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The role of only-child status in the psychological impact of COVID-19 on mental health of Chinese adolescents.

Authors
  • Cao, Yujia1
  • Huang, Liyuan2
  • Si, Tong2
  • Wang, Ning Qun2
  • Qu, Miao3
  • Zhang, Xiang Yang4
  • 1 Neurology Department, Xuan Wu Hospital of Capital Medical University, 45 Changchun Street, Xi Cheng, Beijing, 100053, China; Neurology Department, Third Affiliated Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China. , (China)
  • 2 Neurology Department, Xuan Wu Hospital of Capital Medical University, 45 Changchun Street, Xi Cheng, Beijing, 100053, China. , (China)
  • 3 Neurology Department, Xuan Wu Hospital of Capital Medical University, 45 Changchun Street, Xi Cheng, Beijing, 100053, China. Electronic address: [email protected] , (China)
  • 4 CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 16 Lincui Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, China. Electronic address: [email protected] , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of affective disorders
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2021
Volume
282
Pages
316–321
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.12.113
PMID: 33421858
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on public mental health in 2019 is verified, but the role of only-child status in the mental health of adolescents confined at home during the COVID-19 epidemic has not been investigated and is not clear. Our study aims to assess the impact of only-child status on the mental health of adolescents confined at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The exposure risk to COVID-19, adverse experience, parent-child relationship, and resilience have also been measured and considered. From March 20 to 31, 2020, a cross-sectional survey test was conducted on 11,681 adolescents aged from 12 to 18 years in middle schools (Grade 7 to Grade 9) across five provinces in China. The self-reported online questionnarie was used to collected data of demographic information, the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire, the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, the short form of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and the exposure risk to COVID-19. A total of 11,180 valid questionnaires were collected, with an effective rate of 95.7%. 35.2% of only children and 38.8% of non-only children reported depression symptoms, while 20.5% of only children and 24.7% of non-only children reported anxiety symptoms. It was significant that non-only children were more likely to have anxiety and depression symptoms than only children (OR = 1.164, 95%CI: 1.064-1.273, p = 0.001). The risk of exposure to COVID-19 was a risk factor of depression (OR = 2.284, 95%CI: 1.640-3.180, p < 0.001) and anxiety symptoms (OR = 1.959, 95%CI: 1.402-2.737, p < 0.001) in non-only children, but not in only children. For both only children and non-only children, the resilience and parent-child relationship were protective factors of depression and anxiety symptoms, while emotional abuse was a risk factor (p < 0.001). The non-only children are more likely to develop the symptoms of anxiety and depression than only children, during the outbreak of COVID-19 in China. The adolescents with siblings are psychiatrically more vulnerable to exposure risk of COVID-19 and need more attention, especially those with poor parent-child relationship, low resilience and experience of emotional abuse. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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