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 has been conducted. A second follow-up assessment is planned for Summer 2021. 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

2021

Ravens-Sieberer U, Kaman A, Erhart M, Devine J, Hölling H, Schlack R, Löffler C, Hurrelmann K, Otto C: Quality of Life and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents during the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany: Results of a Two-Wave Nationally Representative Study. 2021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3798710

Ravens-Sieberer U, Kaman A, Otto C, Adedeji A, Napp AK, Becker M, Blanck-Stellmacher U, Löffler C, Schlack R, Hölling H, Devine J, Erhart M, Hurrelmann K: Seelische Gesundheit und psychische Belastungen von Kindern und Jugendlichen in der ersten Welle der COVID-19-Pandemie – Ergebnisse der COPSY-Studie. Bundesgesundheitsbl, 2021, DOI 10.1007/s00103-021-03291-3

Ravens-Sieberer U, Kaman A, Erhart M, Devine J, Schlack R, Otto C: Impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on quality of life and mental health in children and adolescents in Germany, European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2021, DOI 10.1007/s00787-021-01726-5

2020

Ravens-Sieberer U, Kaman A, Otto C, Adedeji A, Devine J, Erhart M, Napp AK, Becker M, Blanck-Stellmacher U, Löffler C, Schlack R, Hurrelmann K: Mental health and quality of life in children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic - results of the COPSY study. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2020; 117: 828–9 10.3238/arztebl.2020.0828

A guest contribution on the German-wide COPSY study has been published within the Austrian report on child and adolescent health 2020 ("Bericht zur Lage der Kinder- und Jugendgesundheit in Österreich 2020") (see page 63). The German-speaking report can be downloaded here

COPSY IN THE PRESS AND MEDIA

English article in The Independent (Feb 10, 2021): German children suffer from psychological issues in pandemic The Independent

The mental health in children and adolescents in Germany is still impaired during the pandemic - results of the second wave of the COPSY study. 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)

Two German-speaking articles in Süddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel published end of November 2020 are refering to the German-wide COPSY study and our results. The articles are here

The mental health in children and adolescents in Germany is impaired during the pandemic. 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

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)

NDR 90,3: Studie zu Corona-Folgen für psychische Gesundheit von Kindern (May 29, 2020)

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Studie untersucht Folgen der Corona-Krise auf Kinder-Psyche (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