Media use before, during and after COVID-19 lockdown according to parents in a clinically referred sample in child and adolescent psychiatry: Results of an online survey in Switzerland
- Journal Article
Background To investigate the consequences of COVID-19 lockdown on screen media use in children and adolescents with mental health problems, an online survey was conducted on leisure media use before, during and after the lockdown of spring 2020. Method Parents of patients (10-18 yrs) referred to child and adolescent psychiatry participated in an anonymous online survey, approximately six weeks after the first easing of lockdown measures. Parents rated the amount, the content and the psychological impact of their children's media use before, during and after the lockdown. Results N = 477 parents completed the survey. Patients showed a significant increase in media time during the lockdown (including devices such as mobile, tablet/PC, video game console, TV, and activities such as gaming, social media) and a moderate increase in the negative impact of media use on everyday life. After the lockdown, total media time returned to pre-COVID-19 levels in most patients, but remained slightly higher in males. A worsening of the main psychopathological problem during lockdown was related to elevated media time in children (10-13 yrs), but not in adolescents (14-18 yrs). Conclusion According to parents' retrospective ratings, the increase in screen media time was reversible, and seems to reflect an expected coping strategy during lockdown. However, male patients did not completely return to pre-COVID-19 gaming time, and a small number continued to display excessive gaming. Show more
Journal / seriesComprehensive Psychiatry
Pages / Article No.
SubjectScreen media use; Problematic use of the internet; COVID-19; Pandemic; Lockdown; Child and adolescent psychiatry
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