Covid-19 experiences and parental mental health

Jake Hart, Wen Jui Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have significant implications for parental mental health throughout the United States, especially when considering preexisting economic and mental health disparities. We examined the association between COVID-19 ex-periences and parental mental distress. Method: In May 2020, we collected data cross-sectionally from 1,000 parents with at least one child age 17 or younger in the United States. Using a residualized change model, we examined the extent to which COVID-19-related experiences were linked with parental mental distress, controlling for a wide range of sociodemographic characteristics. Results: Our multivariate regression analysis confirms adverse associations between certain COVID-19 experiences and parental mental distress. Specifically, economic hardship, anxiety, loneliness, stigma, and increased alcohol or substance use due to COVID-19 were significantly associated with worse parental mental health. Conclusions: Our analysis highlights how economic hardships might exacerbate the effects of COVID-19-related experiences on parental mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-302
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Economic hardship
  • Mental health
  • Parental work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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