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Pandemic casts a shadow on mental health of youth

13 Apr 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic still tormenting the people across the globe, there has been a noticeable impact of it on the mental health among the general population. 

Dr Omar al Omari from Sultan Qaboos University explored this topic with his research project ‘Depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness and satisfaction of life among youth at the time of coronavirus: A multi-country study’ for the COVID-19 Research Programme of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

For his research project, principal investigator Dr Omari used a cross-sectional, descriptive design to explore the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among youth as well as to identify to what extent certain variables related to COVID-19 could predict depression, anxiety, and stress (DAS) among young people in six different countries.

Participants were requested to complete an online survey including demographics and the DAS scale. A total of 1,057 participants completed the study, with 155 participants from Oman, 121 from Saudi Arabia, 332 from Jordan, 117 from Iraq, 147 from the United Arab Emirates, and 182 from Egypt.

 

The main findings of the research were that:

 The total prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress was 57 per cent, 40.5 per cent, and 38.1 per cent, respectively, with no significant differences between countries. 

Significant predictors of stress, anxiety, and depression were being female, being in contact with a friend and/or a family member with mental illness, being quarantined for 14 days, and using the internet.

Dr Omari concluded through his research that COVID-19 is an epidemiological crisis that is casting a shadow on youths’ depression, anxiety and stress. 

The restrictions and prolonged lockdowns imposed by COVID-19 are negatively impacting their level of DAS.

 

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