Zainel, AA, Daher-Nashif, S, Al-Maadeed, AN, Qotba, HA, Al Mujalli, H and Al-Kohji, SM (2023) Children and adolescents coping with home isolation and social distancing during Covid-19 in Qatar: a cross sectional study with qualitative items. BMC Psychology, 11 (1). 150 - ?. ISSN 2050-7283

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BACKGROUND: Covid-19 related studies report psychological impacts during home isolation and social distancing. Despite that, children and adolescents were able to adopt coping strategies that assisted in lowering severe levels of psychological disorders. This study aims to report on the psychosocial implications of social distancing and isolation on children of different nationalities who reside in Qatar, and to reveal their coping ways. METHODS: This is a cross sectional study with qualitative component at its end. The study is a part of a larger study that reported the results of a national screening for psychological disorders experienced by children and adolescents in Qatar. A bilingual online questionnaire included close-ended and one open-ended question to screen for psychological changes and identify coping strategies practiced by children and adolescents (7-18 years) during home-isolation and social distancing. The quantitative questionnaire had five main sections as follows: the sociodemographic characteristics, Spence Children's Anxiety Scale, Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale, and Clinical Anger Scale). The last section screened for eight different coping strategies. The summative content analysis was used to analyze the open-ended question "What practices do you do at home that make you happy?". First, open coding was used (for identification), followed by the axial coding (for comparison), and lasted by sorting of coping strategies inductively. RESULTS: Six thousand six hundred and eight (6608) subjects participated between June 23 and July 18, 2020. The clinical outcomes of the study had varying prevalence and levels of severity, which ranged from mild to severe. Higher prevalence was noted for adjustment disorder 66.5% (n = 4396), and generalized anxiety 60% (n = 3858), in comparison to depression 40% (n = 2588). Additionally, participants reported using cognitive, spiritual, social, and physical coping strategies. Eight higher order themes were identified to reflect the coping strategies: playing with siblings or pets, gardening, cooking, practicing arts and crafts, and doing chores. Furthermore, Sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, religion and family status played a considerable role in choosing the type of coping strategy. CONCLUSION: The uniqueness of the study is bringing the psychosocial implications of social distancing through the voices of children and adolescents, and coping strategies from their perspective. These results are of importance for educational and healthcare systems that are recommended to collaborate even in "normal" times to prepare these age categories for any future crises. The importance of daily lifestyle and family is highlighted as protectors, and crucial factors in emotional management.

Item Type: Article
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Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 23 May 2023 09:27
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 09:27

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