RESEARCH ARTICLE


Psychosocial Impact of Lockdown on Children due to COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Study



Mahdi Alnamnakani1, 2, *
iD
, Shuliweeh Alenezi2, 3
iD
, Hani Temsah4
iD
, Mohamad Alothman5
iD
, Rozan Esam Murshid6
iD
, Hana Alonazy6
iD
, Haitham Alqurashi6
iD

1 Department of Pediatric, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Psychiatry, SABIC Psychological Health Research and Applications Chair (SPHRAC), College of Medicine, King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Pediatrics, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Pediatric Emergency, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Pediatric, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Alnamnakani et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pediatric, King Saud University, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Tel:00966564495895; E-mails: drmahdi84@gmail.com, aelmalky@ksu.edu.sa, malnamnakani@ksu.edu.sa


Abstract

Background:

Quarantine measures during the COVID-19 lockdown had a negative impact on children’s psychology and development. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the psychological impact of quarantine on children due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia and to assess types of reported child maltreatment before and after the pandemic.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey among parents was performed along with a retrospective data review for anonymized data from the National Family Safety Program, Saudi Arabia. 436 children participated in this survey during June-November 2020.

Results:

The percentage of fathers with an organic or psychological illness in the children with elevated anxiety levels is 18.5% (p-value = 0.019). The anxiety level of the participants was assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7). Based on the scores, 10.1% had severe anxiety. The depression level of the participants was assessed using Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Based on the scores, 4.4% had severe depression. The anxiety level of the children was assessed using Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale – Parent (SCAS-Parent). Based on the overall score, 28.1% of the children had elevated anxiety levels. The anxiety level was elevated in a panic attack and agoraphobia for 36.8% of the kids, in separation anxiety for 26.8%, in physical injury fears for 35.1%, in social phobia for 19%, in obsessive-compulsive for 25.1%, and in generalized anxiety disorder/overanxious for 27.3%.

Conclusion:

Quarantine and lockdown during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a negative impact and many adverse effects on the mental and intellectual development of children. These negative outcomes may be addressed via well-planned multilevel interventions.

Keywords: Evaluation, Impact, Quarantine, Children, COVID-19, Pandemic.