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The Covid pandemic increases mental distress in children


The Covid pandemic increases mental distress in children and teens. This is supported by a British study.

The Covid pandemic increases mental distress in children – Universomamma.it (Adobe Stock)

There Covid-19 pandemic is getting serious threaten the health of the world population, not only for the direct effects of the virus but also for the indirect ones. Beyond respiratory problems and coronavirus complications, we have seen that the spread of infections with the overload of hospitals, medical offices and treatment centers, prevents adequate treatment of other pathologies, postpones prevention and screening tests, slowing down the diagnosis. of other serious diseases.

Alongside these problems there are also those related to mental health. The stress created by long months of uncertainty and anxieties on the spread of infections, the infodemic and the explosion of fake news, the measures to restrict personal freedoms, starting with the lockdown, have left people very tried, even with heavy psychological consequences.

Suddenly changing habits at school, at work and in social life it creates disorientation and inconvenience. Living in fear of a very contagious virus, which in most cases causes a disease with few symptoms and curable but in some cases can be deadly, in the long run it is exhausting. A mental suffering to which is added that for loved ones who did not survive the disease.


In this difficult situation, those who suffer most are children and young people. As they already have proven numerous studies. Deprived of their daily routine, get away from friends and leisure activities, during the lockdown and now with new restrictions, children and teens undergo a sharp increase in mental distress due to the pandemic. Now the confirmation comes from a new British studio.

Covid pandemic increases mental distress in children and teens

pandemic covid mental distress
The Covid pandemic increases mental distress in children – Universomamma.it (Adobe Stock)

Because of Covid-19 pandemic I’m increased mental disorders in children in adolescents. One certified him British study comparing the mental health of the youngest in 2020 with that of children and young people in 2017.

The study was commissioned by the National Health Service (NHS), the UK public health service, and has employed several universities and research centers. This is not actually a new research but the follow-up of a survey already carried out in 2017: “Mental Health and Young People Survey (MHCYP) 2017“.

The researchers contacted i again 3,570 children and young people of the 2017 study, to verify theevolution of their mental health after three years and above all to know their conditions during the Coronavirus pandemic in July 2020.

Children and teenagers were subjected to a questionnaire with specific questions their experiences of family life, school and public services, including theirs worries and anxieties during the pandemic. Other information on the mental health of children and adolescents was collected from parents.


The researchers divided the children and teenagers by age group: from 5 to 10 years, 11 to 16 years old is from 17 to 22 years. The data were distinguished between males and females and based on the probabilities of suffering from a mental disorder.

The investigation found a increase in mental disorders compared to 2017. The researchers found that in 2020 one in six children (16.0%) between the ages of 5 and 16 was identified as suffering from a probable mental disorder, up from one in nine (10.8%) in 2017. The increase was evident in both boys and girls.

Furthermore, the likelihood of mental disorder increases with age, with a noticeable difference in sex for the older age group, that from 17 to 22 years. In this case, in fact, the 27.2% of girls and the 13.3% of the boys have been identified as suffering from a probable mental disorder.

Between girls in the age group between 11 and 16 years, the 63.8% of those with a probable mental disorder he had seen or heard a discussion between adults in the family, compared with 46.8% of those who were not likely to have a mental disorder.

In children and teenagers from 5 to 22 years, the 58.9% of those who had a probable mental disorder they reported having had sleep problems. This has happened especially for children aged 17 to 22 (69.6%) and less in those aged 11 to 16 (50.5%) and in children aged 5 to 10 (52.5%).

Furthermore, the study determined that the economic difficulties of the family had affected the mental health of children and teenagers. In fact, in the age group from 5 to 16 years, children and young people with possible mental disorders were more than twice as likely to live in a family behind on payments (16.3%) compared to children and young people without mental disorders ( 6.4%).

Finally, children and teens with probable mental disorder were more likely to say that the lockdown had made their lives worse (54.1% aged 11 to 16 and 59% aged 17 to 22), compared with those who did not appear to have a mental disorder (39.2% and 37.3% respectively).

The study was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, commissioned by NHS Digital and conducted by the Office for National Statistics, the National Center for Social Research and the Cambridge and Exter universities, was published in the National Health Service portal.

covid mental distress
The Covid pandemic increases mental distress in children – Universomamma.it (Adobe Stock)


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