Effects of Covid-19 confinement on the mental health of children and adolescents in Spain

Nuria Ordóñez-Camblor, Juan Pablo Pizarro-Ruiz

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Received date: 21st October 2020

In Spain, in order to control COVID-19 transmission, one of the strictest confinement measures in the world for children and teenagers has been implemented. From 14 March to 26 April 2020 underage Spaniards were not allowed to leave their homes, except for reasons of force majeure. This could have consequences on their mental health in both the short and the long term. Thus, the aim of the present study was to explore the consequences of confinement on the mental health of Spanish children and teenagers, at the time when minors had been locked down in their homes between 8 and 10 days. The sample was composed of 590 confined Spanish children and teenagers between 8 and 18 years old. The scales of Depression, Self-esteem, Anxiety, Problems with Emotional Regulation, Rage Control Problems, Integration and Social Competence, Somatic Complaints, Rebellious Behaviour, as well as Awareness of the Problems of the Assessment System for Children and Adolescents (SENA) were used.
The results revealed that, during confinement, children and adolescents showed emotional and behavioural alterations. This study, as far as we know, is the first one to explore the psychological consequences of lockdown in minors while it was taking place, with them being the ones directly assessed.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature