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The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted many aspects of society and has indirectly produced various psychological consequences. This systematic review aimed to estimate the worldwide prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to identify protective or risk factors contributing to child PTSD.
We conducted a systematic literature search in the PubMed, ProQuest, PsycINFO, Embase, Web of Science, WanFang, CNKI, and VIP databases. We searched for studies published between January 1, 2020 and May 26, 2021, that reported the prevalence of child PTSD due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as factors contributing to child PTSD. Eighteen studies were included in our systematic review, of which 10 studies were included in the meta-analysis.
The estimated prevalence of child PTSD after the COVID-19 outbreak was 28.15% (95% CI: 19.46–36.84%, I2 = 99.7%). In subgroup analyses for specific regions the estimated prevalence of post-pandemic child PTSD was 19.61% (95% CI: 11.23–27.98%) in China, 50.8% (95% CI: 34.12–67.49%) in the USA, and 50.08% in Italy (95% CI: 47.32–52.84%).
Factors contributing to child PTSD were categorized into four aspects: personal factors, family factors, social factors and infectious diseases related factors. Based on this, we presented a new framework summarizing the occurrence and influence of the COVID-19 related child PTSD, which may contribute to a better understanding, prevention and development of interventions for child PTSD in forthcoming pandemics.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had brought negative consequences and new stressors to mothers. The current study aims to compare factors predicting maternal mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown in China, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The sample consisted of 900 Dutch, 641 Italian, and 922 Chinese mothers (age M = 36.74, s.d. = 5.58) who completed an online questionnaire during the lockdown. Ten-fold cross-validation models were applied to explore the predictive performance of related factors for maternal mental health, and also to test similarities and differences between the countries.
COVID-19-related stress and family conflict are risk factors and resilience is a protective factor in association with maternal mental health in each country. Despite these shared factors, unique best models were identified for each of the three countries. In Italy, maternal age and poor physical health were related to more mental health symptoms, while in the Netherlands maternal high education and unemployment were associated with mental health symptoms. In China, having more than one child, being married, and grandparental support for mothers were important protective factors lowering the risk for mental health symptoms. Moreover, high SES (mother's high education, high family income) and poor physical health were found to relate to high levels of mental health symptoms among Chinese mothers.
These findings are important for the identification of at-risk mothers and the development of mental health promotion programs during COVID-19 and future pandemics.
We present new empirical data and meta-analytic evidence for the association of childhood maltreatment with reduced hippocampal volume. In Study 1, we examined the effects of maltreatment experiences reported during the Adult Attachment Interview on hippocampal volume in female twin pairs. We found that reduced hippocampal volume was related to childhood maltreatment. In addition, individuals who reported having experienced maltreatment at older ages had larger reductions in hippocampal volume compared to individuals who reported maltreatment in early childhood. In Study 2, we present the results of a meta-analysis of 49 studies (including 2,720 participants) examining hippocampal volume in relation to experiences of child maltreatment, and test the moderating role of the timing of the maltreatment, the severity of maltreatment, and the time after exposure to maltreatment. The results of the meta-analysis confirmed that experiences of childhood maltreatment are associated with a reduction in hippocampal volume and that the effects of maltreatment are more pronounced when the maltreatment occurs in middle childhood compared to early childhood or adolescence.
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