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The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on family mental health in Canada
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What is this research about?
There is evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health and well-being of families. Even with lockdown measures decreasing across Canadian provinces in early May 2020, many parents experienced increased stress, decreased social supports, and worsened mental health.
The closure of schools and child care centres put added pressure on parents to balance responsibilities, including taking care of their children’s education, while dealing with added financial and emotional stress. The social and economic impacts of the pandemic are having a devastating effect on families and young people, and research demonstrates that early exposure to stress can have a lasting effect on the mental health and well-being of children.
This is the first national Canadian survey that looked at the mental health and well-being of families with children living at home during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, the authors conducted a cross-sectional survey looking at the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on families with children in Canada. The study aimed to answer the following three questions:
- How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the mental health of parents and children and what subgroups are most impacted by the pandemic?
- How have parent–child interactions changed due to the pandemic? and
- What are the factors that support mental health in the family context?.