Life Conditions during COVID-19 Lockdown and Mental Health in Spanish Adolescents

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 7;17(19):7327. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17197327.


Spanish children were locked down for 72 days due to COVID-19, causing severe disruption to their normal life. The threat posed by COVID-19 continues and clinicians, administrators, and families need to know the life conditions associated with more psychological problems to modify them and minimize their effect on mental health. The goal was to study the life conditions of adolescents during lockdown and their association with psychological problems. A total of 226 parents of 117 girls and 109 boys (mean age: 13.9; Standard deviation: 0.28) from the community that were participants in a longitudinal study answered an online questionnaire about life conditions during lockdown and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Stepwise regression analyses controlling by previous reports of SDQ were performed. Conduct, peer, prosocial, and total problems scores increased after lockdown. After adjusting for previous measures of psychopathology, worse adolescents' mental health during COVID-19 lockdown was associated with unhealthy activities, worsening of the relationships with others, and dysfunctional parenting style. It seems important to mitigate psychological stress in a situation of isolation due to a state of emergency by keeping the adolescent active and maintaining their daily habits and routines in a non-conflictive atmosphere and give support to parents.

Keywords: COVID-19; adolescents; life conditions; lockdown; mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Coronavirus*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Quarantine / psychology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spain / epidemiology