Household socioeconomic distress and adolescent mental health: Results from an exploratory research study of Magic Bus India Foundation

Swarna Manjari Behera

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health crisis as millions have been affected by the disease. In order to repurpose its funding and engage with the community amid the pandemic, an exploratory study was conducted by Magic Bus India Foundation to understand the impact of Covid 19 on its beneficiary households. A telephonic survey was conducted in April 2020 among registered programme beneficiaries including 726 parents and 672 adolescents. The findings indicated that adolescent mental health have had some level of disturbances during the lockdown period due to the household economic distress. There was a lack of adolescent participation in attending schools and programme sessions due to family-level reasons. In few cases, children's dropout is one of the major adverse outcomes due to family level reasons. The government-induced lockdown and social distancing measures prevented personal visits of communities by outsiders and the absence of any adolescent-centric sessions specific to Magic Bus. This would have resulted in increased prevalence of poor mental health as the adolescents are confined to household environment, tend to be more watchful and aware of the situation prevailing in their households.

Keywords: COVID-19, Children and youth, Outcome and impact evaluations

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 187. Wellbeing and Mental Health Outcomes: Measurements and Determinants