Covid pandemic has caused children as old as eight to throw tantrums

Covid pandemic has caused children as old as eight to throw tantrums normally seen in ‘terrible twos’

  • Children as old as eight are experiencing the ‘terrible twos’, study has found  
  • Much older children are exhibiting the temper tantrums, according to research
  • Pandemic could also lead .children to have mental health problems later in life 

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the ‘terrible twos’ being experienced by much older children, according to a UK study. 

Behaviour including temper tantrums that is normally seen in children around the age of two are being exhibited by those as old as eight, preliminary research at the University of Bristol found. 

The stress of the pandemic on youngsters could also lead to mental health problems later in life, the study found. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the ‘terrible twos’ being experienced by much older children, according to a UK study (Stock image) 

Researchers studied the emotional development of more than 700 children during the pandemic and compared it with data taken before the health crisis. 

Senior lecturer in psychiatric epidemiology at the University of Bristol Rebecca Pearson said: ‘Emotional problems usually peak around age two and then decline over childhood, but during the pandemic older children had much higher levels of emotional difficulties than would be expected at their age.

‘Our findings suggest that primary school children may have emotional difficulties at the level expected during the ‘terrible twos’. 

‘This could reflect a delay in emotional development that, if not supported, may far outlive the pandemic and have long-term consequences for this generation of children.’

A consultant and senior lecturer in child and adolescent psychiatry at Bristol university, Helen Bould, said: ‘This work highlights the negative impact that Covid-19 and the lockdowns are having on the mental health of younger children.’

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