Almost a third of about 340 high school students surveyed late last year by the National Center for Child Health and Development were found to be suffering from depressive symptoms amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Tokyo-based centre’s survey focused on the levels of stress experienced by students from elementary to high school during the infection surge seen in November and December last year.
The centre, looking into symptoms of this nature for the first time, reported that the ongoing virus crisis has caused anxiety and stress to become serious issues among children.
A total of 715 students, ranging from the fourth-grade in elementary school to high school seniors, completed the online survey which contained nine questions asking how often they experienced symptoms including weight loss, loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping. Answers could be chosen from four options ranging from “almost every day” to “not at all.”
While 169 of the respondents, or 24 per cent, were recognised to have moderate to severe depressive symptoms, the older the respondent, the more symptoms they experienced. Of the 344 high school students, 103, or 30 per cent, fell under a category of having moderate to severe depressive symptoms.
Additionally, 114 of all the respondents, or 16 per cent, said that they had indulged in self-harming behaviours, such as pulling out their own hair.