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Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families from Marginalized Groups: A Qualitative Study in Kingston, Ontario

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Queen’s School of Medicine, Kingston, ON K7L 3L4, Canada
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Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3G2, Canada
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Centre for Studies in Primary Care, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3G2, Canada
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Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3G2, Canada
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Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle, Thorold, ON L2V 4Y6, Canada
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Indigenous Wellness Council, Kingston, ON K7K 2V4, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guglielmo Campus
COVID 2021, 1(4), 704-716; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1040056
Received: 26 October 2021 / Revised: 9 November 2021 / Accepted: 17 November 2021 / Published: 30 November 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with unprecedented changes to societal structure. School closures, unstable employment, and inaccessible health services have caused enormous disruptions to child and family wellbeing. This study identifies major themes illustrating how child and family wellness were impacted by COVID-19, including unique effects experienced by Indigenous families. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants (n = 31) recruited from organizations providing healthcare and social services in Kingston, Ontario. Interview transcripts and written survey responses were analyzed using a phenomenological approach to explore themes related to child and family wellbeing. Three major themes identified include school closures, home safety, and outdoor spaces. School closures were generally reported as negatively impacting learning and social development; however, school closures allowed for some Indigenous children to be removed from a colonized education system, contributing to cultural and spiritual growth. Second, respondents reported increased severity and frequency of domestic violence, which negatively impacted child wellbeing. Third, the closure of public outdoor spaces created barriers to maintaining good physical health for children. This study recommends the prioritization of (1) child learning and development by avoiding school closures in pandemic settings and (2) the safety of Indigenous students by decolonizing education. To address the increased exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) during COVID-19, we recommend improved training for identifying and reporting domestic violence amongst service providers. Our study also reflects the broader need to redefine “essential services”, considering culturally specific services for Indigenous Peoples. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; pandemic; Indigenous; pediatrics; COVID-19; wellbeing children; pandemic; Indigenous; pediatrics; COVID-19; wellbeing
MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, H.; Bayoumi, I.; Watson, A.; Davison, C.M.; Fu, M.; Nolan, D.; Mitchell, D.; Traviss, S.; Kehoe, J.; Purkey, E. Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families from Marginalized Groups: A Qualitative Study in Kingston, Ontario. COVID 2021, 1, 704-716. https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1040056

AMA Style

Lee H, Bayoumi I, Watson A, Davison CM, Fu M, Nolan D, Mitchell D, Traviss S, Kehoe J, Purkey E. Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families from Marginalized Groups: A Qualitative Study in Kingston, Ontario. COVID. 2021; 1(4):704-716. https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1040056

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lee, Hannah, Imaan Bayoumi, Autumn Watson, Colleen M. Davison, Minnie Fu, Dionne Nolan, Dan Mitchell, Sheldon Traviss, Jennifer Kehoe, and Eva Purkey. 2021. "Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families from Marginalized Groups: A Qualitative Study in Kingston, Ontario" COVID 1, no. 4: 704-716. https://doi.org/10.3390/covid1040056

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