Psychosocial health of school-going adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from a nationwide survey in Bangladesh

Article


Koly, Kamrun Nahar, Islam, Md. Saiful, Potenza, Marc N., Mahumud, Rashidul Alam, Islam, Md. Shefatul, Uddin, Md. Salim, Sarwa, Md. Afzal Hossain, Begum, Farzana and Reidpath, Daniel D.. 2023. "Psychosocial health of school-going adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from a nationwide survey in Bangladesh." PLoS One. 18 (3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0283374
Article Title

Psychosocial health of school-going adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from a nationwide survey in Bangladesh

ERA Journal ID39745
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsKoly, Kamrun Nahar, Islam, Md. Saiful, Potenza, Marc N., Mahumud, Rashidul Alam, Islam, Md. Shefatul, Uddin, Md. Salim, Sarwa, Md. Afzal Hossain, Begum, Farzana and Reidpath, Daniel D.
Journal TitlePLoS One
Journal Citation18 (3)
Article Numbere0283374
Number of Pages19
Year2023
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1932-6203
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0283374
Web Address (URL)https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0283374
Abstract

Background: Common psychosocial health problems (PHPs) have become more prevalent among adolescents globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the psychosocial health of school-going adolescents has remained unexplored in Bangladesh due to limited research during the pandemic. The present study aimed to estimate the prevalence of PHPs (i.e., depression and anxiety) and assess associated lifestyle and behavioral factors among school-going adolescents in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional survey was conducted among 3,571 school-going adolescents (male: 57.4%, mean age: 14.9±1.8 years; age range: 10-19 years) covering all divisions, including 63 districts in Bangladesh. A semi-structured e-questionnaire, including informed consent and questions related to socio-demographics, lifestyle, academics, pandemic and PHPs, was used to collect data between May and July 2021.

Results: The prevalence of moderate to severe depression and anxiety were 37.3% and 21.7%, respectively, ranging from 24.7% in the Sylhet Division to 47.5% in the Rajshahi Division for depression, and from 13.4% in the Sylhet Division to 30.3% in the Rajshahi Division for anxiety. Depression and anxiety were associated with older age, reports of poor teacher cooperation in online classes, worries due to academic delays, parental comparison of academic performance with other classmates, difficulties coping with quarantine situations, changes in eating habits, weight gain, physical inactivity and having experienced cyberbullying. Moreover, being female was associated with higher odds of depression.

Conclusions: Adolescent psychosocial problems represent a public health problem. The findings suggest a need for generating improved empirically supported school-based psychosocial support programs involving parents and teachers to ensure the well-being of adolescents in Bangladesh. School-based prevention of psychosocial problems that promote environmental and policy changes related to lifestyle practices and active living should be developed, tested, and implemented.

KeywordsAdolescent; Adult; Anxiety; Bangladesh; Child; COVID-19; Cross-Sectional Studies
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420606. Social determinants of health
420202. Disease surveillance
Byline AffiliationsInternational Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (ICDDR), Bangladesh
Yale School of Medicine, United States
Connecticut Mental Health Center, United States
Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, United States
Yale University, United States
University of Sydney
Centre for Health Research
Aspire to Innovate (a2i), Bangladesh
Queen Margaret University, United Kingdom
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