• Kia Fullerton

Children’s behaviour has got worse during lockdown, Oxford study finds

Primary school children are displaying more signs of emotional and mental health problems during lockdown, a new study has revealed.

Research from the University of Oxford has revealed more parents are reporting more cases of their child showing feelings of unhappiness and anxiety.

Furthermore, more children aged between four and ten are becoming more clingy in lockdown, while there are also been an increase in behavioural problems, such as temper tantrums, acts of disobedience and arguments. 

Over 10,000 parents and carers are taking part in the survey, which is recording the impact of coronavirus on the mental health of young children. 

The university study's co-lead, Professor Cathy Creswell, who specialises in developmental clinical psychology, said: "Prioritising the mental health of children and young people throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond is critical.

"These findings highlight that there is wide variation in how children and young people have been affected, with some finding life easier but others experiencing more difficulties."

Professor Creswell added: "We need to continue to gain a better understanding of which families are struggling and what they need to help direct the right advice and support going forward to ensure that this does not have long-lasting consequences."

This situation appears to be mainly affecting young children, as secondary school pupils are showing fewer signs of emotional difficulties, according to the same report. However, there has been an increase in attention behaviours and restlessness amongst teenagers during lockdown.

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