Introduction: The novel coronavirus (COVID 19 pandemic is a major global threat that emerged in 2020 Many countries have enacted policies such as mandatory school closures, business closures, and self quarantining to keep people at home and prevent further spread of the virus. Previous research has shown that pandemics and subsequent disease containment measures negatively affect children and families, both psychosocially and economically.
Statement of purpose: The current study explores the potential psychosocial impacts of COVID 19 and subsequent disease containment measures on a number of domains ( business, education, finances, medical care, access to medication, technology, children/family, access to community services) through an online survey. The current analysis focuses on the emotional well-being of children and how families have been affected by the COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent response measures.
Methods: Participants were asked to complete an online survey through a secure portal The survey consisted of questions about household demographics and socio-economic status ( as well as five psychometric scales measuring satisfaction with life, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, and substance use, and specific questions about how COVID 19 has impacted respondent’s daily lives in the previously identified domains. This is the first of 4 longitudinal surveys that will be conducted throughout this study.
Results: A total of 864 participants completed the survey. Of these participants, 44 1 identified as being a parent or guardian with children under 18. The focus of the current analysis is the subset of respondents with children. Roughly three quarters of participants identified that their children were emotionally impacted by COVID 19 the school closures, or missing friends or family (Yes= 42%); (Somewhat= 32%) Parents also reported a loss of access to childcare, disruptions to their visits with their children living outside the home, and feeling like they could not access timely medical care for their children.
Conclusions: The impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic will be felt for years to come and will shape an entire generation of
children. Even in the current sample, which consisted largely of individuals from medium-high SES households, most reported that children had been impacted emotionally. Understanding and mitigating the impact on children and adapting resources in the short term and the long term to meet the growing needs of our communities must be top priorities for pediatricians and community service providers.