COPSY study

The longitudinal COPSY study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents in Germany. The study is led by Prof. Dr. Ravens-Sieberer and conducted by the research unit Child Public Health at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. A further aim of the COPSY study is to identify factors that promote the mental health of children and adolescents during the crisis. Based on this, recommendations for prevention and intervention approaches will be developed, in order to promote the mental health of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Procedure

The COPSY study was developed based on the design and methods of the representative longitudinal BELLA Study. The BELLA Study is the mental health module of the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey among Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), and it is conducted in close cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute since 2003. The large and solid data sets of the BELLA study are used as reference data (gathered prior to the pandemic) in comparison to data of the COPSY study (gathered during the pandemic).

In the nationwide COPSY study, an extensive online survey on the mental health of children and adolescents and their families in Germany has been conducted from May till June 2020. The resulting representative sample of the nationwide COPSY study consists of more than 1,000 11- to 17-year-old children and adolescents, and 1,500 parents of 7- to 17-year-olds. The administered online questionnaire included questions about how children dealt with the crisis situation, questions about school, friends and family, mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and psychosomatic complaints. The family environment, media consumption and eating habits were also examined. From December 2020 till January 2021 the first follow-up assessment of the COPSY study and from September till October 2021 a second follow-up assessment have been conducted. Reports on the COPSY study and its results have been published in the media and in the scientific literature (please see COPSY IN THE PRESS AND MEDIA below).

In parallel to the nationwide survey, the COPSY Hamburg study additionally investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents in Hamburg, and is conducted in cooperation with the Office of Labour, Social and Family Affairs and Inclusion Hamburg. The population-based sample from Hamburg comprises about 1,500 11- to 17-year-old children and adolescents and their parents.

The COPSY study is carried out in scientific cooperation with Prof. Dr. Klaus Hurrelmann from the Hertie School in Berlin, the Robert Koch Institute, the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and the Hamburg Ministry of Health and Consumer Protection. Further, the nationwide study is conducted in collaboration with infratest dimap.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer ( ravens-sieberer@uke.de )

The longitudinal COPSY study was gratefully sponsored by the Kroschke Children's Foundation and the Fritz and Hildegard Berg Foundation.

COPSY PUBLICATIONS

(by clicking on the respective doi you will be directed to the corresponding publication; selected internationally published articles and articles written in German with English abstracts are provided, the complete publication list can be found below)

The design, methodology, and important results about the mental health and quality of life of the COPSY-study are described in the following core articles:

COPSY wave 1 (May-June 2020)

  • Ravens-Sieberer, U., Kaman, A., Erhart, M., Devine, J., Schlack, R., & Otto, C. (2021). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on quality of life and mental health in children and adolescents in Germany. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-021-01726-5
  • Ravens-Sieberer, U., Kaman, A., Otto, C., Adedeji, A., Devine, J., Erhart, M., Napp, A.-K., Becker, M., Blanck-Stellmacher, U., Löffler, C., Schlack, R. & Hurrelmann, K. (2020).Psychische Gesundheit und Lebensqualität von Kindern und Jugendlichen während der COVID-19-Pandemie – Ergebnisse der COPSY-Studie [Mental health and quality of life in children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic—results of the COPSY study]. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 117(48), 828-829. https://doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.2020.0828
  • Ravens-Sieberer, U., Kaman, A., Otto, C., Adedeji, A., Napp, A.-K., Becker, M., Blanck-Stellmacher, U., Löffler, C., Schlack, R., Hölling, H., Devine, J., Erhart, M. & Hurrelmann, K. (2021). Seelische Gesundheit und psychische Belastungen von Kindern und Jugendlichen in der ersten Welle der COVID-19-Pandemie – Ergebnisse der COPSY-Studie. Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00103-021-03291-3

COPSY wave 2 (December 2020-January 2021)

  • Ravens-Sieberer, U., Kaman, A., Erhart, M., Otto, C., Devine, J., Löffler, C., Hurrelmann, K., Bullinger, M., Barkman, C., Siegel, N.A., Simon, A.M., Wieler, L.H., Schlack, R. &. Hölling, H. (2021). Quality of life and mental health in children and adolescents during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic: results of a two-wave nationwide population-based study. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-021-01889-1

COPSY wave 3 (September-October 2021)

  • Ravens-Sieberer, U., Erhart, M.,Devine, J., Gilbert, M., Reiss, F., Barkmann, C., Siegel, N., Simon, A., Hurrelmann, K., Schlack, R., Hölling, H., Wieler, L.H. & Kaman, A. (2022). Child and Adolescent Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of the Three-Wave Longitudinal COPSY Study. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4024489
  • Ravens-Sieberer U, Kaman A, Devine J, Löffler C, Reiß F, Napp AK, Gilbert M, Naderi H, Hurrelmann K, Schlack R, Hölling H, Erhart M. (2022). The mental health and health-related behavior of children and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic: findings of the longitudinal COPSY study. Dtsch Arztebl Int; 119. https://doi.otg//10.3238/arztebl.m2022.0173 (online first).

The articles also compare the results of the COPSY-study with pre-pandemic data from the representative BELLA study and the international HBSC study .

Results of the COPSY-Hamburg-study are described in the following article:

  • Kaman, A., Otto, C., Adedeji, A., Devine, J., Erhart, M., Napp, A.-K., Becker, M., Blanck-Stellmacher, U., Fertmann, R., Saier, U., & Ravens-Sieberer, U. (2021). Belastungserleben und psychische Auffälligkeiten von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Hamburg während der COVID-19-Pandemie. [Burden and mental health problems of children and adolescents in Hamburg during the COVID-19 pandemic]. Nervenheilkunde, 40(05), 319-326. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1397-5400

In our reference list you can find all publications resulting from the COPSY study. Reference list

COPSY IN THE PRESS AND MEDIA

2022

Press release Feb 9th 2022

In a press release the results of the third survey wave of the COPSY study were reported on February, 9th 2022. Press release (Feb, 09th 2022)

2021

Reactions in the German and International Media and Press

Press conference Feb 10th 2021

In a press conference Prof. Dr. Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer reported results of the second wave of the COPSY study at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf on February 10, 2021. Press release (Feb 10, 2021) Recording of the press conference (Feb 10, 2021)

2020

Press conference July 10th 2020

In a press conference on July 10, 2020, at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf Prof. Dr. Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer reports on results of the COPSY study. Press release (July 10, 2020)

Reactions in the German Media and Press

Press release May 29th 2020

The Child Public Health Research Section has a new study on the effects and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents in Germany. The COPSY study is led by Prof. Dr. Ravens-Sieberer and conducted by the Child Public Health Research Section at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Press release (May 29, 2020)

INTERESTING FURTHER INFORMATION

Information from the World Health Organization on COVID and children: Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children? Do the new variants impact children differently? What can parents do to keep children safe from COVID-19? WHO's conversations in science with Dr Maria Van Kerkhove