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PLoS One ; 17(2): e0261773, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793545


PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated risk-mitigation strategies have altered the social contexts in which adolescents in low- and middle-income countries live. Little is known, however, about the impacts of the pandemic on displaced populations, and how those impacts differ by gender and life stage. We investigate the extent to which the pandemic has compounded pre-existing social inequalities among adolescents in Jordan, and the role support structures play in promoting resilience. METHODS: Our analysis leverages longitudinal quantitative survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews, collected before and after the onset of COVID-19, with over 3,000 Syrian refugees, stateless Palestinians and vulnerable Jordanians, living in camps, host communities and informal tented settlements. We utilize mixed-methods analysis combining multivariate regression with deductive qualitative tools to evaluate pandemic impacts and associated policy responses on adolescent wellbeing and mental health, at three and nine months after the pandemic onset. We also explore the role of support systems at individual, household, community, and policy levels. FINDINGS: We find the pandemic has resulted in severe economic and service disruptions with far-reaching and heterogenous effects on adolescent wellbeing. Nine months into the pandemic, 19.3% of adolescents in the sample presented with symptoms of moderate-to severe depression, with small signs of improvement (3.2 percentage points [pp], p<0.001). Two thirds of adolescents reported household stress had increased during the pandemic, especially for Syrian adolescents in host communities (10.7pp higher than any other group, p<0.001). Social connectedness was particularly low for girls, who were 13.4 percentage points (p<0.001) more likely than boys to have had no interaction with friends in the past 7 days. Adolescent programming shows signs of being protective, particularly for girls, who were 8.8 percentage points (p<0.01) more likely to have a trusted friend than their peers who were not participating in programming. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing social inequalities among refugee adolescents affected by forced displacement have been compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with related disruptions to services and social networks. To achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets to support healthy and empowered development in adolescence and early adulthood requires interventions that target the urgent needs of the most vulnerable adolescents while addressing population-level root causes and determinants of psychosocial wellbeing and resilience for all adolescent girls and boys.

Adolescent Health/trends , COVID-19/psychology , Refugees/psychology , Adolescent , Child , Female , Humans , Jordan/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Psychology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Social Environment , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
Arch Argent Pediatr ; 119(3): 170-176, 2021 06.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242312


INTRODUCTION: From an infectious perspective, children and adolescents were not highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, social isolation measures have deeply changed their lifestyle, which is believed to have a psychological impact on them. The objective was to assess the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the emotional health of children and adolescents attending primary or secondary school. POPULATION AND METHODS: Parents of children and adolescents from San Carlos de Bariloche participated in the study. Adults' perception of the emotional and behavioral impact of lockdown on children and adolescents, changes in sleeping habits, screen use, sports-related activities, eating, and medical consultations, was assessed. RESULTS: A total of 267 parents were included. Of them, 96.3 % noticed emotional and behavioral changes. The most common ones were that their children were more bored (76.8 %), more irritable (59.2 %), more reluctant (56.9 %), and angrier (54.7 %). It was observed that they woke up and went to bed later, and slept 30 minutes more. Moreover, leisure screen use increased by 3 hours on weekdays. Time dedicated to physical activities did not change, but the type of activities did: swimming and team sports were replaced by biking, walking, and skiing. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 lockdown affected the emotional health and habits of children and adolescents. Boredom, irritability, and reluctance were more present during lockdown. The possibility of doing outdoor physical activities allowed them to keep practicing sports.

Introducción. Los jóvenes no fueron muy afectados desde el punto de vista infeccioso por la pandemia de COVID-19. Sin embargo, las medidas de aislamiento social modificaron de manera profunda su estilo de vida, y se cree que esto los afecta psicológicamente. El objetivo fue evaluar el impacto del aislamiento por COVID-19 en la salud emocional de jóvenes en escolaridad primaria o secundaria. Población y métodos. Participaron del estudio padres de jóvenes de San Carlos de Bariloche. Se evaluó la percepción del adulto sobre el impacto emocional y de comportamiento del aislamiento sobre el joven, cambio de hábitos de sueño, uso de pantallas, actividades deportivas y alimentación y de asistencia a consulta médica. Resultados. Se incluyeron 267 padres. El 96,3 % observó cambios emocionales y de comportamiento. Los más frecuentes fueron que estaban más aburridos (el 76,8 %), irritables (el 59,2 %), desganados (el 56,9 %) y enojados (el 54,7 %). Se observó que se levantaban y acostaban más tarde y dormían 30 minutos más. Además, el uso de pantallas por esparcimiento aumentó 3 horas durante los días hábiles. El tiempo dedicado a la actividad física no varió, pero sí cambió el tipo de actividades: la natación y los deportes de equipo fueron reemplazados por ciclismo, caminatas y esquí. Conclusiones. El aislamiento por COVID-19 impactó sobre la salud emocional y los hábitos de los jóvenes. El aburrimiento, la irritabilidad y el desgano estuvieron más presentes durante el aislamiento. La posibilidad de realizar actividades al aire libre permitió que continuaran practicando deportes.

Adolescent Health/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child Health/trends , Education, Distance , Mental Health/trends , Physical Distancing , Social Isolation/psychology , Adolescent , Adolescent Behavior/psychology , Argentina/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Child Behavior/psychology , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Parents , Prospective Studies , Psychology, Adolescent , Psychology, Child , Schools , Young Adult
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251352, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225811


The sudden switch to distance education to contain the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered adolescents' lives around the globe. The present research aims to identify psychological characteristics that relate to adolescents' well-being in terms of positive emotion and intrinsic learning motivation, and key characteristics of their learning behavior in a situation of unplanned, involuntary distance education. Following Self-Determination Theory, experienced competence, autonomy, and relatedness were assumed to relate to active learning behavior (i.e., engagement and persistence), and negatively relate to passive learning behavior (i.e., procrastination), mediated via positive emotion and intrinsic learning motivation. Data were collected via online questionnaires in altogether eight countries from Europe, Asia, and North America (N = 25,305) and comparable results across countries were expected. Experienced competence was consistently found to relate to positive emotion and intrinsic learning motivation, and, in turn, active learning behavior in terms of engagement and persistence. The study results further highlight the role of perceived relatedness for positive emotion. The high proportions of explained variance speak in favor of taking these central results into account when designing distance education in times of COVID-19.

Adolescent Health/trends , COVID-19/psychology , Education, Distance/trends , Adolescent , Adolescent Health/statistics & numerical data , Asia , Education, Distance/methods , Emotions , Europe , Female , Humans , Learning , Male , Motivation , North America , Pandemics , Personal Autonomy , Personal Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(22)2020 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927626


The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been widely discussed during the past few months, with scholars expressing concern about its potential debilitating consequences on youth mental health. Hence, this research aimed to provide a systematic review of the evidence on the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on youth mental health. We conducted a mixed methods integrated review to identify any empirical study that focused on young people ≤ 18 years old. Eight databases were systematically searched to identify studies of any type of research design. The selection procedure followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The protocol of this systematic review was registered with PROSPERO (protocol ID: CRD4202019375). Twelve studies deemed eligible for data extraction (n = 12,262). The findings show that COVID-19 has an impact on youth mental health and is particularly associated with depression and anxiety in adolescent cohorts. The quality appraisal indicated that all studies were of low or moderate methodological quality. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting young people's lives, and thus generating robust research evidence to inform policy decisions is essential. Hence, the methodological quality of future research should be drastically improved.

Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Mental Health , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Adolescent , Adolescent Health/trends , Anxiety/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child Health/trends , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health/trends , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2