Impact of housing conditions on changes in youth's mental health following the initial national COVID-19 lockdown: a cohort study

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We aimed to investigate if declines in youth's mental health during lockdown were dependent on housing condition among 7445 youth (median age ~ 20 years) from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), with data collected at 18 years of age and again three weeks into the first national lockdown (April 2020). We examined associations between housing conditions (access to outdoor spaces, urbanicity, household density, and household composition) and changes in mental health (mental well-being, Quality of Life (QoL) and loneliness). We report results from multivariate linear and logistic regression models. Youth without access to outdoor spaces experienced greater declines in mental well-being (vs. garden; mean difference: - 0·75 (95% CI - 1·14, - 0·36)), and correspondingly greater odds of onset of low mental well-being (vs. garden; OR: 1·72 (95% CI 1·20, 2·48)). Youth in higher density households vs. below median or living alone vs. with parents only also had greater odds of onset of low mental well-being (OR: 1·26 (95% CI 1·08, 1·46) and OR: 1·62 (95% CI 1·17, 2·23), respectively). Living in denser households (vs. below median; OR: 1·18 (95% CI 1·06, 1·33), as well as living alone (vs. with parents; OR: 1·38 (95% CI 1·04, 1·82) was associated with onset of low QoL. Living alone more than doubled odds of onset of loneliness compared to living with parents, OR: 2·12 (95% CI 1·59, 2·82). Youth living alone, in denser households, and without direct access to outdoor spaces may be especially vulnerable to mental health declines.

TidsskriftScientific Reports
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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© 2022. The Author(s).

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