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Psychological Effects Caused by COVID-19 on Moroccan Children

DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2022.114017, PP. 235-242

Keywords: COVID-19, Children, Confinement

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Abstract:

Coronavirus disease 2019 is declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. On March 22, 2020, the Moroccan government declared a health emergency and also confinement. This study aimed to clarify the adverse effects of confinement on children and to analyze the factors influencing these effects. Our study concerns 495 families with 973 children specifying their activities during confinement, we find that 35% of children spend more than 3 hours on the TV, 29% engaged with their smartphones and 14% playing video games. 76% also had the opportunity to be involved in distance learning. Among consequences of home confinement, there is an increase in behavioral problems from 14% to 31% at the end of the 2nd week of confinement. Overall 77% experienced difficulties such as emotional disturbance, behavioral problems as well as sleep and eating disturbance. The under 6 aged children appeared to be more vulnerable to confinement. 75% of parents, however, noted that confinement also afforded the opportunity to improve relationship with their children. This is an important study that contributes to discussion and further studies on adverse effects of home confinement for children during epidemics. This should lead to further identification of activities that may lead to minimizing the adverse consequences of the experience. Examples might be family outings into places that do not involve meeting other people with close contacts. Distance learning might also be enriched with virtual meetings and discussions of schoolmates that may also involve teachers and parents.

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