Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on educational, psychosocial and behavioral aspects of children: a cross sectional survey
Keywords:COVID-19, Educational, Psychosocial, Behavioural, Physical activity
Background: The outbreak of COVID-19 appeared first in China and then, rapidly, spread to the rest of the world, and WHO declared it as a pandemic.A nation-wide closure of educational institutions was implemented as an emergency measure in India in March 2020. Meanwhile the traditional classroom instructions were replaced by online classes and home-based learning. Pandemic stressors such as boredom, being in isolation, one of the family members hospitalized/ succumbed to covid, etc, may have even more negative impact on children’s behaviour and emotions. Objectives were to study the impact of covid 19 pandemic on psychosocial, educational and behavioral aspects of children.
Methods: The current study was a questionnaire based cross-sectional survey conducted among the parents attending paediatric OPD in NRI general and superspeciality hospital, Mangalagiri, between September 2021 to December 2021 over a period of 70 day along with their children of age group between 3 years to 18 years with an aim to explore various psychosocial, educational and behavioral aspects of children and their correlation.
Results: The results showed that, during the COVID-19 outbreak, the children tended to increase their use of screens, and were less active physically. Majority of children who had physical activity <2 hours and increase in sleeping hours during the pandemic, reported weight gain. In the present study screen time usage is more in adolescents (55%). Behavioural problems associated with screen time is 61% in the present study. The results suggest that children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak psychological effects and highlight the need to reduce the psychological burden of this pandemic and the necessity of immediate intervention.
Conclusions: Children are vulnerable to psychological stressors like social isolation, home confinement, closure of schools and activity centers for longer periods, which has debilitating effects on educational, psychological and developmental attainment.
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