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Reviews of "Child and parent physical activity, sleep and screen time during COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic nationally representative data and associations with mental health"

This study found higher rates of sleep problems and increased weekend screen time compared to national pre-pandemic data in Australia. While the study was well-formulated, reviewers recommended that authors better isolate the causality of the phenomena observed.

Published onOct 19, 2020
Reviews of "Child and parent physical activity, sleep and screen time during COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic nationally representative data and associations with mental health"
key-enterThis Pub is a Review of
Child and parent physical activity, sleep and screen time during COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic nationally representative data and associations with mental health
Description

Objective: To investigate differences in movement behaviors (physical activity, sleep, screen time) in both parents and children during the early stages of COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, compared to pre-COVID-19 national data; and, estimate associations between these movement behaviors with parent and child mental health. Methods: We used cross-sectional baseline data from the COVID-19 Pandemic Adjustment Study (CPAS; N=2,365). Participants were parents of children aged ≤18 years, residing in Australia. We drew on nationally representative pre-COVID data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC; N=9,438). In both studies, parents provided the same self-report measures of physical activity, sleep quality, as well as measures of child physical activity and screen time. Parents reported on their own and their child’s mental health. Results: Compared to LSAC, children in CPAS had more sleep problems (17.4% vs 8.9%, p<.001) and more weekend screen time (3.98 hours vs 3.35 hours, p<.001), while more parents had poor sleep quality (56.7% vs 21.0%, p<.001) despite increased weekly physical activity (3.86 days vs 2.85 days, p<.001). Children’s sleep problems were associated with increased depression, anxiety and irritability symptoms, after accounting for physical activity and screen time (all p<.001). Poorer parent sleep quality and lower levels of physical activity were associated with poorer mental health across all indicators (all p≤.001). Conclusion: Government funded mental health programs to implement evidence-based sleep interventions for children and their parents, along with targeted messaging around physical activity should be considered to promote mental health within the family context during lockdown restrictions.

To read the original manuscript, click the link above. To read the reviews, click the links below.

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