School learning modes during the COVID-19 response and pre- to during pandemic mental health changes in a prospective cohort of Canadian adolescents.

Publication date: Sep 05, 2023

Considerable debate centered on the impact of school closures and shifts to virtual learning on adolescent mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated whether mental health changes differed by school learning modes during the pandemic response among Canadian adolescents and whether associations varied by gender and perceived home life. We used prospective survey data from 7270 adolescents attending 41 Canadian secondary schools. Conditional change linear mixed effects models were used to examine learning mode (virtual optional, virtual mandated, in-person, and blended) as a predictor of change in mental health scores (depression [Centre for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression], anxiety [Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7], and psychosocial well-being [Flourishing scale]), adjusting for baseline mental health and covariates. Gender and home life happiness were tested as moderators. Least square means were calculated across interaction groups. Students learning in a blended learning mode had greater anxiety increases relative to their peers in other learning modes. Females learning fully in-person and males learning virtually when optional reported less of an increase in depression scores relative to their gender counterparts in other learning modes. Learning virtually when optional was associated with greater declines in psychosocial well-being in students without happy home lives relative to other learning modes. Findings demonstrate the importance of considering gender and home environments as determinants of mental health over the pandemic response and when considering alternative learning modes. Further research is advised before implementing virtual and blended learning modes. Potential risks and benefits must be weighed in the context of a pandemic.

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Concepts Keywords
Canadian COVID-19
Covid Mental health
Moderators Online learning
Pandemic Prospective
Therapy School closures


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH Anxiety Disorder
disease IDO history
disease VO Canada
disease MESH death
disease MESH bullying
disease MESH violence
drug DRUGBANK Medical Cannabis
disease MESH Obesity
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
disease MESH major depressive disorder
disease IDO symptom
disease MESH emergency
drug DRUGBANK Stavudine
disease VO ProHIBiT
disease MESH causality
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease VO time
disease VO population
disease VO Equity
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
pathway REACTOME Metabolism
disease MESH Substance Abuse
drug DRUGBANK Diethylstilbestrol
drug DRUGBANK Esomeprazole
disease VO NadA
drug DRUGBANK Cefalotin
disease MESH psychiatric disorders
disease MESH comorbidity
drug DRUGBANK Adenosine
disease VO protocol
disease VO report
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK Indoleacetic acid
disease MESH chronic illness

Original Article

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