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Open AccessBrief Report

Prevalence and Associated Factors of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties during COVID-19 Pandemic in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

1
Department of Children’s Neurosciences, Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH, UK
2
Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London SE5 8AH, UK
3
Department of Women & Children’s Health, King’s College, London SE1 7EH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2020, 7(9), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/children7090128
Received: 19 July 2020 / Revised: 27 August 2020 / Accepted: 2 September 2020 / Published: 4 September 2020
Children and young people (CYP) with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) may be particularly vulnerable to adverse mental health effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional U.K. parent-reported study from 2nd April–2nd June 2020, using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. CYP with NDDs (n = 371), compared to neurotypical controls, had a higher prevalence of emotional symptoms (42% vs. 15%) and conduct problems (28% vs. 9%), and fewer prosocial behaviours (54% vs. 22%). All groups had worse emotional symptoms than pre-COVID groups, and those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder showed inflated conduct problems, while those with autism spectrum disorder exhibited decreased prosocial behaviours. Females with ASD had higher emotional symptoms compared to males. CYP with NDDs, and those without, showed higher levels of parent-reported mental health problems than comparable cohorts pre-COVID-19. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; behavioural neuroscience; mental health; COVID-19; pandemic; paediatric neurology autism spectrum disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; behavioural neuroscience; mental health; COVID-19; pandemic; paediatric neurology
MDPI and ACS Style

Nonweiler, J.; Rattray, F.; Baulcomb, J.; Happé, F.; Absoud, M. Prevalence and Associated Factors of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties during COVID-19 Pandemic in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Children 2020, 7, 128.

AMA Style

Nonweiler J, Rattray F, Baulcomb J, Happé F, Absoud M. Prevalence and Associated Factors of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties during COVID-19 Pandemic in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Children. 2020; 7(9):128.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nonweiler, Jacqueline; Rattray, Fiona; Baulcomb, Jennifer; Happé, Francesca; Absoud, Michael. 2020. "Prevalence and Associated Factors of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties during COVID-19 Pandemic in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders" Children 7, no. 9: 128.

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