Parenting through the COVID-19 pandemic

Natalie M. V. Morrison*, Ben W. Morrison

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the experiences of individuals the world over-without precedent. Its impact has been especially harsh for parents. This chapter considers the impacts of COVID-19 through a family systems lens, which highlights the importance of recognizing that a parent is part of a “family unit” and so their experiences of the pandemic are felt directly, from the world around them, and through indirect pathways via the other members of their family. This chapter will explore the stressors grounded in the pandemic that uniquely impact parents and the ways that parents seek to adapt and cope with these stressors in a landscape where many of their pre-COVID coping strategies and supports are rendered inaccessible or untenable. This chapter also explores the various psychosocial outcomes that may eventuate as parents attempt to balance these imposing stressors with their coping resources with varying levels of success including parental burnout, family violence, and posttraumatic growth. Critical during this ongoing pandemic is that negative outcomes are not an inevitability and that growth for individuals, and the family unit, is entirely possible. However, parents must be equipped with strategies to minimize the stressors impacting their family, afforded the capacity to develop new coping mechanisms, have access to new support pathways, embrace psychological flexibility, and to experience perceived control in theirs, and their families, lives. Each family will face this pandemic period differently and it is therefore parents who must navigate the pathway forward on behalf of their family’s unique experiences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMental health effects of Covid-19
    EditorsAhmed A. Moustafa
    Place of PublicationLondon, UK
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128242889
    ISBN (Print)9780128242896
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2021


    • COVID-19
    • Family violence
    • Parental burnout
    • Parents
    • Posttraumatic growth
    • Stress and coping


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