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Article

Quality of Life and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents after the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Large Population-Based Survey in South Tyrol, Italy

1
Institute of General Practice and Public Health, Claudiana College of Health Professions, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
2
Department of Public Health, Medical Decision Making and Health Technology Assessment, University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, 6060 Hall, Austria
3
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany
4
Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, 12627 Berlin, Germany
5
Department of Health Management, Apollon University of Applied Sciences, 28359 Bremen, Germany
6
Faculty of Education, Free University of Bolzano, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095220
Received: 30 March 2022 / Revised: 18 April 2022 / Accepted: 23 April 2022 / Published: 25 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Child and Adolescent Mental Health)
Background: Methodological heterogeneity of studies and geographical variation limit conclusions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of youth. This study aimed to explore the health-related quality of life and mental health of children and adolescents in the second year of the pandemic in South Tyrol, Italy. Methods: An online survey representative for the age and gender of the children and adolescents in South Tyrol was conducted among 5159 families with children and adolescents aged 7–19 years, between 28 May and 16 June 2021. The survey collecting parental ratings and self-rated questionnaires from children and adolescents aged 11–19 years included instruments to measure health-related quality of life (KIDSCREEN-10), mental health problems (SDQ), anxiety (SCARED), and depression (CES-DC). The results were compared with data from corresponding studies conducted in Germany. Results: Decreased health-related quality of life and increased conduct problems, peer-related mental health problems, anxiety, and depressive and psychosomatic symptoms in children and adolescents observed in the second year of the pandemic in Germany were confirmed in the second year in South Tyrol. Children and adolescents with low socioeconomic status, a migration background, and limited living space were significantly affected. Female sex and older age were associated with increased psychosocial problems and a positive family climate supported the mental health of children and adolescents during the pandemic. Conclusions: Confirmation of findings of decreased health-related quality of life and increased emotional problems after the first year of the pandemic supports the ongoing call for low-threshold health promotion, prevention, and early intervention programs to support children and adolescents who have been severely affected by the pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; mental health; quality of life; anxiety; depression; children and adolescents COVID-19; mental health; quality of life; anxiety; depression; children and adolescents
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barbieri, V.; Wiedermann, C.J.; Kaman, A.; Erhart, M.; Piccoliori, G.; Plagg, B.; Mahlknecht, A.; Ausserhofer, D.; Engl, A.; Ravens-Sieberer, U. Quality of Life and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents after the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Large Population-Based Survey in South Tyrol, Italy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 5220. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095220

AMA Style

Barbieri V, Wiedermann CJ, Kaman A, Erhart M, Piccoliori G, Plagg B, Mahlknecht A, Ausserhofer D, Engl A, Ravens-Sieberer U. Quality of Life and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents after the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Large Population-Based Survey in South Tyrol, Italy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(9):5220. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095220

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barbieri, Verena, Christian Josef Wiedermann, Anne Kaman, Michael Erhart, Giuliano Piccoliori, Barbara Plagg, Angelika Mahlknecht, Dietmar Ausserhofer, Adolf Engl, and Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer. 2022. "Quality of Life and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents after the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Large Population-Based Survey in South Tyrol, Italy" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 9: 5220. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095220

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