Dr. Anis Ben Brik, associate professor at the College of Public Policy (CPP) and founding director of the Program for Social Policy Evaluation and Research (PROSPER), presented a paper during the British Sociological Association (BSA)’s 70th Anniversary Virtual Conference ‘Remaking the Future’ recently.
During Paper Session 1 on “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on British parents with young children”, Dr. Ben Brik discussed his COVID-19 Family Life Study. The global study examined the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to parental perceived stress and the parent-child relationship.
An online survey was conducted among parents with a child under the age of 18 years in the UK between May and August 2020. The paper investigated changes in parent-child relationships and the levels of parental depression, anxiety and stress in British parents of a child below 18 years old during the pandemic as well as socio-demographic, economic and health factors associated with the changes in parent-child relationships. The paper shows a significant change in parent-child relationships during the pandemic.
Parents who have been affected financially e.g., decline in income, job loss, have also experienced changes in the relationship with their children. Depression, anxiety and stress remain serious problems among all participants regardless of their socio-demographic background, current financial or health characteristics.
His paper concluded that the coronavirus disease pandemic has had a substantial tandem impact on parents and children in the UK. To mitigate the effects on families, the study highlights additional measures and emphasizes the importance of parental support and early intervention for children exhibiting mental health and relationship tension. It also showed that policymakers should consider the unique needs of families with children.