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      What's Happened to Italian Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic? A Preliminary Study on Symptoms, Problematic Social Media Usage, and Attachment: Relationships and Differences With Pre-pandemic Peers

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          Abstract

          Italian adolescents were confined at home for 3 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed them to feelings of fear, uncertainty, and loneliness that may have increased their vulnerability to emotional-behavioral symptoms (e.g., anxiety) and binge-eating attitudes. Potential risk factors for these psychopathological symptoms are problematic social media usage and attachment insecurity. Therefore, this study aimed: (1) to assess emotional-behavioral symptoms, binge eating, problematic social media usage, and attachment representations of adolescents during the pandemic, comparing them with prepandemic similar samples; (2) to investigate relationships among variables, exploring the role of problematic social media usage and insecure attachment as risk factors for more psychopathological symptoms. Participants were 62 community adolescents aged 12–17 years, enrolled through schools, and assessed online through the following measures: Youth Self-Report for emotional-behavioral problems, Binge-Eating Scale for binge eating, Social Media Disorder Scale for problematic social media usage, and the Friends and Family Interview for attachment. The main results were: (1) 9.4% of adolescents showed clinical rates of emotional-behavioral symptoms and 4.8% of binge eating attitudes. The comparison with pre-pandemic samples revealed that pandemic teenagers showed lower internalizing, but higher other problems (e.g., binge drinking, self-destructive behaviors) and more problematic social media usage than pre-pandemic peers. No differences in binge-eating attitudes and attachment were revealed (76% secure classifications). (2) Problematic social media usage was related to more binge eating and emotional-behavioral problems, predicting 5.4% of both delinquent and attention problems. Attachment disorganization predicted 16.5% of internalizing problems, somatic complaints, and social and identity-related problems. In conclusion, confinement did not increase adolescents' internalizing symptoms -i.e., vulnerability to mood disorders of an anxious-depressive type- which even decreased. However, teenagers may have expressed their discomfort through other problems and symptoms of social media disorder. Further studies should explore the role of adolescents' problematic social media usage and attachment insecurity as risk factors for additional psychopathological symptoms.

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          Mental health problems and social media exposure during COVID-19 outbreak

          Huge citizens expose to social media during a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, China. We assess the prevalence of mental health problems and examine their association with social media exposure. A cross-sectional study among Chinese citizens aged≥18 years old was conducted during Jan 31 to Feb 2, 2020. Online survey was used to do rapid assessment. Total of 4872 participants from 31 provinces and autonomous regions were involved in the current study. Besides demographics and social media exposure (SME), depression was assessed by The Chinese version of WHO-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5) and anxiety was assessed by Chinese version of generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7). multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify associations between social media exposure with mental health problems after controlling for covariates. The prevalence of depression, anxiety and combination of depression and anxiety (CDA) was 48.3% (95%CI: 46.9%-49.7%), 22.6% (95%CI: 21.4%-23.8%) and 19.4% (95%CI: 18.3%-20.6%) during COVID-19 outbroke in Wuhan, China. More than 80% (95%CI:80.9%-83.1%) of participants reported frequently exposed to social media. After controlling for covariates, frequently SME was positively associated with high odds of anxiety (OR = 1.72, 95%CI: 1.31–2.26) and CDA (OR = 1.91, 95%CI: 1.52–2.41) compared with less SME. Our findings show there are high prevalence of mental health problems, which positively associated with frequently SME during the COVID-19 outbreak. These findings implicated the government need pay more attention to mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety among general population and combating with “infodemic” while combating during public health emergency.
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            Eating habits and lifestyle changes during COVID-19 lockdown: an Italian survey

