Pandemic can leave long-term effect on kids' mental health: Study

WION Web Team
Bristol, United Kingdom Published: May 16, 2021, 09:51 PM(IST)

Children and Coronavirus Photograph:( AFP )

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Many parents have also reported cases where the children, usually in their early teenage years, have started behaving like much younger kids as the world is slowly returning back to normalcy

It is believed that children, around the age of two, usually go through a turbulent period of uncontrollable emotions. However, similar emotional distress is now being observed in children much older, due to coronavirus.

The emotional stress that young children and youngsters have gone through in the coronavirus pandemic can lead to serious and dangerous mental health problems in their later years.

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Research, conducted by experts at the University of Bristol, found children as old as eight have also shown difficult and emotional behaviour, and thrown tantrums which are usually associated with the "terrible twos".

For this research, the experts collected and compared data from a time before the covid crisis took over the world and from the time after covid has taken millions of lives through second (and in some countries, third) waves all over the world.

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"Emotional problems usually peak around age two and then decline over childhood, but during the pandemic older children had much higher levels of emotional difficulties than would be expected at their age," Rebecca Pearson, a senior lecturer in psychiatric epidemiology at the University of Bristol explained.

"Our findings suggest that primary school children may have emotional difficulties at the level expected during the 'terrible twos'. This could reflect a delay in emotional development that, if not supported, may far outlive the pandemic and have long-term consequences for this generation of children," she added.

Many parents have also reported cases where the children, usually in their early teenage years, have started behaving like much younger kids as the world is slowly returning back to normalcy. Stomping feet, screaming and shouting, not brushing teeth or not getting dressed, and not wanting to step out of the house have been some of the common problems that parents are observing in their grown-up children after multiple lockdowns.

This study has not been peer-reviewed yet and the research is preliminary.

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