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Covid-19: supporting parents, adolescents and children during epidemics (Co-SPACE)

Covid-19 and the related public health measures have led to major disruptions to families’ lives, with different pressures arising for children, young people and their families over time. There is some indication from research during epidemics in other countries of a negative impact on children and young people’s mental health but this comes from small, cross-sectional studies with limited generalisability to the current context in the UK. The Co-SPACE project aims to track children and young people’s mental health throughout the Covid-19 crisis through an online longitudinal survey completed monthly throughout the pandemic by parents/carers of children aged 2-16 years and young people themselves (if aged 11-16 years). We will specifically track young people from vulnerable groups, such as those from low income households, with preexisting mental/physical health difficulties and looked after children. To complement this and develop a richer understanding in-depth, qualitative interviews will be conducted with parents/carers, young people and people who work with them. Study materials have been shared with international collaborators in over 15 countries (including Germany, China, Japan, USA, Canada, Iran) and data will be linked to explore how patterns associated with youth mental health vary across contexts. The findings will help us identify what protects children and young people from deteriorating mental health over time, what support families need, and how this may vary according to contexts.

Lead investigator:

Polly Waite


University of Oxford

Primary topic:

Health, physical & mental

Secondary topic:

Families & households

Region of data collection:


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection




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