness. 1 More broadly than education, these closures and associated restrictions also impacted children in terms of social isolation, well-being, and child protection (Crawley et al., 2020). Children reported having mixed emotions in lockdown; whilst many were happy and relaxed with their families, children also reported feeling fear, nervousness, worry, loneliness, sadness, boredom, and anger (Mondragon, 2020). There were significant inequalities evident with regard to home learning and provision of distance teaching by schools (Bayrakdar & Guveli, 2020). ...
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Empirical data was gathered from parents, grandparents, and practitioners, which revealed the impact of Covid-19 on UK children and family ministry. Prevailing restrictions and associated needs caused significant change in the nature of this ministry, and may not be temporary. Key observations were reduction in engagement of families with the church, shift in the volunteer structure for church-based children’s activities, increased focus on family faith formation activities, and diversified individual faith journeys of children.
... In addition, education itself is also key to tackling the pandemic and reducing the social inequalities it may bring. Therefore, several researchers and experts have pointed out that the reopening of schools is essential to ensure the emotional, social, physical, and academic health of the population [12][13][14][15][16][17]. However, for quality education to be guaranteed, it is essential to ensure the health and wellbeing of the professionals who provide it, as UNESCO [4] has already identified that confusion and stress among teachers is one of the adverse consequences of school closures. ...
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Background: This study aims to analyze how teachers perceived their quality of life when coping with the reopening of schools after their closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This study was carried out with a total sample of 1633 teachers from the Department of Education of the Basque Autonomous Community (Northern Spain), all of the professionals working in different educational centers, from preschool education to university studies, with the average age of 42.02 years (SD = 10.40). Main outcome measures: For this purpose, the Spanish version of the WHOQOL-BREF was used. Results: The highest values of perceived quality of life were found in the dimension of psychological health, followed by the dimension of physical health, the social relations dimension, and finally, the environmental dimensions. The results also revealed significant differences depending on gender, age, having a chronic illness, or living with someone who has a chronic illness, employment security, and educational sector. Conclusion: The study shows that it is important to attend to teachers' health and quality of life, especially older teachers, those with a chronic illness, caregivers, those with job insecurity, and those who teach in preschool education.
... This aligns with recent international research demonstrating that home learning can be significantly challenging for parents, teachers and children, particularly to those with SEND, with parents referring to lack of learning discipline at home, lack of technology skills and higher internet bills in lower income countries (Bahasoan et al., 2020;Putri et al., 2020). In addition to the practical challenges of home learning, evidence has arisen that the psychological impact of home learning on children's wellbeing is substantial; in a study with 250 children from Spain, for example, the children reported feelings of boredom and loneliness, particularly for being removed from their peer socialization context and deprived of outdoor play (Idoiaga Mondragon et al., 2020). These are areas that deserve particular attention as we start redirecting the focus of our attention (in research and in professional practice) to the future and examine the longitudinal effects of the pandemic on these children. ...
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Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families are likely to be significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic at various levels, particularly given the implementation of school closures during national lockdowns. This study employed a survey design to assess parental perspectives on the impact of school closures and of returning to school in England, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eighty-three parents of children and young people with various types of need responded to the survey between September and December 2020. The survey included multiple choice questions and open-ended questions for further in-depth examination of parental perspectives. Results show that: the majority of parents reported that school closures had a detrimental effect on their children’s mental health (particularly those from the most deprived neighbourhoods) and on their own mental and physical health (particularly for ethnically diverse parents and for those whose children attend specialized settings); returning to school was considered to have a positive impact on children’s mental and physical health for the vast majority of parents, despite fearing exposure to the virus; many parents have reported that their children were calmer and happier at home during school closures and became more anxious and stressed upon returning to school. The role of cumulative risk in these children and families, as well as the role of schools as key support agents for the most vulnerable are discussed with implications for future research and policy.
... Major examinations have been postponed (Blackall 2021). Some youths have suffered emotionally (Mondragon et al. 2021). Even interim jobs have become impossible to experience, next to internships and campus life (Reidy 2020;Grubic, Badovinac, and Johri 2020). ...
Article
The EdTech debate continues to gather attention among academia, digital rights and privacy advocates, and the general public. While much ink is spilled by EdTech critics, with best interest for students facing a datafied and platformised education at heart, youth’s voice is rarely present. Much is written about what EdTech means for education processes and what they might do to students or for them than is said in their own words. With the pandemic having kept children and youth at a computer distance from each other and society for over a year, what has been happening in their lives during this time should be heard – in their own words. This article follows on two emergencies gripping education globally as highlighted during the 2020 United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF), emphasised by two IGF youth representatives. On one hand, the pandemic crisis has exacerbated digital inequalities worldwide; on the other, the ‘overdigitisation’ of education has increased the risks of dataveillance and privacy loss. These two extremes intersect in their techno-deterministic drive, which risks side-lining students’ perspectives. To counter this risk, this paper brings these youths’ perspectives and reflections over the dichotomy of ‘none’ versus ‘too much’ EdTech and what ‘works’ and does not in their learning in a time of pandemic.
... In a study of service workers with 2-7 years old children from one large US city, Gassman-Pines et al. (2020) found no statistical change in children's uncooperative behaviour or them being sad or worried during the pandemic. Another qualitative study of 250 children aged 3-12 years from a Spanish region reported mixed results, where children reported being happy and relaxed during lockdown, but at the same time reported many negative emotions including fear, nervousness, worries, sadness, and anger (Mondragon et al., 2020). Clearly, there exists a scarcity of research on children's pandemic-time SWB outcomes using robust measures and population-representative data. ...
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The current COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily behaviours of children and youth. Yet, little is known about how they are mentally coping with the pandemic-time changes to their lives. This study explores children and youths’ self-reported subjective well-being (SWB) during the pandemic, and provides novel insights into the correlates of potential decrease, using data from a pan-Canadian online survey of 932 children/youth and their parents. SWB was measured based on perceived changes in 12 affective/emotional states. The results indicate that in spring 2020, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, many children and youth were more bored (37.6%) and worried (31%) compared to pre-pandemic time. At the same time, many self-reported that they felt calmer (31.9%) and more rested (30%). A latent class analysis revealed that nearly half (49.4%) of surveyed children and youth reported patterns in changes in their emotional state that may contribute to lower SWB. Results from binomial logistic regression suggest that socio-demographic characteristics and size of the municipality were not associated with low pandemic-time SWB. Instead, other potentially modifiable factors such as having access to friends, indoor and outdoor spaces/places to play and exercise, and healthy movement behaviours during the pandemic, were correlated with a lower likelihood of reporting low SWB. The findings can inform pandemic-time public health policy relating to physical distancing, and in the longer term, mental and physical health promotion. The results will also help improve urban planning and design practices in creating healthier, more resilient and equitable communities.
