Leading child and adolescent experts, Professor Cathy Creswell and Associate Professor Polly Waite, have contributed important information from the Co-SPACE study findings to the recent - State of the nation 2021: children and young people's wellbeing - report.
The COVID-19: Supporting Parents, Adolescents and Children during Epidemics (Co-SPACE) study and its partner studies were set up to help share understanding of how families have coped throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and what parents can do to support their children's mental health.
The results have helped to share information about how children, young people and their families have been getting on, what is working for them, and what they are finding difficult, which has enabled the development of several resources and approaches to support.
Dr Simona Skripkauskaite, Co-SPACE team, Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, said:
'Throughout the pandemic we observed that children and young people's behavioural, emotional, and inattention symptoms have worsened in line with restrictions. It was notable that primary-aged children appeared particularly susceptible to these changes during the periods of lockdowns. Of great concern, children with special educational needs and neurodevelopmental disorders, along with those from lower income households, showed persistently increased difficulties throughout the pandemic, even when restrictions were eased.'
Associate Professor Polly Waite, Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, said:
'Our findings demonstrate the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people's lives, especially for particular families. The State of the Nation report helps to shed light on this and the wider issues that children, young people and their families face, which we hope will help to improve understanding and support for families as we enter the next phase of the pandemic and beyond.'
For further information about Co-SPACE.
This article was first published by the Department of Psychiatry.