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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 207-213

Behavioural and Emotional difficulties in School children during COVID 19 pandemic using narrowband dimensions of SDQ: Online survey from North? East India

Department of Psychiatry, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Siddeswara Bargur Linganna
Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur - 784 001, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_130_21

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Background: Containment strategies such as lockdown during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have forced home confinement of many children. Data on psychological difficulties in children during lockdown are scarce from this part of the country. Aim: The aim of the study is to describe the burden and pattern of behavioral and emotional problems of schoolchildren during COVID-19 lockdown in a small town from Northeastern India. Materials and Methods: Caregivers of children (4–17 years old) attending English medium schools of the town were invited to participate in the study. A descriptive cross-sectional online survey using purposive nonprobability sampling was conducted between August and September 2020. Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used to measure behavioral and emotional difficulties of children. Responses were based on child's behaviors over the last 6 months which coincided with the ongoing lockdown period in the region. Results: A total of 304 responses were received, among which 242 were considered for analysis. The parent-reported SDQ showed 23.1% of children having emotional or behavioral problems during the COVID-19 lockdown. Peer problems (43.4%) were the most common, followed by conduct problems (25.6%), emotional problems (23.1%), and hyperactivity (11.1%). Type of family (nuclear/joint/extended) was significantly associated with total difficulties (χ2 = 6.608, P = 0.03), conduct problems (χ2 = 8.492, P = 0.01), and hyperactivity (χ2 = 5.908, P = 0.05). Socioeconomic status of the family was associated with hyperactivity (χ2 = 8.755, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Significant number of children have behavioral and emotional difficulties during COVID-19 lockdown period.

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