COVID-19 Lockdown Stressed All Ages, But in Different Ways

COVID-19 Lockdown Stressed All Ages, But in Different Ways

One-third of children and adolescents in Switzerland experienced mental health problems during the first COVID-19 lockdown, according to a new study.

Parents and young adults also perceived considerable stress at that time, from mid-March to the end of April 2020, yet the perceived stresses differed from children and adolescents, researchers report.

For the new study, researchers examined the most common sources of stress among children, adolescents, their parents, and young adults during the COVID-19 lockdowns, using representative samples in Switzerland of 1,627 young adults aged 19 to 24 as well as 1,146 children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 and their parents.

Loneliness, Depression and Anxiety

“Uncertainty during last year’s lockdown was considerable and had a negative impact on mental health,” says Meichun Mohler-Kuo, professor at the University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich (PUK) and La Source.

Children and adolescents felt most stressed during the COVID-19 lockdown by having to change, postpone, or cancel important plans or events and being unable to participate in social activities and normal routines during leisure time and at school.

The main sources of stress for adults involved not knowing when the pandemic would end, coping with the massive disruptions to social life, and having to reorganize work and family life.

The study found that many young adults, and young women in particular, experienced symptoms of mental illness during the first lockdown. More than half (54%) of young women and 38% of young men reported mild to severe symptoms of depression. Almost half of young women (47%) and one-third (33%) of young men experienced mild to severe anxi ..

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