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Int J Methods Psychiatr Res ; : e1933, 2022 Aug 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1999893


OBJECTIVES: The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) has been shown to be invariant across informants, developmental stage and settings, but tests of cross-cultural equivalence are limited to adolescents' self-reports. The COVID-19 pandemic makes this gap particularly pertinent, given the need to understand whether distinct government approaches (e.g., school closures) are uniquely associated with variability in children's psychosocial outcomes and the reliance on parents' ratings for young children. METHODS: Within a Confirmatory Factor Analysis framework, we tested the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the SDQ across six countries: Australia, China, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and USA, using a sample of 1761 parents of 3- to 8-year-olds (M = 5.76, SD = 1.09). RESULTS: A five-factors model showed good fit to the data and partial cross-cultural scalar invariance. In this sample, Swedish parents reported the fewest peer problems (Cohen's d = 0.950) and the highest prosocial scores (Cohen's d = 0.547), whilst British parents reported the greatest child emotional (Cohen's d = 0.412) and hyperactivity problems (Cohen's d = 0.535). CONCLUSIONS: The present results indicate that the parent-version of the SDQ is appropriate for use and comparison across different contexts during the pandemic.

Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480764


To estimate specific proximal and distal effects of COVID-19-related restrictions on families on children's adjustment problems, we conducted a six-site international study. In total, 2516 parents from Australia, China, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America living with a young child (Mage = 5.77, SD = 1.10, range = 3 to 8 years, 47.9% female) completed an online survey between April and July 2020. The survey included the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and family risk factors (parent distress, parent-child conflict, couple conflict, and household chaos) as well as a scale to index COVID-19-related family disruption. Our analyses also included public data on the stringency of national restrictions. Across the six sites, parental responses indicated elevated levels of hyperactivity, conduct, and emotion problems in children from families characterized by heightened levels of parent distress, parent-child conflict, and household chaos. In contrast, increased peer problems were more strongly related to COVID-19-related social disruption and stringency measures. Mediation models demonstrated that associations between COVID-19 social disruption and child difficulties could be explained by parental distress. Taken together, these results suggest that although the experience of the pandemic differed across countries, associations between COVID-19-related family experiences and child adjustment difficulties were similar in their nature and magnitude across six different contexts. Programs to support family resilience could help buffer the impact of the pandemic for two generations.

COVID-19 , Resilience, Psychological , Child , Child, Preschool , Family Health , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
Aging Clin Exp Res ; 33(9): 2623-2631, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303402


BACKGROUND: Studies on age differences in emotional states during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that older adults experienced greater emotional wellbeing compared to younger adults. We hypothesized these age differences to be related to the perception of closeness to family/friends or the engagement in daily activities during the pandemic. AIM: To investigate age differences in positive and negative emotional experiences and whether the perception of closeness to family/friends and the engagement in daily activities during pandemic explained such age-related differences. METHODS: Through a cross-sectional study, 1,457 adults aged 18-87 years old completed an online survey assessing positive and negative emotional experiences, the perception of more closeness to family/friends, and daily activities that participants started/re-started during the pandemic. RESULTS: Increasing age was associated with more positive and less negative emotional experiences. Age differences in positive emotional experience were explained by the perception of more closeness to friends and not by the engagement in daily activities. For negative emotional experience age, differences remained significant even after accounting for the perception of closeness to family/friends and engagements in daily activities. DISCUSSION: Older adults' greater overall level of positive emotional experience was explained by their greater perception of more closeness to friends. We speculate that social closeness provides a coping mechanism to increase emotional wellbeing employed especially in older adults. CONCLUSION: Our findings reinforce the link between perceived social closeness and emotional wellbeing especially in older adults. To cope with stressful situation, it is important to encourage older adults to increase the closeness to their social network.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Friends , Humans , SARS-CoV-2