Summaries of Published Research
Monthly correlates of longitudinal child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic according to children and caregivers
Rappaport, L. M., *Mactavish, A., *Mastronardi, C., Babb, K. A., Menna, R., Amstadter, A. B., &
Battaglia, M. (in press). Monthly correlates of longitudinal child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic according to children and caregivers. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
This paper examined variation in children's mental health and well-being monthly from June 2020 through December 2021 to understand the chronic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to examine potential correlates of months when children reported worsened or improved distress. Children reported, and parents or guardians observed, improved mental health and well-being on months when children had less risk of getting sick with COVID-19 and less impact from the closure of significant events needed to address the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which were both markedly associated with the local prevalence of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Adolescent pain: Appraisal of the construct and trajectory prediction-by-symptom between age 12 and 17 years in a Canadian twin birth cohort.
Battaglia, M., Garon-Carrier, G., Rappaport, L., Brendgen, M., Dionne, G., Vitaro, F., Tremblay, R. E., & Biovin, M. (in press). Adolescent pain: Appraisal of the construct and trajectory prediction-by-symptom between age 12 and 17 years in a Canadian twin birth cohort. Pain.
This paper examined 6 particularly common pain symptoms reported by children and adolescents (headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, chest pain, stabbing throbbing pain, gastric pain/nausea). We first identified that all 6 symptoms indexed adolescents' general pain severity from ages 12 through 17. This suggests that clinicians may benefit from treating each pain symptom as an indicator of general pain rather than treating each symptom as necessarily a unique experience. We then identified that back pain particularly predicted which adolescents were at increased risk to experience frequent pain throughout adolescence.
Children’s mental health in Southwestern Ontario during Summer 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic
*Mactavish, A., *Mastronardi, C., Menna, R., Babb, K. A., Battaglia, M., Amstadter, A. B., & Rappaport, L. M. (2021). Children’s mental health in Southwestern Ontario during Summer 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 30, 177-190.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a broad impact on the mental health of children in Southwestern Ontario. Children and parents report increased anxiety, depressive, and irritability symptoms, which indicate that the pandemic may act as a broad life stressor rather than, specifically, a traumatic event. Fortunately, social support from friends and family may protect and help children to manage psychological distress.