... However, studies that indicated a robust link between the levels of parental stress and anger expression are accompanied by studies that showed that child anger proneness and child emotion dysregulation predict parental stress [58]. These findings are particularly interesting when seen in the light of stressful life events such as the ongoing pandemic, where child anger proneness and child disruptive-behavior problems may be children's reactions to the physical distancing protocols in place [59], which in turn may contribute to the patterns seen in recent and in the present study. The association between self-perceived stress and anger need not be considered unidirectional, as expressions of anger may create stressful situations and vice versa. ...
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Background In these unpredictable times of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, parents worldwide are affected by the stress and strain caused by the physical distancing protocols that have been put in place. Objective In a two‐wave longitudinal survey, we investigated the levels of parental stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression in a sample of parents at two time points; during the implementation of the strictest physical distancing protocols following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (T1, N = 2,868) and three months after the discontinuation of the protocols (T2, N = 1,489). Further, we investigated the relationships between parental stress and anxiety and depression relative to relationship quality and anger toward their children at the two aforementioned time points, including subgroups based on age, parental role, cultural background, relationship status, education level, number of children, employment status and pre-existing psychiatric diagnosis. Methods and findings Parents were asked to fill out a set of validated questionnaires on the two measurement points. Parental stress significantly decreased from T1 to T2, indicating that the cumulative stress that parents experienced during the implementation of the distancing protocols declined when the protocols were phased out. The decrease of perceived parental stress was accompanied by a significant decrease in the symptoms of both depression and anxiety among the participating parents. Symptoms meeting the clinical cut-offs for depression (23.0%) and generalized anxiety disorder (23.3%) were reported among participating parents at T1, compared to 16.8% and 13.8% at T2, respectively. The reduction in depression and anger toward their child(ren) from T1 to T2 was associated with a reduction of parental stress. Relationship quality and anger toward their child(ren) at T1 further predicted a change in the level of parental stress from T1 to T2. Conclusions The study underlines the negative psychological impacts of the implementation of the distancing protocols on parents’ health and well-being. Uncovering the nature of how these constructs are associated with parents and families facing a social crisis such as the ongoing pandemic may contribute to the design of relevant interventions to reduce parental distress and strengthen parental coping and resilience.
... Although children tend to have milder forms of coronavirus disease 2019, 1 the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to control it have dramatically altered their lifestyles and well-being. 2,3 School closures have severely limited children's social interactions. In France, schools were closed for 2 months in spring 2020, and the lockdown has since been replaced by specific infection prevention measures and general unease, notably in schools, where the wearing of face masks is mandatory, hand-washing is performed at regular intervals, and physical distancing rules include a ban on direct contact, even for the youngest children. ...
Article
Objectives: To understand how children perceive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in relation to public representations and to evaluate their interpretations. Methods: Children's perceptions of SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated by asking 103 French children, aged 5 to 17 years old, first to draw a coronavirus and then to identify SARS-CoV-2 in a series of 16 images during summer 2020. Results: One hundred three children were included in the study, either during outpatient visits at the hospital (in Marseille and Paris) or through the authors' social network, and were grouped in terms of age, parents' occupation, mode of recruitment, and recollection of having previously seen a representation of a coronavirus. Half of the children drew the coronavirus as circular in shape, and almost all included a crownlike feature. One-third of the drawings had anthropomorphic features. Although the pictorial representations of the virus were fairly accurate overall, the children's interpretations of the crownlike structure were imaginative. The explanations the children gave for their drawings were in some cases surprising. Among the 16 pictures they were shown, the children correctly identified those of SARS-CoV-2, other than the electron micrograph, in more than two-thirds of cases. Conclusions: Children of all ages, even the youngest, and both sexes had a relatively accurate perception of SARS-CoV-2, as evaluated through their drawings and their ability to recognize it among other pictures. The children's drawings of the coronavirus were colorful and had a less frightening tone than expected in the light of media coverage, suggesting that they had developed coping mechanisms.
... Children experienced fears and worries particularly related to the risk of transmitting the virus to their grandparents. Furthermore, children reported conflicting emotional states -fear, nervousness and loneliness on the one hand, and safety and happiness on the other (Idoiaga Mondragon, Berasategi, et al., 2020;Idoiaga Mondragon, Sancho, Santamaria, & Munitis, 2020). The authors acknowledged that the study might have missed variations in different age groups because of the relatively wide age range involved (Idoiaga Mondragon, Berasategi, et al., 2020). ...
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences are stressful for many children and their families. Previous research with school-aged children has shown that negative thoughts and worries can predict mental health symptoms following stressful events. So far preschool children have been neglected in these investigations. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore negative thoughts and worries that preschool aged children are having during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: As part of a larger mixed-method study, caregivers of N = 399 preschoolers aged between 3 and 5 years (M = 4.41) answered open-ended questions about their COVID-19 related thoughts and worries. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to identify relevant themes from the qualitative data. A theoretical model of child thoughts and worries was developed based on these qualitative findings and the existing empirical and theoretical literature. Results: Caregivers gave examples that indicated that preschoolers had difficulties understanding causality and overestimated the risk of COVID-19 infection. Caregivers reported that their children expressed worries about getting sick and infecting others as well as about changes in daily life becoming permanent. Caregivers observed their children’s preoccupation with COVID-19 and worries in conversations, play and drawings as well as in behavioural changes – increased arousal, cautiousness, avoidance and attachment-seeking behaviour. Conclusion: Preschool children can and do express negative thoughts and worries and have also experienced threat and increased vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic. A theoretical model is proposed that could inform assessments, interventions and future research in the field.
... Our study also confirms that low levels of positive relationships with others, especially with family members, predispose children to low well-being during difficult circumstances (see Mondragon et al., 2021). This points to the need to strengthen family systems, which should include teaching parents through parent training programs how to communicate effectively with their children (Homem et al., 2015) and how to engage children in decision-making (Park et al., 2022). ...
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This study employs a person-oriented approach to examine the heterogeneity of samples of primary school students (N = 2,333; 56.5% girls) and secondary school students (N = 2,329; 62.9% girls) in terms of levels of subjective well-being (SWB) in five domains: family, friends, school experience, body, and the local area. The study was conducted in Poland during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latent profile analysis revealed five profiles among primary school students and six profiles among secondary school students. The profiles identified among primary school students had their counterparts among secondary school students and included “highly satisfied,” “moderately satisfied,” “highly dissatisfied,” “satisfied with their family life and local area and dissatisfied with their friends,” and “satisfied with their family life and friends and dissatisfied with their local area” profiles. In both samples, the profile with high levels of satisfaction in all domains was the most numerous. Moreover, in secondary school students, we identified the sixth profile, which was highly satisfied with their friends and dissatisfied in other domains. We also noted that gender, age, type of school and positive relationships with others predicted the latent profile membership. The results of this study indicate the need to utilize the person-oriented approach to gain insight into various patterns of children’s SWB. Moreover, the study provides some practical recommendations for preparing tailored interventions aimed at improving children’s SWB.
