Objective: This case-control study aimed to explore the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental well-being of pediatric psychiatric outpatients and their families, comparing them with children/adolescents and their parents from the general population. Method: The case group consisted of 168 subjects: 56 patients (6-18 years old) with psychiatric disorders, and their 112 parents. The healthy control group included 189 subjects: 63 children and adolescents with no psychopathologies, and their 126 parents. Both groups were assessed during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Italy (T0) and 4 months later (T1), by administering the CBCL6-18 and DASS-21. Results: Patients showed a good adaptation to the pandemic situation, while the children/adolescents in the healthy sample showed a greater variation in their general habits and a higher prevalence of stress symptoms during the lockdown. The patients’ parents likewise had fewer stress-related symptoms than caregivers in the healthy control group, both during the lockdown and 4 months later. At T0, patients’ mothers reported higher anxiety levels than mothers in the healthy group, while at T1 fathers of healthy children scored higher on the DASS-21 anxiety and stress scales than patients’ fathers. As concerns changes over time (T0-T1) in the parents’ psychological well-being, a general improvement was detected in both groups. Conclusions: The pandemic and quarantine measures were confirmed as significant stressors for all children and adolescents, and negatively affected their parents’ adaptation. The findings of this study point to the need for preventive interventions to support the mental health of all parents and their children in uncertain and stressful times.

CHILDREN WITH PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND THEIR PARENTS FACING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A CASE-CONTROL STUDY

Iannattone S.;Raffagnato A.;Zanato S.;Traverso A.;Tascini B.;Del Col L.;Miscioscia M.;Gatta M.
2021

Abstract

Objective: This case-control study aimed to explore the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental well-being of pediatric psychiatric outpatients and their families, comparing them with children/adolescents and their parents from the general population. Method: The case group consisted of 168 subjects: 56 patients (6-18 years old) with psychiatric disorders, and their 112 parents. The healthy control group included 189 subjects: 63 children and adolescents with no psychopathologies, and their 126 parents. Both groups were assessed during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Italy (T0) and 4 months later (T1), by administering the CBCL6-18 and DASS-21. Results: Patients showed a good adaptation to the pandemic situation, while the children/adolescents in the healthy sample showed a greater variation in their general habits and a higher prevalence of stress symptoms during the lockdown. The patients’ parents likewise had fewer stress-related symptoms than caregivers in the healthy control group, both during the lockdown and 4 months later. At T0, patients’ mothers reported higher anxiety levels than mothers in the healthy group, while at T1 fathers of healthy children scored higher on the DASS-21 anxiety and stress scales than patients’ fathers. As concerns changes over time (T0-T1) in the parents’ psychological well-being, a general improvement was detected in both groups. Conclusions: The pandemic and quarantine measures were confirmed as significant stressors for all children and adolescents, and negatively affected their parents’ adaptation. The findings of this study point to the need for preventive interventions to support the mental health of all parents and their children in uncertain and stressful times.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3414873
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