What predicts the alleviation of Covid-related future anxiety in schoolchildren 6 to 9 months into the pandemic?

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Introduction: Although the first COVID-19-related lockdown in the Spring of 2020 has contributed to an increase in mental health problems in many children worldwide, less is known about the longer-term effects of the pandemic on their (future) anxiety. This article examines resilience factors against children’s Covid-relatedfut ure anxiety (CRFA). 

Methods: N = 140 children (48,6% female) in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms in Northern Germany were asked to self-report about their CRFA, their anxiety, and the social climate in their classrooms in September (T1) and December 2020 (T2). 

Results: Results indicate that 18.6% of the children experienced CRFA “often” in at least one item of the CRFA scale at T1. CRFA was more pronounced in girls and in children from immigrant families. Changes in children’s CRFA between T1 and T2 were predicted by changes in their anxiety and changes in classroom climate. Children in classrooms with increasing levels of peer support tended to have decreasing levels of CRFA, whereas their agemates’ CRFA in less supportive classrooms tended to increase over time. 

Discussion: These results suggest that peer and teacher social support may bolster children’s resilience against future anxiety in challenging times. Implications for teachers and schools are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1230301
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 20.09.2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study and open access publication were supported by research funds of the Ministry of Science and Culture of the state of Lower Saxony in Germany.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Voltmer and von Salisch.

    Research areas

  • children, classroom climate, Covid-19, future anxiety, resilience
  • Psychology