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Katie Pybus, Brian Kelly, Bo Hou, Mildred Ajebon, Claire McIvor, Daniel Bingham, Rosemary McEachan, Kate Pickett, Josie Dickerson
Background: Concerns have been raised about the potential impact
of COVID-19 and associated lockdown measures on child mental
wellbeing, but emerging evidence suggests mixed results and there is
a dearth of information from ethnically diverse samples. The current
study aims to explore the impact of the pandemic on wellbeing using
longitudinal data collected from the multi-ethnic Born in Bradford
family cohort study.
Methods: Within-child changes in wellbeing were explored using data
collected pre-pandemic and again during the first UK lockdown for
500 children aged 7-13 from a range of ethnic and socioeconomic
backgrounds, using self-reported feelings of happiness and sadness.
Associations between changes in wellbeing, demographic factors,
quality of social relationships and physical activity levels were
explored using multinomial logistic regression models.
Results: In this sample, 55% of children reported no change in their
wellbeing from pre-pandemic to during the first lockdown (n=264).
Children of Pakistani heritage were more than twice as likely to report
feeling sad less often than White British children (RRR: 2.61, 95% CI:
1.23, 5.51) during the first lockdown. Those who reported being left
out by other children before the pandemic were over three times as
likely than those who did not (RRR: 3.72: 1.51, 9.20) to report feeling
sad less often during the pandemic. Around a third of children
reported feeling happier (n=152, 31.6%), but these changes did not
relate to any of the explanatory variables included in this analysis.
Conclusion: Many children in this study reported no changes in their
wellbeing during the first UK lockdown compared to before the
pandemic and some described improved wellbeing. These findings
Open Peer Review
30 May 2022
17 Feb 2022 view view
Susan Woolfenden, University of New South
Wales, Sydney, Australia
Nicholas Spencer, University of Warwick,
Any reports and responses or comments on the
article can be found at the end of the article.
Page 1 of 20
Wellcome Open Research 2022, 7:64 Last updated: 11 OCT 2022
Corresponding authors: Katie Pybus (email@example.com), Claire McIvor (Claire.McIvor@bthft.nhs.uk)
Author roles: Pybus K: Conceptualization, Formal Analysis, Writing – Original Draft Preparation, Writing – Review & Editing; Kelly B:
Conceptualization, Formal Analysis, Writing – Original Draft Preparation, Writing – Review & Editing; Hou B: Conceptualization, Formal
Analysis, Writing – Original Draft Preparation, Writing – Review & Editing; Ajebon M: Conceptualization, Formal Analysis; McIvor C:
Conceptualization, Formal Analysis, Writing – Original Draft Preparation, Writing – Review & Editing; Bingham D: Conceptualization,
Formal Analysis, Writing – Original Draft Preparation, Writing – Review & Editing; McEachan R: Funding Acquisition, Supervision, Writing
– Review & Editing; Pickett K: Conceptualization, Formal Analysis, Funding Acquisition, Supervision, Writing – Original Draft Preparation,
Writing – Review & Editing; Dickerson J: Conceptualization, Formal Analysis, Funding Acquisition, Supervision, Writing – Original Draft
Preparation, Writing – Review & Editing
Competing interests: No competing interests were disclosed.
Grant information: This report is independent research funded by the Health Foundation ; with additional funding from the
National Institute for Health Research Yorkshire and Humber ARC [NIHR200166]; Wellcome Trust [101597,
https://doi.org/10.35802/101597]; Medical Research Council [MR/N024391/1]; Economic and Social Research Council [MR/N024391/1];
ActEarly UK Prevention Research Partnership Consortium [MR/S037527/1]; the National Lottery Community Fund, which provided
funding for BiBBS through the Better Start Bradford programme [no grant number]; and British Heart Foundation [CS/16/4/32482].
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Copyright: © 2022 Pybus K et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
How to cite this article: Pybus K, Kelly B, Hou B et al. Changes in children’s wellbeing in Bradford during COVID-19: The Born in
Bradford COVID-19 longitudinal research study [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations] Wellcome
Open Research 2022, 7:64 https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17642.2
First published: 17 Feb 2022, 7:64 https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17642.1
suggest that children have coped well with the significant changes
over the past year, though targeted support, particularly for those
children who felt excluded before the pandemic, would be beneficial.