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Child and Adolescent Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Results of the Three-Wave Longitudinal COPSY Study


Purpose: The German population-based longitudinal COVID-19 and Psychological Health study monitors changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and mental health of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies vulnerable groups. Methods: A nationwide, population-based survey was conducted in May 2020 to June 2020 (Wave 1), December 2020 to January 2021 (Wave 2), and September 2021 to October 2021 (Wave 3). In total, n ¼ 2,097 children and adolescents aged 7e17 years were investigated using measures to assess HRQoL (KIDSCREEN-10), mental health problems (SDQ), anxiety (SCARED), depressive symptoms(PHQ-2), and psychosomatic complaints(HBSC-SCL). Results: The prevalence of low HRQoL increased from 15% prepandemic to 40% and 48% in Waves 1 and 2 and improved slightly to 35% in Wave 3 (all differences significant). Similarly, overall mental health problems increased from 18% prepandemic to 29% in Wave 1 and 31% in Wave 2 to 28% in Wave 3 (all differences significant, except Wave 3 vs. 2), anxiety increased from 15% prepandemic to 24% and 30% in Waves 1 and 2 and was still 27% in Wave 3. Depressive symptoms increased from 10% prepandemic to 11% and 15% in Waves 1 and 2 and were 11% in Wave 3. A group with low parental education, restricted living conditions, migration background, and parental mental health problems was at significantly increased risk of HRQoL and mental health impairments. Discussion: The prevalence of low HRQoL, mental health problems, and anxiety has been elevated throughout the pandemic. Thus, mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention strategies need to be implemented to support adolescentseparticularly those at risk.


Deutschland, Quantitative Studie, Gesundheitspsychologie, Kinder- und Jugendalter allgemein, Eltern


Ravens-Sieberer, U., Erhart, M., Devine, J., Gilbert, M., Reiss, F., Barkmann, C., Siegel, N.A., Simon, A.M., Hurrelmann, K., Schlack, R., Hölling, H., Wieler, L.H., Kaman, A. (2022). Child and Adolescent Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Results of the Three-Wave Longitudinal COPSY Study, Journal of Adolsecent Health, 71, 570-578.

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