Students with the greatest odds of experiencing depression, anxiety or a deterioration to their wellbeing during the partial school closures were female, had experienced food poverty, or had previously accessed mental health support. Credit: JCPP Advances

A new study published in JCPP Advances has compared the wellbeing of UK students who remained at home for schooling during the first lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic with those who accessed school in person.

In the study, which included 11,765 students in grades 8-13 (aged 12-21 years), females, students who had experienced food poverty, and those who had previously accessed mental health support were at greatest risk of depression, anxiety, and a deterioration in . Students who accessed in-person schooling had poorer mental health, but this was accounted for by their different characteristics and background circumstances.

"Identifying circumstances that could make some school pupils especially vulnerable during lockdowns is important, both for allocating limited in-school places and for effectively supporting their education and wellbeing," said lead author Karen L. Mansfield, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford, in the UK. "We managed to capture responses from a diverse group of pupils during the first UK partial closure period, and our results highlighted established as well as other circumstances of heightened relevance during lockdown that were related to pupils' and wellbeing."

More information: Karen L. Mansfield et al, COVID‐19 partial school closures and mental health problems: A cross‐sectional survey of 11,000 adolescents to determine those most at risk, JCPP Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1002/jcv2.12021

Provided by Wiley