The effects of the restrictions imposed on the pandemic covid-19 on mental health and substance use behaviors in adolescents

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:3221556 12 Read counter

Κατεύθυνση Αντιμετώπιση Εξαρτήσεων-Εξαρτησιολογία
Library of the School of Health Sciences
Deposit date:
Petros Georgios
Supervisors info:
Θωμάς Παπαρρηγόπουλος, Καθηγητής, Ιατρικής Σχολής, ΕΚΠΑ
Ηλίας Τζαβέλλας, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής, Ιατρικής Σχολής, ΕΚΠΑ
Καλλιόπη Τριανταφύλλου, Επιστημονική συνεργάτης, PhD κλινικής ψυχολογίας
Original Title:
Οι επιπτώσεις των επιβληθέντων περιορισμών της πανδημίας covid-19 στην ψυχική υγεία και σε συμπεριφορές χρήσης ουσιών σε εφήβους
Translated title:
The effects of the restrictions imposed on the pandemic covid-19 on mental health and substance use behaviors in adolescents
Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. From the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic around the end of the year 2019 until 15 December of the year 2021, 270,791,973 cases and 5,318,216 deaths were recorded worldwide, including 1,012,659 cases and 19,475 deaths in Greece. (WHO). One of the most significant impacts has been the imposition of severe restrictive measures worldwide to deal with it, such as social distancing and travel bans. Covid-19 disease combined with forced quarantine and social isolation causes a host of psychosocial effects, an increase in addictive drug use, addictive internet behaviours and opioid overdose deaths. Adolescents are a particularly vulnerable group. It is in adolescence that the factors that contribute to the appearance of addictions usually develop. The aim of the present study is to investigate the impact of severe restrictive measures on the mental health and addictions of adolescents living in Greece and to compare the impact on adolescent mental health and addictions in other States where such measures have either not been imposed, such as Sweden, or have been imposed. Methodology: An online survey was conducted from July 2021 to December 2021 among adolescents in Greece and in the countries of Sweden, Spain, Poland, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Italy, USA, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia. A total of 570 adolescents (422 from Greece and 148 from other countries) participated in the survey. Results: The pandemic reportedly affected adolescents, leading them to adopt unhealthier lifestyles. Problems with a variety of addictions (e.g. screens p<0.001 in Greece and Sweden, coffee tea and/or energy drinks p=0.049 in Greece and p<0.001 in Sweden, intake of high calorie/salt, sweet, salty foods p<0.001 in Greece and Sweden, internet games p<0, 001 in Greece and Sweden, surfing the internet p<0,001 in Greece and Sweden, Social Media p<0,012 in Greece and p<0,001 Sweden) are some of the recorded problems that appeared in the survey among all adolescents interviewed in Greece and Sweden. Additional there are differences in the effects depending on the measures imposed, but they were not significant in all cases and in particular, adolescents in Greece had significantly lower consumption of coffee, tea and/or energy drinks, and lower intake of calorie/salt-rich foods, sweets and salty foods, while at the same time they had significantly less use of various screens, Social Media and internet surfing, on the contrary they had a non-statistically significant higher consumption of tobacco, beverages containing alcohol, drugs, hypnotics, while they exercised significantly less often. There were also differences between Greece and other countries with similar measures, namely, adolescents in Greece had significantly lower consumption of coffee, tea and/or energy drinks, as well as significantly lower use of Social Media, online games, online pornography, surfing, online gambling and exercised physically significantly less often. Girls in both Greece and abroad showed statistically significantly higher levels of anxiety compared to boys (in Greece p<0.001, in other countries p=0.028). The marital status, place of residence, environment, daily habits, and covid-19 infection allegedly affected both the type and the rates of addictions, while differences were also recorded according to gender. Conclusions: The study shows that there are differences in effects according to the measures imposed, as well as differences between Greece and other countries with similarly imposed measures, demonstrating the complexity of adolescent mental health and the multifactoriality of addictions.
Main subject category:
Health Sciences
Covid-19, restrictions, adolescent mental health, psychosocial Impact, dependencies
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