Psychological impact of ‘lockdown’ on behaviour of children and adolescents during COVID19 pandemic: An online survey

Psychological impact of COVID19 pandemic on children and adolescents

  • Kaustav Chakraborty Associate Professor & Head, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and JNM Hospital, Kalyani, Nadia, West Bengal
  • Moumita Chatterjee Demonstrator, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and J.N.M. Hospital, WBUHS, Kalyani, Nadia, WB, India
  • Ranjan Bhattacharyya Associate Professor & Head, Department of Psychiatry, Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital, Murshidabad, WB, India
  • Rajarshi Neogi Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, WB, India
Keywords: pandemic, lockdown, COVID19, psychological, children, adolescents


Background: COVID19 pandemic poses a unique medical challenge to humanity in recent times. The psychological impact of ‘lockdown’ as a social distancing strategy among children needs to be studied well.

Aim: To assess the psychological impact of ‘lockdown’ on behaviour of children and adolescents.

Methods: An online survey was conducted among parents of 3-15-year-old children by using Google Form. A 35-item self-designed questionnaire was used for the purpose of the study. Total 645 responses were received by the stipulated time.

Results: The mean age of the children was 8.3 years (± 3.5). Majority of the children were male (51.6%), 1st born child (82.2%), and studying in primary school (44.8%). Near about one-third on the children became more irritable (35.3%), hyperactive (33.3%), defiant/ disobedient (38%), anxious (29.9%), and crying more often (32.7%) during the period of lockdown. Near about one-tenth of the children became more violent (15.7%), introvert (9.8%), were verbalising more negative thoughts (16.1%), and were having frequent nightmares (9.6%) during the lockdown. Near about two-third of the children engaged more in mobile phones (63.4%) and watched television (58.1%) compared to their usual self during lockdown. Only one-fourth (25.4%) of the children had scope for outdoor sports activity during lockdown. Near about two-third (58.3%) and one-third (32.2%) of the children reported change in their sleeping and feeding habit respectively. Majority of the male (38.7%) and female (42.6%) children coped well with the lockdown.

Conclusion: Index survey suggested that one-third of the children and adolescents were adversely affected due to lockdown.    

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