The objective of our study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the emotional and behavioral symptoms in minors with neuropsychiatric disorders and on parental stress through a standardized neuropsychological assessment, comparing the data collected before the pandemic with those collected during the lock-down. Another goal of our study was to analyze the relationship between parental stress and behavioral/emotional symptoms in children. Our study was conducted on 383 families of patients who had already been referred at the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit of the University Hospital of Salerno for different neuropsychiatric conditions. All the parents completed two neuropsychological standardized questionnaires for the assessment of parental stress (PSI—Parenting Stress Index-Short Form) and the emotional/behavioral problems of their children (Child Behaviour CheckList). The data collected during the pandemic were compared with those collected from questionnaires administered during the six months preceding the pandemic, as is our usual clinical practice. The comparison between the mean scores of PSI and CBCL before and after the pandemic showed a statistically significant increase in all subscales analyzed in the total sample. The correlation analysis showed significant positive relationship between the subscale Total Stress of PSI and the subscales Total Problems and Internalizing Problems of CBCL. Our study suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding measures adopted led to an increase in internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children and adolescents with neuropsychiatric disorder. Similarly, parental stress increased during COVID-19 and ahigher level of stress in parents can be related to the internalizing symptoms of their children.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Adolescents with Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Emotional/Behavioral Symptoms and Parental Stress

Carotenuto M.;
2022

Abstract

The objective of our study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the emotional and behavioral symptoms in minors with neuropsychiatric disorders and on parental stress through a standardized neuropsychological assessment, comparing the data collected before the pandemic with those collected during the lock-down. Another goal of our study was to analyze the relationship between parental stress and behavioral/emotional symptoms in children. Our study was conducted on 383 families of patients who had already been referred at the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit of the University Hospital of Salerno for different neuropsychiatric conditions. All the parents completed two neuropsychological standardized questionnaires for the assessment of parental stress (PSI—Parenting Stress Index-Short Form) and the emotional/behavioral problems of their children (Child Behaviour CheckList). The data collected during the pandemic were compared with those collected from questionnaires administered during the six months preceding the pandemic, as is our usual clinical practice. The comparison between the mean scores of PSI and CBCL before and after the pandemic showed a statistically significant increase in all subscales analyzed in the total sample. The correlation analysis showed significant positive relationship between the subscale Total Stress of PSI and the subscales Total Problems and Internalizing Problems of CBCL. Our study suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding measures adopted led to an increase in internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children and adolescents with neuropsychiatric disorder. Similarly, parental stress increased during COVID-19 and ahigher level of stress in parents can be related to the internalizing symptoms of their children.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/469739
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