THE PSYCHO-SOCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS - PART 2

How has the pandemic affected children?


Physical impact 


Nutrition


The loss of jobs and livelihood of parents and caregivers has its impact on children in the poorer sections of the population. Mal-nourishment, lack of medical attention and perhaps illnesses due to the stoppage of all immunization programs could be some of the indirect problems resulting from the pandemic. In most developing and backward countries, schools provided children from poorer strata of society with one balanced meal a day, now with the closure of schools for more than a year this problem has been compounded. A recent Lancet study predicts that 300,000 children could die in India alone due to malnutrition. [1] 


Health


Programs to aid pregnant and lactating mothers have been put on hold as the health care workers are focused on Covid 19 identification, isolation, treatment and now the vaccination program. 


Pediatricians report that there is a significant weight gain among children due to inactivity, being cooped up at home, anxiety, depression, behavioral problems etc. [2]


UN estimates that 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty this year this is in addition to the already estimated 386 million children in 2019. [3] 


UN also notes that the economic hardship experienced by families could result in significantly “high rates of infant mortality within a single year”. This could take developing countries a few steps backward. 


preview not available


Reference


What does social isolation mean for children and adolescents?


Impact in the area of social skills


The normal act of one little child hugging another is become a social taboo in the days of the pandemic. A parent finding the act adorable in the days before the pandemic would now restrain their child from such an act as a result of which young children may now grow up believing that social contact of any kind is not good. How this might affect the future of these children is a million-dollar question.  


The small joys of life viz; strolling around with friends, eating lunch together, enjoying their general banter etc being stolen away from them, it could be a great stressors for kids. The school isn’t only about academics; a major part of the schooling is about social interaction, forming friendly relationships, learning to handle conflict with peers and the skill of give and take in play.


Single children with no siblings could be the worst affected suffering from loneliness and despair. Children develop many social skills by interacting with peers and adults outside their homes. Social play is about how children learn what is right or wrong and how social interaction needs to be conducted in general. Single children may now be falling behind in developing these skills.  


If this is the case with normal children imagine the plight of children with special needs, especially children with intellectual disabilities, psychiatric and behavioral problems.


preview not available



[5]



Problems related to education


With 188 countries imposing closure of schools, 1.5 billion children and youth were affected during the pandemic. [6] 


Suddenly from having fun, interacting with friends and enjoying school, children have had to remain inside their homes and switch to a new mode of learning for over a year now. Although some countries did reopen schools or ensured that education continued online, I believe there is a tremendous backlog in learning. 


Have you for a moment wondered how many children in developing and underdeveloped countries have access to smart devices? Or how many children in one family would have to share one phone while this may be the lifeline of their parents as well? How many parents know how to handle smart phones so they can help their wards continue with their education? I have read about children in India having to walk a few kilometers so they can get network connectivity to attend class. Some have had to climb trees for better connectivity. If this is the current scenario what is the quality of education we expect them to get? 


It is not children alone who are struggling with the new methods of learning but teachers as well. Majority of teachers the world over have never in their lives explored online teaching before onset of the pandemic. This change has happened so abruptly that most of them are finding this as difficult as the children themselves. 


Getting the attention of younger children and keeping it during class is a major problem for teachers on any given day. How effective can online teaching be for younger kids? The skills imparted and gained through online teaching may be evident only when the dust settles on Covid-19 and children getting back to schools becomes real once again without any disruptions.


Researchers note that the pandemic has “become an adverse childhood experience (ACEs) and may generate toxic stress, with consequent potential losses for brain development, individual and collective health, and the long-term impairment of cognition, mental and physical health, and working capacity of future adults." [6]


Younger children may be confused by the fact that they are having a break from school but they are still not getting a break from studies. 


A study titled “A future for the world’s children” by Clark H., Coll-Seck A.M., Banerjee A., Peterson S., Dalglish S.L., Ameratunga S. A WHO–UNICEF – Lancet Commission, states that “genetic predispositions (biology) are modified by environmental influences (ecology) and affect learning capacities, adaptive behaviors, lifelong physical and mental health, and adult productivity". [7]   


Emotional and psychological impact of the pandemic 


Anxiety and stress 


A mere lack of routine and structure to their daily lives can cause a huge amount of stress and confusion in the minds of younger children. This problem could be compounded by the fact that parents are not able to adequately explain the concept of the pandemic to their child or that the child is too young to understand the concept. 


Children feed off their environment; they pick up the stress and strain from parents or other elders around them. They then internalize it and reflect back in other ways. Sometimes they just keep it within causing them even more stress because they know no other way of releasing the stress. The lack of outlets such as playtime, hanging out with friends, physical activity could show up in the form of various behavioral problems which could make parents even more stressed. This could become a vicious cycle.


Various other factors like loss of parents or grandparents to the pandemic, or parents being in quarantine and being separated from them or even parents losing their jobs and being unable to support them adequately could all affect children adversely. 


