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A Survey of the Psychological Status of Primary School Students Who were Quarantined at Home during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Epidemic in Hangzhou China

Author(s): Yanghao Zheng, Jianhua Li, Meiyan Zhang, Bicheng Jin, Xiaoyi Li, Zhiyong Cao, Nanping Wu, Changzhong Jin

Objective: To investigate the presence of social anxiety and depression and the risk factors for them among primary school students who were quarantined at home during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic in Hangzhou China.

Methods: A total of 1620 students who were quarantined at home for at least one month were recruited from two primary schools in Hangzhou. Students completed a questionnaire on a mobile App with help from their guardians; the measures included demographic and general information, the Social Anxiety Scale for Children (SASC), and the Depression Selfrating Scale for Children (DSRSC).

Results: The mean SASC score of the participants was 3.90 ± 3.73, which was higher than the mean norm score of Chinese urban children (3.48 ± 3.47) (P < 0.01). The mean DSRSC score of the participants (5.67 ± 4.97) was much lower than the mean norm score of Chinese urban children (9.84 ± 4.73) (P < 0.05). A total of 279 (17.2%) students had social anxiety, with a mean score of 10.41 ± 2.59, and 102 (6.3%) students had depression, with a mean score of 18.96 ± 3.89. The following variables were found to be significant risk factors for social anxiety during home quarantine: deterioration of the parent-child relationship, increased conflicts with parents, irregular work and rest, and worrying more about being infected. Deterioration of the parent-child relationship, less physical activity, irregular work and rest, and negative mood during home quarantine were significant risk factors for depression.

Conclusion: Primary school students who were quarantined at home during the COVID-19 epidemic were more likely to have social anxiety but less likely to have depressive symptoms. Poor parent-child relationships, irregularity of work and rest, and epidemic-related problems were the main reasons for psychological problems. Families, schools, and social organizations need to pay more attention to the psychological status of primary school students quarantined at home.

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    Michael Maes

  • Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
    Deakin University
    Victoria, Australia

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