... Theme six (impact on psychosocial functioning) reflected mixed emotions among youth: feeling happy to be at home and have more time for play or leisure activities, and also feeling lonely, sad, bored, and disconnected from others. In this regard, it is known that playful activities are linked to positive emotions as they are seen as opportunities for shared experiences and to enjoy spending time with their family (Mondragon et al., 2020). On the other hand, reports of loneliness, sadness, and boredom were expected as at this developmental stage there is a strong need for socialization (e.g., Lewis & Rudolph, 2014). ...
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Background Growing evidence informs about the detrimental impact that COVID-19 has had on youths’ mental health and well-being. As of yet, no study has directly examined the experiences and perspectives of children and young adolescents from racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S., despite being exposed to more adversity, which may affect coping with the many challenges posed by the pandemic.Objective This study aimed to give voice to a mostly Hispanic/Latinx group of youth regarding the impact of COVID-19 stay-at-home measures and to identify their emotional responses and coping strategies amid the pandemic in the U.S. when restrictions were at their hardest.MethodA total of 17 youths (70.6 % Hispanic; age range = 10–14 years; 52.9 % female) participated in four virtual semi-structured focus groups for each grade level (grades 5–8). Data was transcribed and analyzed using a gold standard thematic analysis approach.ResultsSeven themes were identified concerning the impact of COVID-19, centering around the impact of racism, loss of income, the role of community and family in coping with stress, information overload, home-schooling, loneliness and boredom, and lack of structured routines.Conclusions Our findings suggest that cultural factors (e.g., collectivism and familism) in Hispanic communities may offer important buffering during COVID-19. Future research studies evaluating the implementation of structured programs that provide a space to talk about emotions and thoughts related to the impact of the pandemic and training in strategies to cope with distress during mandatory home-schooling are needed.
... 22 Zecevic et al 23 showed that, in circumstances not associated with lockdown, young children who receive parental support for physical activity were more likely to be highly active than inactive. In our study, some parents made considerable efforts to keep their child active using the opportunity to leave the house once per day for physical activity to explore the local environment (in contrast to restrictions in other countries such as Spain where the population was not permitted to leave home for exercise 24 ). Yet despite these parental efforts, barriers specific to lockdown were reported which reduced activity, mainly relating to the closure of childcare and playgrounds, and reduced contact with friends and family. ...
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Objectives In spring 2020, the first COVID-19 national lockdown placed unprecedented restrictions on the behaviour and movements of the UK population. Citizens were ordered to ‘stay at home’, only allowed to leave their houses to buy essential supplies, attend medical appointments or exercise once a day. We explored how lockdown and its subsequent easing changed young children’s everyday activities, eating and sleep habits to gain insight into the impact for health and well-being. Design In-depth qualitative interviews; data analysed using thematic analysis. Setting South West and West Midlands of England. Participants Twenty parents (16 mothers; 4 fathers) of preschool-age children (3–5 years) due to start school in September 2020. Forty per cent of the sample were from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds and half lived in the most deprived areas. Results Children’s activity, screen time, eating and sleep routines had been disrupted. Parents reported children ate more snacks, but families also spent more time preparing meals and eating together. Most parents reported a reduction in their children’s physical activity and an increase in screen time, which some linked to difficulties in getting their child to sleep. Parents sometimes expressed guilt about changes in activity, screen time and snacking over lockdown. Most felt these changes would be temporary, though others worried about re-establishing healthy routines. Conclusions Parents reported that lockdown negatively impacted on preschool children’s eating, activity and sleep routines. While some positive changes were identified, many participants described lack of routines, habits and boundaries which may have been detrimental for child health and development. Guidance and support for families during COVID-19 restrictions could be valuable to help maintain healthy activity, eating, screen time and sleeping routines to protect child health and ensure unhealthy habits are not adopted.
... Vasileva et al. (2021) conducted a mixed-methods study with 399 preschool children aged 3-5 years. Whilst discussing their results the authors stated that young children in Australia (their own study) and Spain (Idoiaga Mondragon et al., 2021) had similar concerns, although containment measures and objective levels of COVID-19 exposure were different in these countries. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying containment measures such as physical distancing and school closures led to major changes in children’s everyday lives. By means of a mixed-methods study, the “Tyrolean COVID-19 Children’s Study” investigated the effects of the pandemic and factors influencing mental health and health-related quality of life of North Tyrolean (Austria) and South Tyrolean (Italy) children aged 3–13 years. Parents filled out N = 2,691 online questionnaires (951 preschool children: 3–6 years; 1,740 schoolchildren: 7–13 years) at four measurement time points (March 2020, December 2020, June 2021, December 2021). For both age groups, children’s mental health outcomes (internalising problems, posttraumatic stress symptoms) were worse in December 2021 (t4) than children’s mental health outcomes in March 2020 (t1). With regard to aggressive behaviour, this difference was only found among schoolchildren. Thematic analysis of an open ended, written question revealed the following positive changes in children during the Corona crisis: (1) the importance of intra- and extra-familial relationships, (2) new competences and experiences, (3) values and virtues, (4) use of time, and (5) family strength. Using multilevel modelling, threat experience, economic disruption, and perceived posttraumatic growth were shown to be the strongest predictors of all outcomes. Additionally, male gender was shown to be a predictor of aggressive behaviour. In terms of age, schoolchildren showed more internalising problems, aggressive behaviour, and threat experience than preschool children. With regard to time, parents in December 2021 reported more threat experience in older children and less perceived posttraumatic growth in both older and younger children, than parents at the beginning of the pandemic. Targeted support for vulnerable children may prevent longer-term development of psychopathologies and contribute to society’s psychosocial resilience in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, sustainable promotion of children’s posttraumatic growth can also contribute to children’s mental health and could even offer a chance to turn the crisis into an opportunity.
... As the authors suggested, "this method is based on the premise that words are not independent of each other, but reflect underlying themes", and "all discourse is expressed from a set of words that constitute units of meaning independently of their syntactic construction" ( [46], p. 5). In addition, other research used this approach when exploring the COVID-19 social representations in children and adolescents [47][48][49]. ...
Article
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The present research investigated children and adolescents’ explicit and spontaneous representation of the COVID-19 pandemic and their related emotions, cognitions, and coping strategies. We explored the self-reported protective factors and coping mechanisms, in addition to similar attributional emotional experiences, i.e., the ways participants evaluated others’ pandemic experiences. Our sample consisted of 155 children and adolescents aged 10 to 13 (M = 10.70, SD = 0.85, 56.1% females). We designed a 12-item survey and analyzed our data using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Our findings suggested that most children and adolescents associated masks with the thought of the novel coronavirus, and the most frequently associated emotion was sadness (45.2%), followed by fear (17.4%). Generally, participants reported a medium level of perceived adverse effects of the pandemic, mainly because their regular physical school classes moved to the online setting. We also found a significant association between children’s self-reported levels of harmful effects of the pandemic and perceived adverse effects on their families. Most participants expressed their dissatisfaction concerning online school classes, primarily due to poor online interaction. In our sample, the children and adolescents reported positive thoughts and family relationships as their primary coping mechanisms during the pandemic, suggesting similar perceived coping mechanisms in the others around them. Finally, more than half of the participants considered that the COVID-19 pandemic had no positive effects, while 40% considered the increased time spent with their families the primary positive consequences following the COVID-19 health crisis. Results are discussed regarding their implications concerning healthcare, social, and educational policies.
