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Understanding the Impact of Home Confinement on Children and Young People with ADHD and ASD During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Hall, Charlotte L.; Partlett, Christopher; Valentine, Althea Z.; Pearcey, Samantha; Sayal, Kapil


Assistant Professor of Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials

Samantha Pearcey

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


To understand whether the mental health of children and young people (CYP) with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were differentially affected by COVID-19. We analysed data (n = 6507) from the Co-Space study, a UK web-based longitudinal survey. CYP with ADHD (n = 160;2.5%), ASD (n = 465;7%), and ADHD + ASD (n = 155;2.4%) were compared with a reference group (n = 5727;88%) using parent-completed questionnaires [Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) & Pandemic Anxiety Scale (PAS)]. Baseline to 1-month follow-up differences were compared using linear regression models. CYP with ADHD and/or ASD had higher scores at baseline than other CYP. At follow-up, CYP with ASD showed small but significant improvements in symptoms (SDQ), compared with the reference group. CYP with ASD experienced a worsening of disease anxiety (PAS) and CYP with ADHD a deterioration in functional impairment. These findings indicate a mixed pattern of pandemic-related impact for CYP with ADHD and/or ASD.


Hall, C. L., Partlett, C., Valentine, A. Z., Pearcey, S., & Sayal, K. (2023). Understanding the Impact of Home Confinement on Children and Young People with ADHD and ASD During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Child Psychiatry and Human Development,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 22, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 12, 2023
Publication Date Jan 12, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 12, 2023
Journal Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Print ISSN 0009-398X
Electronic ISSN 1573-3327
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Psychiatry and Mental health; Developmental and Educational Psychology; Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Accepted: 22 December 2022; First Online: 12 January 2023; : ; : The authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.; : Ethical approval was received from University of Oxford Research Ethics Committee approval (R69060/RE020) received 27/03/2020. The study has therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.; : Participants gave informed consent for all surveys immediately before completing the baseline questionnaire. This included consent for anonymised data to be used in publications.


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