 Maria Elizabeth Loades and her colleagues from the UK reviewed 63 studies and concluded that, “social isolation and loneliness increased the risk of depression up to 9 years later. The duration rather than intensity of loneliness was more strongly associated with mental health symptoms.” [8]


Other child related problems


During such prolonged periods of social isolation there is a possibility of increase in the cases of child abuse, neglect and exploitation by adult care givers. However, what is troubling is that a huge majority of these problems may not be reported as children have no access to teachers or counselors in whom they can confide. 


Constant exposure to conflicts, abuse, violence, drunken brawls etc., at home with no respite, could trigger various mental health issues such as anxiety, fear, depression etc. This issues mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. This discussion will be continued in part 3 of this thesis.




Thanks for you time, I would like to hear your point of view in the comment section of this post.


To read part 1 of the thesis follow this link


To read part 3 of this thesis click on this link 




References 


[1] Lessons learned - The children of the pandemic - https://www.unicef.org/rosa/press-releases/covid-19-devastates-already-fragile-health-systems-over-440000-additional-children


[2] Mental Health, Wellness, and Childhood Overweight/Obesity – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388583/


[3] The impact of COVID-19 on children - https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/160420_Covid_Children_Policy_Brief.pdf


[4] The impact of COVID-19 on children - https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/160420_Covid_Children_Policy_Brief.pdf


[5] Kids and COVID isolation & stress: What parents need to know - https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/12/14/how-covid-isolation-and-stress-are-impacting-children 


[6] The potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child growth and development: a systematic review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7510529/


[7] A future for the world's children? A WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32085821/


[8] Rapid Systematic Review: The Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness on the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents in the Context of COVID-19 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7267797/


 


Image source edited by me on Canva




  Please do not comment if you haven't read this part of the thesis. Generic comments will be down voted as spam.

COMMENT

11

Dr. Yousaf Janni
06 Apr

Wow you really did a great job dear... Your thesis and hard work is really need appreciation... Covid_19 no doubt impact developing countries mostly India and Pakistan... 

Due to this pandemic, childrens in rural areas do not get proper food because of  this malnutrition occur which leads to many health problems... 

Education is tatally destroy because of this pandemic... Offline classes shifted to online but in northern and other rural areas net issues present so the students don't get proper education... Stress and anxiety also common because of self isolation for prolong time... May God protect all of us from this pandemic... Thanks for sharing such a great thesis with us... 

22

Sofs Su
06 Apr

I wouldn't say eduction is destroyed, but surely there is a back log. While schools will ensure that the children catch up when things normalize what will be left behind are talents and soft skills. 

Childrenm may never trully realize their potential.

6

Hanzla Noor
06 Apr

I am worried about the children without parents or gaurdians. Because they are most favorable for getting infection and now when the third wave is hitting children especially.

22

Sofs Su
06 Apr

Such children are always the high risk group, they are right at the top pandemic or not.

27

Adeleye Abdulqudus
06 Apr

I missed the first part to this project 

I just hope you could add the link to the first part so it will be easier to navigate 

Andy issue being discussed how about
Malnutrition and poverty rate also the impact of COVID-19 on the children and also The adolescent it's something to be taking more serious than expected

In this contemporary want to leave it especially the developing nations and Some Africa countries A step backwards for them to improve in your abilities and skills especially the talent of the young ones Are been buried

I just hope we could have a better understanding about this before its too late. 

22

Sofs Su
06 Apr

The link is right there before the references.

True, children are going to lag behind in many areas. Extra curricular activities will be the most affected. 

Absolutely, we need to have a better understanding to adress these issues. I discuss them in the next and final part of this study. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

27

Adeleye Abdulqudus
06 Apr


Can't wait to grab the final and conclude in Part

22

Sofs Su
06 Apr

Thank you, I appreciate this very much.

18

Ishmael Kelechi
06 Apr

This research work is very rich with details on how the school aged children had fair during the lockdown caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

The ACEs under study here measure the state at which children have been affected due to diverse consequences that might errored during the period.

Learning is fun when you are in the midst of ther learners. As a single child, some kids may get traumatized learning alone, all by themselves. 

For me, the online teaching may have it advantages, but the effects outweighs the merits. 

22

Sofs Su
06 Apr

Social isolationis traumatic in itself, however, what is more traumatic is the endless uncertainity that accompanies it.
Single children are surely the worst affected. However, the poorer sections will as always be the worst sufferes.

14

Amjad Ali Waince
06 Apr

Covid19 pandemic has vast impacts on our lives. We are effected by it in every field. Our children too getting worst experience in all mentioned fields. Their social activities chain broken and heath issues rising as their fatness and sensitivity. They are feeling fustration and stress by locking in houses. Their educational career damaged badly as the routine and apperence dropped back.

22

Sofs Su
06 Apr

The very structure of their daily lives has been eroded and anxiety, depression, Irritation all ensue. 

There is surely a giant of a problem arising from this. We need to be proactive as givernments, caregivers, parents and teachers.

COMMUNITY DETAILS

Health

9202

Subscriber

1

Online

From mental health to physical health.

RELATED COMMUNITIES

Bitcoin Cash

29606 subscribers

Litecoin

28554 subscribers

Cryptocurrency Mining

27864 subscribers

Trading & TA

25144 subscribers

Zcash

19938 subscribers

Uptrennd Optimization

16839 subscribers

© 2021 UpTrennd.com