PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The emergence of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus prompted the start of a line of research on the psychological impact of the health crisis on the population. This line of research was developed in a series of surveys of different groups of the population in Argentina:
– Two massive online surveys were carried out to assess the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the establishment of quarantine on the population across the country. The first survey was carried out at an average 6 days after the start of quarantine and the second at an average of 72 days. Both surveys included standardized instruments to measure anxiety and depression, as well as other related variables. The results were published in different reports, journalistic media and scientific publications.
– A survey was carried out to evaluate the emotional impact of the pandemic on teachers in the City of Buenos Aires and a program of webinars and workshops was developed to provide resources to them for stress management, emotion regulation, educational strategies , etc.
– With the aim of knowing some of the most visible characteristics of the emotional reality of adolescents, from the Government of the City of Buenos Aires and the INECO Foundation, an exploratory survey was applied to young people between 13 and 20 years old from CABA ( N = 1005) through the U-Report platform. This digital platform for participation, promoted by UNICEF, is aimed at adolescents and young people to find out their opinion and amplify their voices in the face of common problems. The response to the survey was voluntary and the selection of the participants was carried out through incidental sampling. Questions related to 4 specific areas of emotional health (discouragement, anxiety, self-esteem and satisfaction with life), feeling of loneliness and additional consultations related to their concerns, feelings and expectations about the pandemic and preventive and compulsory social isolation were included. as well as on changes in life habits and their learning. The results were published in a joint report with the government of the GCBA.
– A second survey directed at adolescents and young people through the INECO Foundation networks included 2,910 participants aged 12 to 25 years (M = 17.95 years; 71.1% women). The levels of anxiety and depression in the sample, as well as other related variables such as the feeling of loneliness and the use of social networks, were evaluated using standardized psychometric instruments.
– A survey of 3,000 parents was conducted on the behavior of children between the ages of 2 and 12 from all over the country in the context of a pandemic by applying the SDQ questionnaire (Strenghts and Difficulties Questionnaire, Rio de la Plata version). It was a nationally representative survey conducted by the consulting firm Aresco.
– Also as part of this line, Dr. Fernando Torrente on behalf of the INPP participated in the activity organized by the GovLab and BID: “Crowdsourcing in the Age of Coronavirus, Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing”. During the activity carried out on November 18, 2020, a group of 22 experts from around the world met with representatives of the governments of Argentina, Bahamas, Ceará-Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru, in an advisory session hours to identify novel solutions leaders can apply to support mental health and emotional well-being in their countries.