Physical Health, Media Use, and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents With ADHD During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia

Emma Sciberras (Lead / Corresponding author), Pooja Patel, Mark A. Stokes, David Coghill, Christel M. Middeldorp, Mark A. Bellgrove, Stephen P. Becker, Daryl Efron, Argyris Stringaris, Stephen V. Faraone, Susannah T. Bellows, Jon Quach, Tobias Banaschewski, Jane McGillivray, Delyse Hutchinson, Tim J. Silk, Glenn Melvin, Amanda G. Wood, Anna Jackson, George LoramLidia Engel, Alicia Montgomery, Elizabeth Westrupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To examine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Methods: Parents of 213 Australian children (5-17 years) with ADHD completed a survey in May 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions were in place (i.e., requiring citizens to stay at home except for essential reasons).

Results: Compared to pre-pandemic, children had less exercise (Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.4; 95% CI 0.3-0.6), less outdoor time (OR = 0.4; 95% 0.3-0.6), and less enjoyment in activities (OR = 6.5; 95% CI 4.0-10.4), while television (OR = 4.0; 95% CI 2.5-6.5), social media (OR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.3-4.5), gaming (OR = 2.0; 95% CI 1.3-3.0), sad/depressed mood (OR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.2-2.8), and loneliness (OR = 3.6; 95% CI 2.3-5.5) were increased. Child stress about COVID-19 restrictions was associated with poorer functioning across most domains. Most parents (64%) reported positive changes for their child including more family time.

Conclusions: COVID-19 restrictions were associated with both negative and positive impacts among children with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-562
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number4
Early online date17 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • ADHD
  • COVID-19
  • psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical Health, Media Use, and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents With ADHD During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this