New paper from the Co-SPACE study “What Happens to Children’s Mental Health and Peer Relationships During Periods of Restricted and Unrestricted Social Interactions? Results From the Co-SPACE Study in Primary School-Aged Children” in JAACAP Open.
- Experiencing mental health difficulties during school closures increased the risk of experiencing peer victimization, but not peer aggression on return to school.
- Experiencing any peer problems during school closures did not predict subsequent mental health difficulties.
- The majority of children followed joint trajectories of low exposure to peer problems and mental health, however 16-17% of our sample followed joint trajectories of high exposure to peer problems and mental health.
- Low family income, family conflict, parental distress, special educational needs and lack of friendships were associated with high exposure mental health and peer problem trajectories.
Increasing children’s mental health support during periods of isolation may not only reduce concurrent and future mental health problems but may also prevent subsequent peer problems for both vulnerable and non-vulnerable children.
The full paper is freely available to read and download here.