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Brief Report: A Cross-Sectional Study of Anxiety Levels and Concerns of Chinese Families of Children With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Post-first-wave of COVID-19

Su, X; Cai, RY; Uljarević, M; Van Herwegen, J; Dukes, D; Yang, Y; Peng, X; (2021) Brief Report: A Cross-Sectional Study of Anxiety Levels and Concerns of Chinese Families of Children With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Post-first-wave of COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychiatry , 12 , Article 708465. 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.708465. Green open access

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has a multifaceted impact on mental health due to ill health, restrictions and lockdowns, and loss of employment and institutional support. COVID-19 may disproportionally impact families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) due to the already higher prevalence of mental health conditions in children with SEND and their parents. Therefore, it is essential to determine the short-term impact of the pandemic on the mental health of families with SEND in order to identify their ongoing health support needs. The current study aims to examine the anxiety level and concerns of children with SEND and their parents living in China. The sample consisted of 271 parents of children with SEND aged between 6 and 17 years (M age = 8.37; SD age = 2.76). Parents completed an online survey between 10 April to 8 June 2020. Both child and parental anxiety levels and various concerns increased after the initial wave of COVID-19 when compared with retrospective pre-COVID-19 levels. Parental anxiety and concern levels were significantly higher for those living in rural areas compared to urban areas. In addition, parental and child anxiety and concern levels were significantly correlated with each other. Parental anxiety at the lowest level made a unique and significant statistical contribution to children's anxiety levels. The implications of the study findings are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Brief Report: A Cross-Sectional Study of Anxiety Levels and Concerns of Chinese Families of Children With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Post-first-wave of COVID-19
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.708465
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.708465
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Su, Cai, Uljarević, Van Herwegen, Dukes, Yang, Peng and Samson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: COVID-19, China, SEND, anxiety, children, pandemic
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137140
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