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Study Suggests Strategies To Support Kids’ Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic

The study concluded a number of simple strategies families engaged in appeared to promote better mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic including having a structured daily routine, and limiting passive screen time use

Study Suggests Strategies To Support Kids' Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic
Highlights
  • Mental health problems increased dramatically among children: Researchers
  • Adolescents also reported high level of mental health problems: Study
  • Participants from 2 ongoing longitudinal studies were recruited

Washington: A new study has suggested several simple, practical steps that families can take — including reducing passive screen time and news consumption, having a structured daily schedule and getting enough sleep — that can promote resilience against mental health problems in youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of the study were published in the open-access journal ‘PLOS ONE’ by Maya Rosen of Harvard University, US, and colleagues. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented change into the lives of children and adolescents. Many of these disruptions, coupled with pandemic-related stressors, are likely to increase the risk for depression, anxiety and behavioural problems in youth.

Also Read: Impact Of COVID-19 On The Mental Health Of Children And How Parents Can Help Them

In the new study, researchers recruited participants from two ongoing longitudinal studies of children and adolescents in the greater Seattle area. 224 youth and their caregivers completed an initial questionnaire assessing social behaviours, psychopathology and pandemic-related stressors in April and May 2020; 184 of these youth and their caregivers completed a similar battery of assessments six months later, in November 2020 through January 2021.

Since data on each youth was available from prior to the pandemic, results at each time point could be controlled for pre-pandemic symptoms. The youth ranged in age from 7 to 15 years old, were 47.8 per cent female, and their racial and ethnic background reflected the Seattle area, with 66 per cent of participants White, 11 per cent Black, 11 per cent Asian and 8 per cent Hispanic or Latino.

Also Read: Encourage Kids To Communicate During COVID To Minimise Negative Impact, Suggests AIIMS Doctor

The number of pandemic-related stressors was strongly associated with increases in both internalising (b=0.345, p<0.001) and externalising (b=0.297, p<0.001) symptoms during the pandemic after controlling for pre-pandemic symptoms. Early in the pandemic, youths who spent less time on digital devices (b=0.272, p=.0004), as well as those who consumed less than 2 hours of news per day (b=0.193, p=.010), had lower externalising symptoms, while greater time spend in nature was marginally associated with lower internalising symptoms (b=-0.124, p=.074). Getting the recommended amount of sleep (b=0.-0.158, p=.080) and having a more structured daily routine during stay-at-home orders (b=-0.164, p=.049) was associated with lower levels of externalising psychopathology six months later.

Also Read: How To Ensure Mental Wellbeing Of Children During The COVID-19 Crisis

Finally, the strong association between pandemic-related stressors and psychopathology was absent among children with lower amounts of screen time and news media consumption. The authors wrote that the study identified a set of strategies that can be beneficial to families when considering how to support the mental health of their children during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The authors added,

Mental health problems increased dramatically among children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among those who experienced high levels of pandemic-related stressors including serious illness or death of a family member, significant financial loss, and social isolation.

They concluded, “A number of simple strategies families engaged in appeared to promote better mental health during the pandemic including having a structured daily routine, limiting passive screen time use, limiting exposure to news media about the pandemic, and to a lesser extent spending more time in nature, and getting the recommended amount of sleep.”

Also Read: Rise In Cases Of Depression, Panic Attacks, Insomnia Due To Covid-Related Trauma: Experts

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

23,00,65,708Cases
19,25,31,777Active
3,28,15,731Recovered
47,18,200Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,00,65,708 and 47,18,200 have died; 19,25,31,777 are active cases and 3,28,15,731 have recovered as on September 23, 2021 at 3:36 am.

India

3,35,63,421 31,923Cases
3,01,640349Active
3,28,15,731 31,990Recovered
4,46,050 282Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,63,421 confirmed cases including 4,46,050 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,01,640 and 3,28,15,731 have recovered as on September 23, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,31,237 3,608

43,544 725

63,49,029 4,285

1,38,664 48

Kerala

45,59,601 19,675

1,61,596 169

43,73,966 19,702

24,039 142

Karnataka

29,70,208 847

13,650 119

29,18,890 946

37,668 20

Tamil Nadu

26,50,370 1,682

17,027 34

25,97,943 1,627

35,400 21

Andhra Pradesh

20,42,073 1,365

13,796 109

20,14,180 1,466

14,097 8

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,708 15

196 2

16,86,624 12

22,888 1

West Bengal

15,63,393 683

7,724 17

15,36,978 687

18,691 13

Delhi

14,38,586 30

411 11

14,13,090 19

25,085

Odisha

10,21,950 734

5,129 285

10,08,671 445

8,150 4

Chhattisgarh

10,05,146 26

300 3

9,91,283 23

13,563

Rajasthan

9,54,282 7

98 1

9,45,230 8

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,771 20

133 0

8,15,556 20

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,422 12

90 0

7,81,815 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,770 16

332 4

7,60,629 11

9,809 1

Bihar

7,25,918 11

60 0

7,16,199 11

9,659

Telangana

6,64,164 258

4,946 8

6,55,310 249

3,908 1

Punjab

6,01,401 42

324 20

5,84,576 22

16,501

Assam

5,99,271 407

4,880 201

5,88,574 604

5,817 4

Jharkhand

3,48,146 7

63 2

3,42,950 9

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,428 23

256 7

3,35,781 16

7,391

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,418 204

1,536 86

3,22,463 118

4,419

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,615 212

1,823 108

2,12,133 100

3,659 4

Goa

1,75,792 102

950 64

1,71,545 38

3,297

Puducherry

1,25,735 117

945 23

1,22,956 92

1,834 2

Manipur

1,19,041 171

2,214 40

1,14,991 130

1,836 1

Mizoram

84,109 1,294

15,638 275

68,199 1,015

272 4

Tripura

83,981 25

346 7

82,825 31

810 1

Meghalaya

79,983 166

1,868 10

76,730 172

1,385 4

Chandigarh

65,201 6

44 0

64,338 5

819 1

Arunachal Pradesh

54,241 51

442 29

53,526 22

273

Sikkim

31,074 60

642 15

30,051 44

381 1

Nagaland

30,990 31

459 11

29,873 41

658 1

Ladakh

20,750 7

148 4

20,395 3

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 0

10,666

4

Lakshadweep

10,361 1

10 1

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,615 8

20 3

7,466 5

129

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