The psychological impact of COVID‑19 quarantine on children, and the role of parental support and physical environment design

Date
2021-09-28
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Source Title
Discov Psychol
Print ISSN
2731-4537
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Publisher
Springer International Publishing AG
Volume
1
Issue
2
Pages
Language
English
Type
Article
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Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 is a contagious infection that caused a global lockdown and affected children who needed to stay home. There is a lack of knowledge about the role of parental stress and physical environment design on children’s mental wellbeing in quarantine. We hypothesis that COVID-19 quarantine affected child mental health, and that paternal stress or support, and child physical environment including household space, colors, sunlight exposure, and natural views, impacted child mental wellbeing in the quarantine. To assess the effect of quarantine on a child’s mental health, an online survey was administered globally through scientific organizations and social media. Those over 18 years old, and guardians of children were asked to participate in the survey. The survey was filled by 114 guardians from 31 countries. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data. Most participants experienced stress in the quarantine and reported child anxiety symptoms including focus reduction, sleeping difficulties, and appetite changes. Family fun activities and encouraging words, were mostly successful in reducing child anxiety. Reporting anxiety symptoms in children were more common in parents who had mental hardships compared to those who did not experience mental problems or had an improved mental status. Physical environment assessment showed that households with bright walls associated with fewer reports of child mental problems compared to households with neutral wall colors, and that most guardians thought that their children’s living space was not sufficient to play and study. Architects can provide evidence-based recommendations for customers to support children’s mental health.

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Keywords
COVID-19, Environmental design, Children’s mental health, Child anxiety, Parental stress and support
Citation
Published Version (Please cite this version)