... The reported experiences of increased parenting stress in these families is striking when considered in their low-risk context, as the effects of the pandemic on family life are likely to be highly influenced by socioeconomic circumstance: families less economically and socially ʻwell placed' may be expected to have been faring worse. 36 Contrarily, it is possible that more advantaged parents experience perceptions of difficultiesalbeit from different sources than those less economically advantagedthat nevertheless have an impact for these families. For example, research with parents from high-income countries with higher educational attainment has demonstrated that they spent more time parenting their children than other parents, arguably a function of both more flexible jobs, and societal pressure. ...
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Background Stress can compromise parental well-being and may contribute to harsh and critical parenting styles, which are in turn associated with children's conduct problems. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related restrictions are likely to have exacerbated parental stress as, for many, UK-based family life was altered considerably. Mindfulness has been demonstrated to improve stress management and emotion regulation when delivered to parents in person, however, more accessible online interventions are under-researched. Aims To provide preliminary data on family well-being and parent–child relationships as well as the acceptability and usability of the Headspace app – a self-delivered mindfulness-based intervention – for parents in low-risk families during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Method We provided 12 parents with access to Headspace, and collected qualitative data (semi-structured interviews and 5 minute speech samples) immediately following the initial COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. The resulting transcripts were thematically analysed. Results Most parents reported Headspace to be acceptable and useful – improvements in parents’ own sleep were particularly noted – and there was high adherence to the intervention. However, difficulties related to family well-being and parent–child relationships following the lockdown were also reported. Conclusions As a result of the confounding impact of COVID-19 restrictions, and varied access to app content, we were unable to determine any outcomes to be a result of practising mindfulness specifically. However, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on many UK-based families, including those previously at low risk, and our results demonstrate that Headspace may have beneficial effects for parents. There is a need to more rigorously test this tool with a broader range of families.
... This finding may reflect parental desire to improve their child's well-being that may have been impacted by the school closure. 27 This was also apparent in reasons parents gave for sending their child to school. As expected, 14 concerns about education also featured highly as a reason for attendance, while perceptions that schools could not provide good quality education or that some lessons were not as important were cited as reasons for absence or partial attendance. ...
Article
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Background On 23 March 2020, schools closed to most children in England in response to COVID-19 until September 2020. Schools were kept open to children of key workers and vulnerable children on a voluntary basis. Starting 1 June 2020, children in reception (4–5 years old), year 1 (5–6 years old) and year 6 (10–11 years old) also became eligible to attend school. Methods 1373 parents or guardians of children eligible to attend school completed a cross-sectional survey between 8 and 11 June 2020. We investigated factors associated with whether children attended school or not. Results 46% (n=370/803) of children in year groups eligible to attend school and 13% (n=72/570) of children of key workers had attended school in the past 7 days. The most common reasons for sending children to school were that the child’s education would benefit, the child wanted to go to school and the parent needed to work. A child was significantly more likely to attend if the parent believed the child had already had COVID-19, they had special educational needs or a person in the household had COVID-19 symptoms. Conclusions Following any future school closure, helping parents to feel comfortable returning their child to school will require policy makers and school leaders to communicate about the adequacy of their policies to: (A) ensure that the risk to children in school is minimised; (B) ensure that the educational potential within schools is maximised; and (C) ensure that the benefits of school for the psychological well-being of children are prioritised.
... Empirical research shows that the pandemic induced higher psychological and mental health issues for students (Chen et al. 2020;Idoiaga Mondragon et al. 2021;Ravens-Sieberer et al. 2020Xie et al. 2020;Langmeyer et al. 2020;Pearcey et al. 2020). Although Pearcey et al. (2020) reported an increase in primary school-aged children's emotional, behavioral, and attentional challenges from a parent-carer perspective, they found a reduction in such problems for secondary school-aged children or adolescents and those with SEN or pre-existing mental health issues. ...
Article
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Given the pandemic-induced school lockdown in Germany in the spring of 2020, COVID-19 evidently had a negative impact on child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing. However, there is no evidence regarding the specific problems of students with special educational needs in emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) during or after the school lockdown. Thus, this study bridges the gap. A sample of 173 students across Germany was included in the analysis. The students were rated by their teachers in an online survey via a standardized teacher-report form for emotional and behavioral problems and competencies, as well as perceptions of inclusion. Several student- and teacher-level predictors were applied in a stepwise regression analysis. The results showed that the school lockdown marginally impacted E/BD, with small differences between student groups. The strongest predicting variable was students’ psychosocial situation. Hence, the psychosocial situation of students should be monitored by teachers and school psychologists to provide sufficient support during lockdown.
... Since the WHO declared the global pandemic of COVID-19 in March 2020 [1], in addition to the medical consequences, the psychological and social impact that this pandemic involves is undisputed. As a result, studies on the psychological effects of the pandemic have been conducted worldwide in populations such as health professionals [2], the general population [3], the elderly [4], students [5,6], children [7], adolescents [8], caregivers [9] and teachers [10]. ...
Article
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Background: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the psychological state of university students has been a cause for concern. In particular, odontology students have experienced symptoms of anxiety due to the closure of universities and the suspension of clinical training. Methods: Medline via PubMed was searched for studies on the prevalence of anxiety in dental undergraduates, published from 1 December 2019 to 1 August 2021. Results: A total of fifteen studies were included in this review. Our results show a prevalence of anxiety of 35% reported by dental students, which was independent of gender, response rate or methodological quality. The only significant finding was a lower prevalence of anxiety in studies located in Europe compared to those located in other continents. Conclusions: The results suggest dental students are experiencing significant levels of anxiety during this COVID-19 pandemic and that there seem to be differences between students from different regions of the world. Therefore, it is important to help dental students psychologically as the pandemic situation continues.
... Negative mental health impacts of the lockdown could be observed not only in the adult population but also in children, adolescents, and their parents. For instance, a study from Spain reported that, during the lockdown, children felt sad, nervous, overwhelmed, worried, lonely, bored and angry even though they enjoyed learning and playing games at home (56). ...
