|Palestinian children participate in a mental health support session in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, June 6, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS)
The studies - published in 2020 and 2021 - found unusually high rates of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, suicidal behavior, stress-related disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other mental health problems during the pandemic.
Individual behaviors such as hobbies, praying, and listening to music were associated with positive mental health, the studies also found.
"Mental health problems were more common in those with low socioeconomic status, lack of social connections and support, adverse family relationships, restricted mobility," among other factors including school closures and "COVID-related health experiences within family or community," said Dr. M. Mahbub Hossain of Texas A&M University, who coauthored a report.