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Mental health difficulties in children increased during the first national lockdown (between March and June 2020), but have decreased since.

Primary school children running into school

The latest report from the Co-SPACE study highlights that for participating primary school aged children:

  • Over the course of the first national lockdown (March - June 2020), behavioural and restless/attentional difficulties increased, while most children were not attending school.
  • Behavioural, emotional, and restless/attentional difficulties have generally decreased from July (i.e. when home schooling demands typically reduce), throughout the summer holidays, and as children returned to school in September.

Participating parents and carers reported that their children displayed increasing behaviour difficulties from March to June 2020, including temper tantrums, arguments and not doing what they were being asked to do by adults. They also became more fidgety and restless and had greater difficulty paying attention. However, parents and carers reported a decrease in these difficulties from July to October. Since then, children have also been reported to display fewer emotional difficulties, such as feeling unhappy, worried, being clingy and experiencing physical symptoms associated with worry.

The full story is available on the University of Oxford website