Preliminary results have been obtained from a study led by researchers at the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU) and in which the Centre for Research in Occupational Health (CiSAL: UPF-IMIM) has participated. The results confirm that the emotional health of almost half of the child population has deteriorated during confinement.
Significant associations between confinement and negative emotions such as fear, sadness or nervousness have also been identified. These adverse effects could occur up to 3 years after confinement.
Studies conducted in the context of other epidemics have shown that lockdown can produce post-traumatic stress, depression, insomnia, irritability and exhaustion.
However, there are several elements that have caused the adverse effects of confinement to be expressed differently among the child population:
- Parents’ educational level.
- Access to an outside space. A quarter of the population does not have acces to a balcony, terrace or garden.
- Presence of tobacco smoke.
- Lack of natural light.
- The hours in front of a screen. A quarter of the population has spent 6 hours or more in front of a screen.
- Physical exercise. 20% of the population has not done exercise.
- The diet.
Firstly, researchers carried out the study with professionals in the health and socio-educational field who work with children. Later, they carried out 11,500 surveys to parents of 3 to 12-year-old children.