Background: The effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the psychological and physical wellbeing of teenage girls is not well understood. Herein, one of the important mental health-related variables is introduced to be psychosocial distress (PSD). The current research aimed to explore the status of PSD in teenage girls during the coronavirus outbreak considering the impact of physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST).
Methods: This research utilized a descriptive-correlation method. We selected 384 teenage girls (mean age 16.93±0.72 years) in Iran, in 2020, using a convenience sampling procedure. The participants were healthy and without any physical or mental disabilities. They completed the standard questionnaires including the COVID-19-Related Psychological Distress Scale, Physical Activity Behavior in Leisure-Time Scale, and Adolescent Sedentary Activity Questionnaire. Spearman correlation test and structural equation modelling were utilized for data analysis.
Results: Our findings revealed that the psychosocial status of adolescent girls during the coronavirus outbreak was 41.50 out of 70. The subjects who were more physically active had lower levels of PSD (r=-0.627, P<0.001, whereas those with higher ST reported higher scores in PSD status (r=0.481, P<0.001).
Conclusions: The results of the current research demonstrate that PSD and PA are significant challenges threatening the health of teenage girls during the coronavirus outbreak. Accordingly, it is essential to adopt appropriate procedures to enhance PA and reduce ST of teenage girls.