Technical Report
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This is a technical report prepared on behalf of ASPHER COVID-19 task force. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on population health across the globe. To curb the spread of the pandemic, many governments introduced country-level lockdowns involving a range of social restrictions designed to limit physical-social interactions and mobility and create ‘social distancing’. However, these measures have also resulted in extensive unintended adverse health effects on populations worldwide, with over four billion people estimated to have been under lockdown in 2020. ASPHER, as an academic public health community in Europe, has major concerns about the impacts of the pandemic and lockdown being unequally distributed and exacerbating pre-existing inequalities. This paper aimed to explore the anticipated long-term impacts of pandemic-induced lockdowns across Europe on different aspects of health that have been less commonly studied and explored. A rapid literature review was conducted which included scientific articles found in PubMed, Medline, and Embase that were published before August 13th, 2020 and limited to the European region. A total of 64 studies from 14 countries were included in this review. The lockdown impacts were categorised into five main themes: 1) addictions, substance use, and dependencies; 2) diet and physical activity; 3) mental illness; 4) violence and abuse, and 5) other health issues. An increase in online gaming addiction amongst young people and increased smoking frequency was addiction-related issues recognized by the studies that are induced by the lockdown. People who use drugs also faced challenges in accessing their dose due to limited mobility, with disruptions in oral substitution therapies and social support resulting in an increased risk of relapse. Many countries, including reported a drastic change in food consumption patterns, with an increased intake of processed and unhealthy food and a decreased consumption of fruits and vegetables. People who have difficulty controlling their food intake are at particularly high risk since irregular eating behaviours may be further aggravated by frequent snacking and cooking during a prolonged stay at home. One of the most commonly reported effects of lockdown was reduced physical activity and a higher risk of increased weight. Many studies also emphasised mental health issues, such as heightened stress, anxiety, negative feelings, bad mood, and hopelessness. Loneliness, forced isolation, and reduced social contact increased the risk of suicides, which was aggravated by the loss of employment, economic consequences, and limited connection to the community. The mental health impacts of lockdown were observed across all age groups. However, elderly, and young people were the most vulnerable to experiencing mental distress, as well as people with pre-existing mental illnesses, women, and people in precarious economic conditions. Several studies and news reports also reported increases in domestic and intimate partner violence as a concerning impact of lockdown. Additionally, a reduced ability to access direct health and social care services was reported as a relevant factor that has resulted in extended lockdown consequences. Lockdown-induced illnesses appeared to be a wide-scale problem across Europe. The studies in this review highlighted the multiple vulnerabilities that exist for people with precarious economic conditions, women, children, and people with mental health issues. Lockdown measures, including social distancing, wearing masks, and working from home, may slow the spread of the virus, but they do not address the issues experienced by many people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. While limited evidence indicated a rise in addictive behaviour during the lockdown, the long-term effects of lockdown on addictions are still unquantified. Given the short duration of the study period, it is unclear whether the increased risk of obesity is attributed more to the change in food consumption patterns or the increased inactivity induced by the lockdown. Despite mental health being widely discussed, studies have inadequately explored the lockdown-induced mental health issues that students and young people may experience. Additionally, a lack of routinely collected data on measures of violence at home and online platforms could pose a challenge to intervening to reduce violence. It is crucial that the policies developed to control and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic consider its syndemic nature and act simultaneously on both the health and economic impacts. Further reviews using a systematic approach are required to validate the findings of our review and determine the key areas that policymakers should prioritize. To mitigate the negative impacts of this pandemic, including the winter wave, new policy restrictions should be accompanied by national organised information campaigns on the most relevant themes for protecting the health and well-being of the population. More about ASPHER : https://www.aspher.org/covid-19-task-force.html
... Early research has reported that children as young as three years old worried and felt guilty about catching and/or spreading COVID-19 and associated the virus with feeling 'scared', 'nervous', 'lonely', 'sad', 'bored', 'angry', and feeling 'safe', 'calm', and 'happy' when with their families (Idoiaga Mondragon, Berasategi, Eiguren, & Picaza, 2020). Studies of children from the age of three years have found they were experiencing more irritability, anxiety, emotion dysregulation and regression in already acquired tasks (Idoiaga Mondragon, Sancho, Santamaria, & Munitis, 2020;Pisano, Galimi, & Cerniglia, 2020). Research with preschool aged children (M = 4.6 years) has found depressive and externalizing difficulties were elevated compared to pre-COVID research using the same outcome measures (Glynn, Davis, Luby, Baram, & Sandman, 2021). ...
Article
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Background Early empirical data shows that school-aged children, adolescents and adults are experiencing elevated levels of anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there is very little research on mental health outcomes for young children. Objectives To describe the formation of a global collaboration entitled, ‘COVID-19 Unmasked’. The collaborating researchers aim to (1) describe and compare the COVID-19 related experiences within and across countries; (2) examine mental health outcomes for young children (1 to 5 years) and caregivers over a 12-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic; (3) explore the trajectories/time course of psychological outcomes of the children and parents over this period and (4) identify the risk and protective factors for different mental health trajectories. Data will be combined from all participating countries into one large open access cross-cultural dataset to facilitate further international collaborations and joint publications. Methods COVID-19 Unmasked is an online prospective longitudinal cohort study. An international steering committee was formed with the aim of starting a global collaboration. Currently, partnerships have been formed with 9 countries (Australia, Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the United States of America). Research partners have started to start data collection with caregivers of young children aged 1–5 years old at baseline, 3-months, 6-months, and 12-months. Caregivers are invited to complete an online survey about COVID-19 related exposure and experiences, child’s wellbeing, their own mental health, and parenting. Data analysis Primary study outcomes will be child mental health as assessed by scales from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System – Early Childhood (PROMIS-EC) and caregiver mental health as assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). The trajectories/time course of mental health difficulties and the impact of risk and protective factors will be analysed using hierarchical linear models, accounting for nested effects (e.g. country) and repeated measures.
Article
FULL TEXT AVAILABLE VIA AERA OPEN https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/23328584221084722 The mental health impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on PK–12 youth is likely an urgent and enduring concern, yet research on this topic is still emerging. To synthesize current knowledge, the researchers conducted a systematic review of empirical studies exploring the mental health impacts of COVID-19. Five themes emerged across 104 included studies: (a) the pandemic proved widely disruptive to PK–12 youth; (b) there was a clear connection between the mental health of caregivers (e.g., parents) and children; (c) the pandemic broadly increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression in PK–12 youth; (d) students were particularly affected on the basis of age, gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and previous mental health or disability diagnosis; and (e) youth demonstrated negative and positive coping strategies and even saw some positive mental health outcomes during the pandemic. Implications for research, practice, and policy are discussed.
Article
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Background Faced with the situation of COVID-19, teachers are dealing with new measures, insecurity and a lack of clear guidelines. The aim of this study is to analyse the levels of stress, anxiety and depression of teachers in the north of Spain. Methods This study was conducted with 1633 teachers from the Department of Education of the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC) and Navarre, all of whom are professionals working in various educational centres, from nursery education to university studies, with an average age of 42 years ( M = 42.02; s.d. = 10.40). The Spanish version of the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 was used. Results The results show that a high percentage of teachers have symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Women show significantly more symptoms of stress and anxiety than men, those who have children have more depressive symptoms than those who do not, and people with chronic pathology or those who live with others with chronic pathology have more stress, anxiety and depression. Conclusions This study indicates the importance of attending to the mental health of teachers, particularly women, those who have children, and those who have a chronic pathology or a family member with a chronic pathology.
