Pandemics can cause substantial psychological distress; however, we do not know the impact of the COVID-19 related lockdown and mental health burden on the parents of school age children. We aimed to comparatively examine the COVID-19 related the stress and psychological burden of the parents with different occupational, locational, and mental health status related backgrounds.
A large-scale multicenter online survey was completed by the parents (n = 3,278) of children aged 6 to 18 years, parents with different occupational (health care workers—HCW [18.2%] vs. others), geographical (İstanbul [38.2%] vs. others), and psychiatric (child with a mental disorder [37.8%]) backgrounds.
Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that being a HCW parent (odds ratio 1.79, p < .001), a mother (odds ratio 1.67, p < .001), and a younger parent (odds ratio 0.98, p = .012); living with an adult with a chronic physical illness (odds ratio 1.38, p < .001), having an acquaintance diagnosed with COVID-19 (odds ratio 1.22, p = .043), positive psychiatric history (odds ratio 1.29, p < .001), and living with a child with moderate or high emotional distress (odds ratio 1.29, p < .001; vs. odds ratio 2.61, p < .001) were independently associated with significant parental distress.
Parents report significant psychological distress associated with COVID-19 pandemic and further research is needed to investigate its wider impact including on the whole family unit.