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      Changes in the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents during the COVID-19 Lockdown: Associated Factors and Life Conditions

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          Abstract

          This study investigated the psychological impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among youth by analyzing their emotional/behavioral problems before and during the long-lasting lockdown in Spain. For that purpose, 699 parents with children aged 6–17 and 552 adolescents aged 12–17, who completed the parent and adolescent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at the beginning of 2019, responded to a survey from 26 May to 15 June 2020 that assessed psychological well-being and life conditions during quarantine (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics, situation before the lockdown, physical environment and accompaniment during the lockdown, COVID-related variables). According to both parent- and self-reports, children and youth experienced a significant worsening in emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer problems, and total difficulties subscales. Findings also suggested that impairment was mainly associated with variables related to the child’s situation prior to home quarantine, the quality and quantity of the child’s social networks during the lockdown, the daily routines the child followed, the concerns the child had about health, and the presence of economic and learning problems caused by the COVID-19. Thus, the present investigation emphasizes the need for carefully monitoring the mental health of younger people, provides guidance for the development of interventions that mitigate some of the psychological difficulties faced in a situation of confinement, and highlights the importance of paying special attention to high-risk groups.

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          The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence

          Summary The December, 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak has seen many countries ask people who have potentially come into contact with the infection to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility. Decisions on how to apply quarantine should be based on the best available evidence. We did a Review of the psychological impact of quarantine using three electronic databases. Of 3166 papers found, 24 are included in this Review. Most reviewed studies reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. Stressors included longer quarantine duration, infection fears, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma. Some researchers have suggested long-lasting effects. In situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, officials should quarantine individuals for no longer than required, provide clear rationale for quarantine and information about protocols, and ensure sufficient supplies are provided. Appeals to altruism by reminding the public about the benefits of quarantine to wider society can be favourable.
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            Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors during the Initial Stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Epidemic among the General Population in China

            Background: The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic is a public health emergency of international concern and poses a challenge to psychological resilience. Research data are needed to develop evidence-driven strategies to reduce adverse psychological impacts and psychiatric symptoms during the epidemic. The aim of this study was to survey the general public in China to better understand their levels of psychological impact, anxiety, depression, and stress during the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. The data will be used for future reference. Methods: From 31 January to 2 February 2020, we conducted an online survey using snowball sampling techniques. The online survey collected information on demographic data, physical symptoms in the past 14 days, contact history with COVID-19, knowledge and concerns about COVID-19, precautionary measures against COVID-19, and additional information required with respect to COVID-19. Psychological impact was assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and mental health status was assessed by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Results: This study included 1210 respondents from 194 cities in China. In total, 53.8% of respondents rated the psychological impact of the outbreak as moderate or severe; 16.5% reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; 28.8% reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms; and 8.1% reported moderate to severe stress levels. Most respondents spent 20–24 h per day at home (84.7%); were worried about their family members contracting COVID-19 (75.2%); and were satisfied with the amount of health information available (75.1%). Female gender, student status, specific physical symptoms (e.g., myalgia, dizziness, coryza), and poor self-rated health status were significantly associated with a greater psychological impact of the outbreak and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Specific up-to-date and accurate health information (e.g., treatment, local outbreak situation) and particular precautionary measures (e.g., hand hygiene, wearing a mask) were associated with a lower psychological impact of the outbreak and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Conclusions: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, more than half of the respondents rated the psychological impact as moderate-to-severe, and about one-third reported moderate-to-severe anxiety. Our findings identify factors associated with a lower level of psychological impact and better mental health status that can be used to formulate psychological interventions to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 epidemic.
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              A power primer.

              One possible reason for the continued neglect of statistical power analysis in research in the behavioral sciences is the inaccessibility of or difficulty with the standard material. A convenient, although not comprehensive, presentation of required sample sizes is provided here. Effect-size indexes and conventional values for these are given for operationally defined small, medium, and large effects. The sample sizes necessary for .80 power to detect effects at these levels are tabled for eight standard statistical tests: (a) the difference between independent means, (b) the significance of a product-moment correlation, (c) the difference between independent rs, (d) the sign test, (e) the difference between independent proportions, (f) chi-square tests for goodness of fit and contingency tables, (g) one-way analysis of variance, and (h) the significance of a multiple or multiple partial correlation.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                IJERGQ
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                IJERPH
                MDPI AG
                1660-4601
                April 2022
                March 30 2022
                : 19
                : 7
                : 4120
                Article
                10.3390/ijerph19074120
                35409803
                fd907ba5-a858-416f-8707-2816d00f58e7
                © 2022

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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                Self URI (article page): https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/7/4120

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