Article
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Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to family life, society and essential health and other services. A rapid review of evidence was conducted to examine emerging evidence on the effects of the pandemic on three components of nurturing care, including responsive caregiving, early learning, and safety and security. Design Two academic databases, organisational websites and reference lists were searched for original studies published between 1 January and 25 October 2020. A single reviewer completed the study selection and data extraction with verification by a second reviewer. Interventions We included studies with a complete methodology and reporting on quantitative or qualitative evidence related to nurturing care during the pandemic. Primary and secondary outcome measures Studies reporting on outcomes related to responsive caregiving, early learning, and safety and security were included. Results The search yielded 4410 citations in total, and 112 studies from over 30 countries met our eligibility criteria. The early evidence base is weighted towards studies in high-income countries, studies related to caregiver mental health and those using quantitative survey designs. Studies reveal issues of concern related to increases in parent and caregiver stress and mental health difficulties during the pandemic, which was linked to harsher and less warm or responsive parenting in some studies. A relatively large number of studies examined child safety and security and indicate a reduction in maltreatment referrals. Lastly, studies suggest that fathers’ engagement in caregiving increased during the early phase of the pandemic, children’s outdoor play and physical activity decreased (while screen time increased), and emergency room visits for child injuries decreased. Conclusion The results highlight key evidence gaps (ie, breastfeeding support and opportunities for early learning) and suggest the need for increased support and evidence-based interventions to ensure young children and other caregivers are supported and protected during the pandemic.
Preprint
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Covid-19 and associated restrictions greatly impact our physical and mental well-being, with particular challenges for children and families. We describe data from adults and children (N = 69, 41 ♀ , age range = 7-51y, including 26 children and mothers), including pre-pandemic brain function and ~ 2’500 tests acquired during the early pandemic. We investigated ( 1 ) variability in child and adult well-being, ( 2 ) mother-child associations of mental well-being during the first months of the pandemic, and ( 3 ) the association between pre-pandemic neural brain correlates during mentalizing and later fears or subjective burden. Significant variation in mental health was observed in both, adults (e.g., anxiety, depression, or caregiver burden) and children (mood and emotional and behavioral problems). Mothers’ subjective burden of care was associated with children’s emotional and behavioral problems, while depression levels in mothers impacted children’s mood. Furthermore, friends met was a significant predictor of children’s mood during restrictions. Pre-pandemic neural correlates of mentalizing in prefrontal regions preceded later development of fear of illnesses and viruses in all participants, while temporoparietal activation preceded higher subjective burden in mothers. This study demonstrates a significant effect on, and variations in, mental well-being in adults and children during the early phase of Covid-19, emphasizes dyadic effects and possible neural precursors.
Article
Based on in‐depth interviews with 24 middle‐class Indian child participants, this is the first exploratory qualitative study, in India, to demonstrate the ways in which children as reflexive social actors re‐negotiated everyday schedules, drew on classed resources at their disposal and made sense of the impact of the pandemic on their educational pathways and future aspirations. These narratives offer a unique lens on the politics of middle‐classness and its constitutive relation to constructions of normative childhoods in contemporary India. Study findings contribute to the sociology of Indian childhood and more generally help enrich our understanding of southern childhoods and the reproduction of inequalities in contemporary India.
Article
Objective: The general objective of this research was to explore how children understand and represent COVID-19 health crisis in their everyday thinking. Design: This research is based on a qualitative interpretive research methodology that uses 6-12 years children's drawings from San Sebastian (Basque Country, northern of Spain) to collect data. This technique allows children to visualize how they face this situation through a tool that promotes expression of their feelings and representations. Results: A total of 345 drawings were collected, and 949 elements related to the different coded categories were coded. The themes that have arisen were related to symbols of the pandemic (n = 307, 32.34%), emotions (n = 290, 30.55%), actions carried out (n = 258, 27.18%) and socialization (n = 94, 9.90%). No differences by age-range were found. Conclusions: Children have a realistic representation of the COVID-19 virus and its consequences, which closely resembles the representation shown by the media and society. The children show a good understanding of the new measures and social rules associated with the pandemic. They are also very aware of the need to support their emotions by different spheres (family, educational and social context). Alternative play activities and art-based education must be promoted, avoiding the abuse of screens to reinforce their well-being.
Article
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Objectives This study aims to explore quarantined individuals’ emotional well-being over time and how personal response and life activity predict emotional well-being and its change. Design/Methods Daily data were collected from 134 participants with 71 having 14 consecutive days’ data. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) and General Linear Model (GLM) were used to examine the primary tests. Results Overall, positive and negative emotions declined significantly during the surveyed period. Meanwhile, differences were observed in the level of positive, depressed, and negative emotions and/or patterns of change among different population categories. The personal response of worrying about work and life was positively related to depressed and negative emotions at baseline, but was negatively related to the development of both depressed and negative emotions over time. Among life activities, family stressor was a significant predictor for both depressed and negative emotions while social support predicted positive emotions. Moreover, health & hygiene activity was positively related to positive emotions at baseline. Conclusions The results provide scientific evidence for public health policymakers on quarantine policies and inform the general public about quarantine life. They highlight the importance of addressing the needs of vulnerable groups (parents with young children, divorcees, clinicians) during the pandemic, and demonstrate the benefits of promoting healthcare and hygiene activity, having a sense of worry and access to social support.
Article
Lay abstract: A global pandemic caused by a new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) affected everyday lives of all people, including individuals with special needs, such as autism spectrum disorder. The aim of this research was to compare the mental health of families with children with autism spectrum disorder to families with typically developing children, and between the first and the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Slovakia. This mainly included symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress of parents and problem behavior or sleeping difficulties of their children. The research sample consisted of 332 parents (155 of which have children with autism spectrum disorder), 179 surveyed during the first wave and 153 during the second wave. Online parent questionnaire was created, including demographic and specific topic questions, Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-42 questionnaire, and internalizing and externalizing maladaptive behavior subscales from Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Our results show that during the first wave, parents of autism spectrum disorder children suffered high levels of anxiety. During the second wave, both groups of parents suffered increased anxiety, stress, and depression, but especially severe for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Internalizing maladaptive behavior of autistic children grew significantly between the waves. Parental depression, anxiety, and stress were interconnected with maladaptive behavior of both autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children, suggesting the importance of the therapy options for whole families.