            Background On December 12th 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-Cov2) emerged in Wuhan, China, sparking a pandemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans (COVID-19). On the 24th of April 2020, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, according to the COVID-Case Tracker by Johns Hopkins University, was 195,313, and the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases was 2,783,512. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive impact on human health, causing sudden lifestyle changes, through social distancing and isolation at home, with social and economic consequences. Optimizing public health during this pandemic requires not only knowledge from the medical and biological sciences, but also of all human sciences related to lifestyle, social and behavioural studies, including dietary habits and lifestyle. Methods Our study aimed to investigate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eating habits and lifestyle changes among the Italian population aged ≥ 12 years. The study comprised a structured questionnaire packet that inquired demographic information (age, gender, place of residence, current employment); anthropometric data (reported weight and height); dietary habits information (adherence to the Mediterranean diet, daily intake of certain foods, food frequency, and number of meals/day); lifestyle habits information (grocery shopping, habit of smoking, sleep quality and physical activity). The survey was conducted from the 5th to the 24th of April 2020. Results A total of 3533 respondents have been included in the study, aged between 12 and 86 years (76.1% females). The perception of weight gain was observed in 48.6% of the population; 3.3% of smokers decided to quit smoking; a slight increased physical activity has been reported, especially for bodyweight training, in 38.3% of respondents; the population group aged 18–30 years resulted in having a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet when compared to the younger and the elderly population (p < 0.001; p < 0.001, respectively); 15% of respondents turned to farmers or organic, purchasing fruits and vegetables, especially in the North and Center of Italy, where BMI values were lower. Conclusions In this study, we have provided for the first time data on the Italian population lifestyle, eating habits and adherence to the Mediterranean Diet pattern during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, our data need to be confirmed and investigated in future more extensive population studies.
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              Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of psychological health problems in Chinese adolescents during the outbreak of COVID-19

              Psychological health problems, especially emotional disorders, are common among adolescents. The epidemiology of emotional disorders is greatly influenced by stressful events. This study sought to assess the prevalence rate and socio-demographic correlates of depressive and anxiety symptoms among Chinese adolescents affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. We conducted a cross-sectional study among Chinese students aged 12–18 years during the COVID-19 epidemic period. An online survey was used to conduct rapid assessment. A total of 8079 participants were involved in the study. An online survey was used to collect demographic data, assess students’ awareness of COVID-19, and assess depressive and anxiety symptoms with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) questionnaire, respectively. The prevalence of depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and a combination of depressive and anxiety symptoms was 43.7%, 37.4%, and 31.3%, respectively, among Chinese high school students during the COVID-19 outbreak. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that female gender was the higher risk factor for depressive and anxiety symptoms. In terms of grades, senior high school was a risk factor for depressive and anxiety symptoms; the higher the grade, the greater the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Our findings show there is a high prevalence of psychological health problems among adolescents, which are negatively associated with the level of awareness of COVID-19. These findings suggest that the government needs to pay more attention to psychological health among adolescents while combating COVID-19. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1007/s00787-020-01541-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychiatry
                Front Psychiatry
                Front. Psychiatry
                Frontiers in Psychiatry
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-0640
                27 April 2021
                2021
                27 April 2021
                : 12
                : 590543
                Affiliations
                Department of Education Sciences, School of Social Sciences, University of Genoa , Genoa, Italy
                Author notes

                Edited by: Paul Stokes, King's College London, United Kingdom

                Reviewed by: Federica Sancassiani, University of Cagliari, Italy; Patrizia Velotti, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; Roberto Baiocco, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

                *Correspondence: Stefania Muzi muziunige@ 123456gmail.com

                This article was submitted to Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyt.2021.590543
                8110826
                33986698
                2d7fab12-aee6-4530-a5d1-467b61f41662
                Copyright © 2021 Muzi, Sansò and Pace.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                History
                : 01 August 2020
                : 29 March 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 84, Pages: 11, Words: 9393
                Categories
                Psychiatry
                Original Research

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                covid,pandemic (covid-19),adolescents,emotional-behavioral symptoms,binge-eating disorder,attachment representations,risk assessment,social media disorder scale

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