Presentation Time: 12:20-12:40
Home University: UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Mentor: Jon Abramowitz, Psychology
Research Title: Parental Needs: Psychological distress and treatment preferences among parents amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a major stressor, impacting millions of individuals across the world. It is likely the stress of the pandemic has had a uniquely strong impact on parents. Over the last year, substantial research has emerged on parental distress and psychological functioning amidst COVID-19. The present literature review aimed to summarize findings regarding the prevalence and severity of psychological symptoms during the pandemic, as well as its impacts on parental functioning (e.g., parenting and child outcomes). A literature search was conducted, and findings synthesized across empirical papers. Overall, findings suggest higher rates of psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety, following the pandemic. Studies have shown that increased psychological distress at this time is associated with increased distress in parent-child relationships, domestic violence, child neglect and maltreatment, and adverse parenting outcomes. This review highlights the significant psychological impact of the pandemic on parents, and how increased distress is likely to have critical impacts on parent-child outcomes. Our findings suggest further study on widespread family support and intervention is essential to decreasing the burden among parents and potential long-term individual mental health and familial relationship issues as the pandemic continues. Prioritizing the treatment of psychological disorders among parents is also of great importance to mitigate the global impact of the pandemic.