Understanding and responding to self-perceived stressors among parents and youth due to the COVID‑19 pandemic: Informing an evidence-based public health approach
The COVID‑19 pandemic has been a stressful time for families. Necessary public health measures have been put in place to reduce the spread of infection, illness, and burden on the healthcare system. However, these restrictions may also create other problems, challenges and stressors for youth and parents. Although many important studies were conducted in the first year of the COVID‑19 pandemic, more research is needed to understand stress and needs of youth and parents within the second year of the pandemic and beyond. The goals of the proposed research are to examine how pandemic-related stressors are associated with mental health, physical health, and substance use among youth and parents and to understand what youth and parents identify as needed help or support to recover from and thrive post-pandemic. This research will also investigate if outcomes are worse for those who have experienced adversity in childhood, who reported financial burden during the pandemic, and who had poor mental health before the pandemic began. A focus will also be placed on understanding differences among males and females. The proposed research will use existing data from the Well-Being and Experiences Study (The WE Study), which includes data collected pre-pandemic and during the first year of the pandemic. The proposed research will allow for additional data collection in the second year of the pandemic (2021-2022) among youth and parents. The team are experts in childhood adversity, mental health, substance use, and research methods. The current proposed research will provide essential evidence to help develop clinical and public health responses to improve health and support the recovery for youth and their parents.