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Article

High Levels of Stress Due to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic among Parents of Children with and without Chronic Conditions across the USA

1
Department of Clinical Research, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC 27506, USA
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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
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School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
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Oak Park Behavioral Medicine, Oak Park, IL 60301, USA
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Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5101, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2020, 7(10), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/children7100193
Received: 18 September 2020 / Revised: 16 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 21 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
Background: The 2020 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic led to community-wide measures affecting parents and children such as school/daycare closures, job losses, and interruptions in medical care for children with chronic diseases. This is the first study to describe the level of stress and mental health of parents of either healthy children or children with chronic conditions, during the 2020 pandemic. Methods: A representative sample of US parents was recruited from 10–17 April 2020. Parents completed online questionnaires about the past 7 days, including the Perceived Stress Scale, Resilient Coping Scale, Self-Efficacy Scale, Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale, Parental Stress Scale, PROMIS Anxiety and Depression scales and various other pandemic-related stress questions Results: Levels of stressors (e.g., job loss, school closures, etc.) were high during this time (e.g., 79% of children attended home/online school) and parents reported being moderately to highly stressed. Rates of clinical anxiety (44.6%) and depression (42.2%) were high. Parents of children with chronic conditions reported higher levels of stress and worse mental health, but did not differ from other parents in dealing with stress or interruptions in work, child schooling, and marital satisfaction. Discussion: The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented levels of stress for parents, especially those of children with chronic conditions. Mental health effects are expected to continue for months/years and preparation is needed to meet an increasing demand for mental health care. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; parent stress; anxiety; depression; coping; resilience; self-efficacy; work stress; chronic diseases SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; parent stress; anxiety; depression; coping; resilience; self-efficacy; work stress; chronic diseases
MDPI and ACS Style

A.L. van Tilburg, M.; Edlynn, E.; Maddaloni, M.; van Kempen, K.; Díaz-González de Ferris, M.; Thomas, J. High Levels of Stress Due to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic among Parents of Children with and without Chronic Conditions across the USA. Children 2020, 7, 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/children7100193

AMA Style

A.L. van Tilburg M, Edlynn E, Maddaloni M, van Kempen K, Díaz-González de Ferris M, Thomas J. High Levels of Stress Due to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic among Parents of Children with and without Chronic Conditions across the USA. Children. 2020; 7(10):193. https://doi.org/10.3390/children7100193

Chicago/Turabian Style

A.L. van Tilburg, Miranda, Emily Edlynn, Marina Maddaloni, Klaas van Kempen, Maria Díaz-González de Ferris, and Jody Thomas. 2020. "High Levels of Stress Due to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic among Parents of Children with and without Chronic Conditions across the USA" Children 7, no. 10: 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/children7100193

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