How is COVID‑19 continuing to impact children with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?
This study examines how COVID‑19 is continuing to impact children with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In Spring 2021, our research team conducted a cross-Canada survey examining the experiences of children and parents with and without ADHD. Parents completed online questionnaires assessing COVID‑19 stress, parent and child mental health outcomes and lifestyle factors, parental beliefs regarding parenting, the parent-child relationship, and parent beliefs and behaviours related to child learning. The proposed study aims to follow up with these families to understand their experiences in the next school year and determine how prior levels of pandemic-related stress predict later child and parent outcomes. This study uses a one-year longitudinal design to follow up with families from our existing data collection (Time 1) at two additional timepoints (Time 2 and Time 3) in the upcoming school year. This study has three main objectives: (1) To examine how children with and without ADHD and their parents are faring in the aftermath of the pandemic, and (2) To examine how prior COVID‑19 stress predicts later parent and child outcomes for children with and without ADHD, and (3) To provide meaningful information about malleable targets for the management and treatment of ADHD in the wake of the pandemic. Five hundred and thirty-nine parents in the ADHD group and 131 parents in the non-ADHD group of our original study have agreed to be contacted for future research. A timely response to support families with and without ADHD is only possible with an understanding of the continued and long-term effects of COVID‑19 on child mental health and important lifestyle factors, parent mental health, and child learning-related parental beliefs and behaviours. Knowledge from this study will lead to targeted evidence-based resources for children and families to support them in recovering from the pandemic.