With the arrival of COVID-19, many children and adolescents are feeling a very high level of psychological distress, according to the preliminary results of a recent study carried out by two researchers from the University of Sherbrooke.
Over the summer, they surveyed nearly 200 parents of children ages 6 to 17 to find out how they felt about the current situation. With this study, the researchers wanted to know the factors related to adaptation to COVID-19.
The researchers were able to identify a few avenues to explain this increase in anxiety in children. “We believe that it is very much linked to the loss of landmarks that we usually have in the environment. Like, for example, not being able to go to school in the same way anymore, not being able to see your friends in the same way, ”explained Catherine Laurier, professor in the psychoeducation department at the University of Sherbrooke.
These factors actually cause lassitude or sadness among some high school youths met by TVA Nouvelles at lunchtime in Drummondville, which went into the red zone almost two weeks ago.
“I have had less desire to go to school for some time now, and yet I have always liked going,” explained a Secondary 3 student from Jeanne-Mance school.
For his part, a graduate from the same school explains that he is struggling to find motivation. “I go to school, I work, I go to school, I work. The fact of not being able to see my friends as I would like, that begins to weigh, ”he admitted.
The distress rate revealed in the study is such that it corresponds to that usually recorded among vulnerable populations, a worrying situation according to Catherine Laurier.
“Yes we have to be worried, but above all we must mobilize to try to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. We must also try to mitigate the effects of the bereavement we have to do with the situation. ”
The second portion of the study will resume in November.