Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

‘I Can’t Breathe’: Anxiety and Emotion Awareness in Older Adolescents at The Time of Covid-19

Version 1 : Received: 12 August 2020 / Approved: 15 August 2020 / Online: 15 August 2020 (08:25:22 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Smirni, P.; Lavanco, G.; Smirni, D. Anxiety in Older Adolescents at the Time of COVID-19. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 3064. Smirni, P.; Lavanco, G.; Smirni, D. Anxiety in Older Adolescents at the Time of COVID-19. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 3064.

Journal reference: J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 3064
DOI: 10.3390/jcm9103064

Abstract

The COVID-19 appears as a catastrophic health risk with psychological, emotional, social and relational implications. From the early stages of the virus spread, the elderly population was identified as the most vulnerable and the health authorities have rightly focused on such frailest population. Conversely, less attention was paid to emotional and psychological dimension of children and adolescents. Actually, they were less at risk quoad vitam or quoad valetudinem, nevertheless they had to face a reality of anxiety, fears and uncertainties. The current study investigated state anxiety and emotion awareness in a healthy sample of older adolescents, 84 females and 64 males, aged 17 to 19, during the pandemic lockdown, using Self-rating Anxiety Scale and the Italian Emotion Awareness Questionnaire. An unexpected anxious phenomenology, impacting the anxiety ideo-affective domain, was found, while the somatic symptomatology appeared to be less severe. The highest anxiety symptom were the breathing difficulties. These findings supported the hypothesis that the COVID-19 pandemic may be a risk condition for an increased state anxiety in older adolescents and suggest the need to provide 1. an effective, empathic communication system with the direct participation of older adolescents, 2. a psychological counseling service for stress management of adolescents.

Subject Areas

COVID-19 pandemic; virus’ transmission; fear of contagion; breathing difficulty; healthy adolescents; emotion awareness; anxiety-state

Comments (2)

Comment 1
Received: 17 August 2020
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear Drs. Smirni, Lavanco and Smirni, I would like to kindly suggest to reconsider the title in a final publication. "I can't breathe" is a phrase prominently associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and could be considered in poor taste in the wider community. This is particularly problematic since the original survey question you seem to refer to in the title is worded "I can breathe in and out easily". This leads me to fear that the phrase "I can't breathe" was chosen in a sensationalist manner to increase attention in the paper. At the very least, if you could comment on your choice of title in the paper, this might put the reader at ease about your motives. Kind regards Arenis Aurora
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Response 1 to Comment 1
Received: 18 August 2020
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear Arenis Aurora, thank you for the helpful suggestion, that we will follow without any doubt. We apologize if the choice of this title appeared in poor taste towards the movement. We will reconsider a change in the final version of the manuscript. Thanks for the tip. Best regards The authors Smirni, Lavanco, Smirni

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