Mental Health in Adolescents during COVID-19-Related Social Distancing and Home-Schooling

16 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2021

See all articles by Christoph Pieh

Christoph Pieh

Danube University Krems

Paul L. Plener

Medical University of Vienna

Thomas Probst

Danube University Krems

Rachel Dale

Danube University Krems

Elke Humer

Danube University Krems

Date Written: March 1, 2021

Abstract

This study assessed mental health in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria. An online survey (between February 3rd and 28th, 2021) was conducted measuring well-being (WHO-5), depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), sleep quality (ISI), as well as disordered eating (EAT-8) in 14 to 20 year-old adolescents. In total N=3052 individuals participated (70.1 % female) and showed clinically relevant 1) depressive symptoms (55%), anxiety symptoms (47%), insomnia (23%), and eating disorder symptoms (64%). The prevalence of repeated suicidal ideation was 16% (9% nearly every day; 7% on more than half of the days per week). Compared to a HBSC-study from 2018 an increase of smartphone usage, a decrease of physical activity, and a decrease of mental well-being (WHO-5) from 43.7 (SD = 19.84) in 2018 to M = 35.79 (SD = 19.67) in female participants (t(2136) = -18.58; p < 0.001; d = -0.40) and a decrease from 53.1 (SD = 19.50) in 2018 to M = 43.93 (SD = 22.36) in male participants (t(855) = -12.00; p < 0.001; d = -0.43) was observed. Results suggests a high prevalence of mental disorders one year after the COVID-19 outbreak in Austria and highlight the need to implement health promotion and prevention strategies.

Note: Funding Statement: None.

Declaration of Interests: None.

Ethics Approval Statement: The principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki were followed and the ethics committee of the Danube-University Krems as well as the data protection officer of the Danube-University Krems approved the study.

Keywords: adolescents, mental health, COVID-19, depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, eating disorders

Suggested Citation

Pieh, Christoph and Plener, Paul L. and Probst, Thomas and Dale, Rachel and Humer, Elke, Mental Health in Adolescents during COVID-19-Related Social Distancing and Home-Schooling (March 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3795639 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3795639

Christoph Pieh (Contact Author)

Danube University Krems ( email )

Austria

Paul L. Plener

Medical University of Vienna ( email )

Vienna
Austria

Thomas Probst

Danube University Krems ( email )

Austria

Rachel Dale

Danube University Krems ( email )

Elke Humer

Danube University Krems ( email )

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