The first outbreak of (COVID-19) was in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December 2019 in the form of acute pneumonia. COVID-19 is a serious and highly infectious disease that affected 245,621,992 cases worldwide, leading to a dramatic loss of everyday lifestyle and negatively impacting people's psychological status. This paper shows Parents' Stress and Children's Psychological Problems during this pandemic.
Objectives: This work determined the psychological impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on parents and children.
Methods: Parents who have children aged between 4 and 16 years old (n=424) completed an online questionnaire using QuestionPro and gave written informed consent. The questionnaire was distributed through social media (WhatsApp, Telegram ) from December 6th to January 5th, 2020-2021. We excluded all responses that came from outside Saudi Arabia. Also, we excluded participants who did not have children; if the parent had more than one child, they were asked to report on one child only. Parents described the difficulties they faced, the parent-child dyadic stress, and their children's behavioral and emotional complications during the pandemic. The participants filled the depression Anxiety Stress Scale (Dass21) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scale.
Results: There were significant impacts on the mental health of the public. Our findings demonstrated that the COVID-19 outbreak had remarkable psycho-social effects on children and their parents.The results showed that younger parents were more affected than older parents,Q6 (r = 0.150, p<0.01), DASS stress (r = -0.266, p<0.01), DASS anxiety (r = -0.201, p<0.01), and DASS depression (r = -0.265, p<0.01),but there was no significant psychological impact of having COVID-19. Those who had relatives who died from COVID were at a higher risk of depression (r=0.006, p<0.05). Having a child diagnosed with mental illness seems to have increased the risk of depression, anxiety, and stress of parents. There was a significant association between parents' mental health and their children's psychological adjustment.
Conclusions: Quarantining is stressful, especially for parents who also have work and school obligations. This circumstance puts parents at a greater risk of distress and might prevent them from being supportive parents. This, in turn, can lead to psychological symptoms in children. Governmental actions should consider the implications of lockdown on families and their mental health.
Recommendation for Future Research: since this study had only focused on one child if parents have more than one with a limited number of participants, we recommended that further research be carried on a larger sample size to see whether there are any similarities in the findings.