Vira EG, Skoog T
SSM Popul Health 16 (-) 100942 [2021-12-00; online 2021-10-09]
Child well-being concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic have been reported from countries with strict lockdowns and school closures. Sweden's middle school students attended school as normal during the pandemic, but it is still unknown how their well-being has changed during the pandemic. This study aimed to assess differences in Swedish students' psychosocial well-being from before to during the pandemic. Longitudinal data (N = 849) were collected via self-report surveys across two time-points separated by approximately one year. The second data collection took place 8-9 months after the start of the pandemic in Sweden. We measured psychological adjustment, relationships to significant others and school adjustment. Findings revealed significant mean-level decreases in students' school adjustment during the pandemic. There were no meaningful mean-level decreases in students' relationships to significant others. Students' psychological adjustment showed significant but mostly negligible mean-level decreases, and no differences in emotional problems during the pandemic. The findings are explained based on students' developmental stage and the handling of the pandemic in the Swedish school context. Based on this first longitudinal study on students' wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we conclude that Swedish middle school students who continued formal schooling show mainly positive adaptations, and thus appear to be resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic.