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Written by SOT.COM.AL 2 Maj 2023
There is considerable debate over whether the mental health of children and adolescents has been affected by the disruptions and restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 53 studies of more than 40,000 children and adolescents up to 19 years of age in twelve countries reveals an increase in depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This increase is particularly noticeable among girls, those from relatively higher income backgrounds, and those living in North America and Europe.
The research, led by researcher Sherry Madigan from the University of Calgary in Canada, was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
It also found that anxiety symptoms among children and teenagers increased slightly during the pandemic, although there was some evidence that the increase was greater among those from relatively higher income backgrounds.
The greater differences in depression and anxiety symptoms for children from higher income strata may be related, according to the researchers, to greater access to digital devices and their known link to depression. It is also possible that these children have more disruptions to their routine, such as canceling extracurricular activities.
Finally, the study found — like other studies related to mental health — an increase in eating disorders and emergency department visits for suicide attempts and suicidal ideation during the pandemic.