Article
The body of knowledge related to child well‐being in Southeast Asia is sketchy and preliminary. Using standardized Z‐scores, we computed the child well‐being index (CWI) to observe how well 11 Southeast Asian countries take care of children. The overall result shows most countries in this region have “less” to “moderate” performance in terms of CWI realization. An exception is given to Singapore, which has achieved a higher degree of CWI. Further analysis on “child well‐being regimes” suggests that examined countries have been combining productive and protective models with more emphasis on the former. The explanation for the low level of CWI and pervasive characteristic of productivism may rest on moral argumentation, in which child well‐being is constructed as an intimate and private area. Public provisions to regulate child well‐being, consequently, remain hidden behind the family unit as objects rather than subjects of social policy. Tied to low‐performance countries, we call for generous welfare programs to support low‐income families and intensified effort for the provision of quality education, healthcare, and basic facilities in order to enhance the well‐being of children.
Chapter
Le rapport sur la jeunesse 2020 fournit un état des lieux détaillé sur le bien-être et la santé des jeunes au Luxembourg et un aperçu important sur une population large et hétérogène. Le rapport met également l’accent sur des groupes spécifiques de jeunes en identifiant des groupes à risques parmi les jeunes et en décrivant des problèmes spécifiques. La réflexion finale des résultats de la recherche doit à présent permettre de définir dans ce contexte les enjeux auxquels se verra confronter l’action future des responsables politiques et des acteurs sur le terrain et donner ainsi des suggestions en matière de mesures sociales et politiques.
Chapter
In exceptional circumstances such as pandemics, the expectation is for policy to be supported by science. However, the lack of scientific consensus during the COVID-19 pandemic places strain on decision making. In this chapter, we focus on COVID-19 effects on children and the public debate around the reopening of schools. The aim is to better understand the relationship between policy interventions and the subsequent use of scientific information by the public. We combine information from scientific articles and preprints with their appearance in (social) media. First, we investigate different related COVID-19 scientific areas. Second, we identify news and social media attention around this scientific output, focusing on three countries: Spain, South Africa, and the Netherlands. We then analyze the activity in (social) media and news outlets and conclude by discussing how scientific publications, media and policy actions shape public discussion in the context of a health pandemic.
Preprint
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This preliminary, exploratory and qualitative report aimed at at raising public debate on the topic of psychological consequences of Covid-19 lockdown in children. Results are exploratory and conclusions are speculative and must be confirmed through further rigorous studies. Our preliminary data suggests that during the first month of quarantine, the pandemic had an important effect on children's emotions and behavior. One in four children (26.48%) showed the regressive symptom of the demand for physical proximity to their parents during the night and almost one in five (18.17%) manifested fears that they never had before. Half of the children (53.53%) showed increased irritability, intolerance to rules, whims and excessive demands, and one in five presented mood changes (21.17%) and sleep problems including difficulty falling asleep, agitation, and frequent waking up (19.99%). One in three (34.26%) displayed nervousness about the topic of pandemic when it was mentioned at home or on TV. Almost one in three (31.38%) seemed calmer and one in two (49.57%) seemed wiser and more thoughtful. Almost all (92.57%) seemed able to adapt to the pandemic restrictions; even though one in two (43.26%) seemed more listless to the activities they were used to perform before the pandemic including playing, studying, and gaming.
Preprint
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led governments worldwide to implement unprecedented response strategies. While crucial to limiting the spread of the virus, “social distancing” may lead to severe psychological consequences, especially in lonely individuals. We used cross-sectional (n=380) and longitudinal (n=74) designs to investigate the links between loneliness, mental health symptoms (MHS) and COVID-19 risk perception and affective response in young adults who implemented social distancing during the first two weeks of the state of epidemic threat in Poland. Loneliness was correlated with MHS and with affective response to COVID-19’s threat to health. However, increased worry about the social isolation and heightened risk perception for financial problems was observed in lonelier individuals. The cross-lagged influence of the initial affective response to COVID-19 on subsequent levels of loneliness was also found. Thus, the reciprocal connections between loneliness and COVID-19 response may be of crucial importance for MHS during COVID-19 crisis.
Article
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As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues, an increasing number of countries and territories are adopting restrictive measures based on physical (“social”) distancing, aimed at preventing human-to-human transmission and thereby limiting virus propagation. Nationwide lockdowns, encompassing mass quarantine under stay-at-home ordinances, have already been proven effective to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in some countries. Nevertheless, a prolonged homestay may also be associated with potential side effects, which may jeopardize people’s health and thus must be recognized and mitigated in a ways without violating local ordinances. Some of the most important undesirable consequences of prolonged homestay such as physical inactivity, weight gain, behavioral addiction disorders, insufficient sunlight exposure and social isolation, will be critically addressed in this article, which also aims to provide some tentative recommendations for side effects alleviation.
Article
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The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic emerged in Wuhan, China, spread nationwide and then onto half a dozen other countries between December 2019 and early 2020. The implementation of unprecedented strict quarantine measures in China has kept a large number of people in isolation and affected many aspects of people’s lives. It has also triggered a wide variety of psychological problems, such as panic disorder, anxiety and depression. This study is the first nationwide large-scale survey of psychological distress in the general population of China during the COVID-19 epidemic.
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Background Evidence suggests that participation in physical activity may support young people’s current and future mental health. Although previous reviews have examined the relationship between physical activity and a range of mental health outcomes in children and adolescents, due to the large increase in published studies there is a need for an update and quantitative synthesis of effects. Objectives The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of physical activity interventions on mental health outcomes by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis, and to systematically synthesize the observational evidence (both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies) regarding the associations between physical activity and sedentary behavior and mental health in preschoolers (2–5 years of age), children (6–11 years of age) and adolescents (12–18 years of age). Methods A systematic search of the PubMed and Web of Science electronic databases was performed from January 2013 to April 2018, by two independent researchers. Meta-analyses were performed to examine the effect of physical activity on mental health outcomes in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs (i.e. quasi-experimental studies). A narrative synthesis of observational studies was conducted. Studies were included if they included physical activity or sedentary behavior data and at least one psychological ill-being (i.e. depression, anxiety, stress or negative affect) or psychological well-being (i.e. self-esteem, self-concept, self-efficacy, self-image, positive affect, optimism, happiness and satisfaction with life) outcome in preschoolers, children or adolescents. Results A total of 114 original articles met all the eligibility criteria and were included in the review (4 RCTs, 14 non-RCTs, 28 prospective longitudinal studies and 68 cross-sectional studies). Of the 18 intervention studies, 12 (3 RCTs and 9 non-RCTs) were included in the meta-analysis. There was a small but significant overall effect of physical activity on mental health in children and adolescents aged 6–18 years (effect size 0.173, 95% confidence interval 0.106–0.239, p < 0.001, percentage of total variability attributed to between-study heterogeneity [I²] = 11.3%). When the analyses were performed separately for children and adolescents, the results were significant for adolescents but not for children. Longitudinal and cross-sectional studies demonstrated significant associations between physical activity and lower levels of psychological ill-being (i.e. depression, stress, negative affect, and total psychological distress) and greater psychological well-being (i.e. self-image, satisfaction with life and happiness, and psychological well-being). Furthermore, significant associations were found between greater amounts of sedentary behavior and both increased psychological ill-being (i.e. depression) and lower psychological well-being (i.e. satisfaction with life and happiness) in children and adolescents. Evidence on preschoolers was nearly non-existent. Conclusions Findings from the meta-analysis suggest that physical activity interventions can improve adolescents’ mental health, but additional studies are needed to confirm the effects of physical activity on children’s mental health. Findings from observational studies suggest that promoting physical activity and decreasing sedentary behavior might protect mental health in children and adolescents. PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42017060373.
Article
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This paper is concerned specifically with the pedagogies applied in supporting learning through children’s play, and it is framed outside mainstream discourses on the nature of play. The development of the paper also represents one stage in a continuing effort to develop a better understanding of sustained shared thinking in early childhood education. The paper focuses on the educational potential of shared playful learning activities. However, given the overwhelming consensus regarding the importance of play in early childhood development, even a diehard educational pragmatist must begin by addressing subjects that are most commonly considered by psychologists. The paper begins with an account of ‘sustained shared thinking’, a pedagogical concept that was first identified in a mixed method, but essentially educational effectiveness study. Then a consideration of the nature and processes of ‘learning’ and ‘development’ is offered. It is argued that popular accounts of a fundamental difference in the perspectives of Piaget and Vygotsky have distracted educational attention from the most important legacy that they have left to early childhood education; the notion of ‘emergent development’. Pedagogic progression in the early years is then identified as an educational response to, and an engagement with, the most commonly observed, evidence based developmental trajectories of young children as they learn through play.
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Almost 20 years ago, in a paper introducing the text mining (TM) technique to my fellow statisticians, I expressed the fear that: “it would be unfortunate that this technique, because it is apparently so easy to use, would be abused by incompetent analysts” (Lahlou, 1994, my translation). And therefore I urged expert statisticians to engage in this issue and circumscribe abuses.
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There is growing evidence to suggest that exposure to natural environments can be associated with mental health benefits. Proximity to greenspace has been associated with lower levels of stress (Thompson et al., 2012) and reduced symptomology for depression and anxiety (Beyer et al., 2014), while interacting with nature can improve cognition for children with attention deficits (Taylor and Kuo, 2009) and individuals with depression (Berman et al., 2012). A recent epidemiological study has shown that people who move to greener urban areas benefit from sustained improvements in their mental health (Alcock et al., 2014). In this paper we critically review evidence indicating that such mental health benefits are associated with the so-called “restorative” properties of natural environments. In particular we focus on the claim that interaction with (or just passive perception of) natural scene content can be linked to the restoration of limited-capacity attentional resources, in comparison to similar exposure to urban or built scene content.
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Background: A body of evidence shows that both physical activity and exposure to nature are connected to improved general and mental health. Experimental studies have consistently found short term positive effects of physical activity in nature compared with built environments. This study explores whether these benefits are also evident in everyday life, perceived over repeated contact with nature. The topic is important from the perspectives of city planning, individual well-being, and public health. Methods: National survey data (n = 2,070) from Finland was analysed using structural regression analyses. Perceived general health, emotional well-being, and sleep quality were regressed on the weekly frequency of physical activity indoors, outdoors in built environments, and in nature. Socioeconomic factors and other plausible confounders were controlled for. Results: Emotional well-being showed the most consistent positive connection to physical activity in nature, whereas general health was positively associated with physical activity in both built and natural outdoor settings. Better sleep quality was weakly connected to frequent physical activity in nature, but the connection was outweighed by other factors. Conclusion: The results indicate that nature provides an added value to the known benefits of physical activity. Repeated exercise in nature is, in particular, connected to better emotional well-being.
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Objectives: This study investigated the psychosocial responses of children and their parents to pandemic disasters, specifically measuring traumatic stress responses in children and parents with varying disease-containment experiences. Methods: A mixed-method approach using survey, focus groups, and interviews produced data from 398 parents. Adult respondents completed the University of California at Los Angeles Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (PTSD-RI) Parent Version and the PTSD Check List Civilian Version (PCL-C). Results: Disease-containment measures such as quarantine and isolation can be traumatizing to a significant portion of children and parents. Criteria for PTSD was met in 30% of isolated or quarantined children based on parental reports, and 25% of quarantined or isolated parents (based on self-reports). Conclusions: These findings indicate that pandemic disasters and subsequent disease-containment responses may create a condition that families and children find traumatic. Because pandemic disasters are unique and do not include congregate sites for prolonged support and recovery, they require specific response strategies to ensure the behavioral health needs of children and families. Pandemic planning must address these needs and disease-containment measures.
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The relationship between parents' styles of talking about past events with their children and children's recall of stressful events was explored. In this investigation, 2- to 5-year-old children's recall of injuries requiring hospital emergency room treatment was assessed within a few days of the injury and again 2 years later, along with the way their parents reminisced with them about the event. Correlational analyses showed that age and parental reminiscing style were consistently related to child memory; regression analyses showed that although age was most important, parents who were more elaborative had children who recalled more during their initial interview about the harder-to-remember hospital event. Thus, an elaborative parental style may help children's recall of even highly salient and stressful events. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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A new method is presented, which enables extracting the pattern of social representations of an object from corpora in natural language "about" this object. Interrogation of a source of common knowledge (a representative sample of a population, a dictionary, a set of articles or books), yields a corpus of linguistic statements concerning the object. In the case of individuals, an open question on free association (What comes comes to your mind about...?). In the case of dictionaries, the set of all definitions of synonyms and analogues of the word in question is used. The corpus is then processed with a software that breaks up the corpus into statements (e. g. : sentences), and then makes a classification of those statements, on the basis of co-occurrence of lexical traits. Each class is considered as a basic nucleus of the representation, characterised by typical lexical traits. Multivariate analysis enables to represent the relationship of those nuclei and traits in a semantic space of connotations. Demonstration of the method is presented on two corpuses about "eating", (1) coming from a survey using the free association technique on a 2000 sample representative of the French population, (2) 544 definitions of synonyms and analogues of "to eat" from a large dictionary. Results are quite similar on both corpuses ; they yield a very clear model of the social representation of "eating", which is coherent with the findings by qualitative methods in the literature. The paper is based on a presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Social representations. Rio de janeiro, 1994. It can be downloaded on open access from the publisher's website.
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As a transmissible infectious disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was successfully contained globally by instituting widespread quarantine measures. Although these measures were successful in terminating the outbreak in all areas of the world, the adverse effects of quarantine have not previously been determined in a systematic manner. In this hypothesis-generating study supported by a convenience sample drawn in close temporal proximity to the period of quarantine, we examined the psychological effects of quarantine on persons in Toronto, Canada. The 129 quarantined persons who responded to a Web-based survey exhibited a high prevalence of psychological distress. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression were observed in 28.9% and 31.2% of respondents, respectively. Longer durations of quarantine were associated with an increased prevalence of PTSD symptoms. Acquaintance with or direct exposure to someone with a diagnosis of SARS was also associated with PTSD and depressive symptoms.
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