Covid19: Mental Well-Being and Neural Premarkers

The NMR Kids Lab published their newest research article looking at the well-being of adults and children during the first months of the pandemic as published in the magazine Scientific Reports. They investigated well-being, mental health variables and parent-child relations in adults and children across seven waves of investigations. While anxiety, depression and caregiver burden were heightened in adults early on, these measures decreased across the first months of the pandemic. Furthermore, parental well-being as measured in mother-child dyads was strongly associated. In children meeting friends was a significant predictor of mood during school-closure. Finally, the neural correlates of mentalizing in prefrontal cortex as measured prior to the pandemic preceded the development of fear about contamination and illness across all participants. Activation in temproporparietal areas was associated with higher burden of care in mothers. This may indicate that higher tendency to mentalize, usually considered beneficial for social interactions and favorable when present in mother-child dyads, can be negatively associated with socioemotional functioning during prolonged stress. An increased understanding of protective or risk factors and mechanisms leading to the development of stress-related psychopathologies may hold the potential to facilitate personalized prevention and treatment.

Réka Borbás, Lynn Valérie Fehlbaum, Plamina Dimanova, Alessia Negri, Janani Arudchelvam, Cilly Bernardette Schnider, and Nora Maria Raschle. (2021) Mental well-being during the first months of Covid-19 in adults and children: behavioral evidence and neural precursors.

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