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How did the mental health of children change over one month in early lockdown?

How did the mental health symptoms of children and adolescents change over one month in early lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK?

This study set out to explore how mental health symptoms in children and adolescents changed over a month of full lockdown in the UK in response to the pandemic.

Key findings:

  • The findings highlighted particular deteriorations in mental health symptoms among pre-adolescent children
  • Between baseline and follow-up, there was a small increase in emotional symptoms and conduct problems and a larger increase in hyperactivity/inattention for children (age 4 to 10 years)
  • For adolescents (age 11-16 years), emotional symptoms reduced over time, but there was little change in conduct problems and a small increase in hyperactivity/inattention
  • Children and young people in low-income households and those with special educational needs and/or neurodevelopmental disorders exhibited elevated symptoms (and caseness) at both time points.
Download the preprint here.