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Dev Psychol ; 57(10): 1563-1581, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527990


Many changes were thrust upon families by the COVID-19 pandemic, including mandated quarantines, social distancing, transitions to distance learning for children, and remote work. The current study used mixed methods to examine the challenges and resilience of families in the United States during the pandemic (May-July 2020), as well as predictors and moderators of parent/child psychological distress. Our sample included 469 parents (459 mothers) of children aged ∼2-13 years (239 girls, 228 boys, one nonbinary child, one "prefer not to answer" selection), who completed an online survey with closed-ended and open-ended portions. The sample had middle-to-high socioeconomic status and 86% of families were White/non-Hispanic. Qualitative (content and thematic analyses) and quantitative (descriptive statistics and regressions) findings revealed that, even in this relatively privileged sample, parents and families were experiencing struggles in many life domains (e.g., family, school) and shifts in family dynamics and routines, which were related to emotional and mental health. Families experienced many changes in their lives, some positive and some negative, and often exhibited resilience through managing these changes. Our moderation analyses indicated that COVID-19's daily impact was significantly associated with psychological distress for children and parents, and this association was stronger for older versus younger children. Less active/instructive parental media mediation was also related to less child psychological distress. Moving forward, practitioners can focus on preventive efforts including psychoeducation regarding healthy outlets for negative emotions during COVID-19, and practical help troubleshooting childcare and health care challenges impacting many families. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Resilience, Psychological , Child , Family Health , Female , Humans , Male , Mothers , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
Child Dev ; 92(5): e866-e882, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1393846


This mixed methods study examined parent-reported child screen media use before and during the COVID-19 pandemic by examining 2019-2020 changes in parent perceptions of media, screen media use (SMU), and problematic media use (PMU) in children aged 2-13 years (N = 129; 64 boys, 64 girls, 1 nonbinary; 90.7% White, 4.6% Hispanic/Latino, 0.8% Black, 8.5% multiethnic; primarily middle-to-high income). Quantitative analyses showed a significant SMU and PMU increase (medium effect size). There was a steeper increase in PMU among school-age (older) children. Together, the qualitative and quantitative results suggest that the PMU and SMU increase were influenced by distal, proximal, and maintaining factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning, child behaviors, other children, parental mediation, and positive media reinforcement.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Child Behavior , Female , Humans , Male , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology