Health Status of Adolescents in Spain, Mexico, and Chile during COVID-19: a cross-cultural study
Keywords:COVID-19, physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, mental health, teenager
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis in recent history, which has had devastating consequences throughout the world. One of the populations most vulnerable to the effects of this health emergency are adolescents, as they are going through a life stage of profound changes in various aspects of their lives – social and economic instability adding as risk factors to the youth’s psychosocial adjustment. Cross-cultural studies have tried to compare and understand the differences in the adaptation of adolescents to the pandemic in different parts of the world. The aim of this study was to analyse the current health status, in comparison with the health status prior to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, in a sample of adolescents from Spain, Mexico and Chile. A total of 449 adolescents (75.90% girls) aged 12 to 17 years (M= 15.37; SD= 1.09) participated. Their general health status was studied by means of an ad hoc questionnaire, and descriptive analysis and Chi-square analysis were performed. The results show that, in general, adolescents in Chile tend to present a significantly higher incidence of physical and psychological symptoms during the pandemic, compared to their health status prior to the appearance of the coronavirus. These results emphasize the need to detect the specific needs of young people taking into account their social and cultural context, especially those who present worse health conditions in the most recent studies in psychology.
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