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Changes in UK Parental Mental Health Symptoms over 10 months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

This longitudinal analysis of Co-SPACE and Co-SPYCE data examined changes in parent stress, depression, and anxiety between April 2020 and January 2021. Some key findings include:

  • Parental stress and depression, but not anxiety, were higher during periods of restrictions. This effect was more pronounced for parents of primary-school aged children (4-11 years old).
  • Parents with secondary-school aged children showed greater continuous increases in mental health symptoms since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Around 75% of parents reported consistently low mental health symptoms.
  • A substantial minority of parents reported consistently high or increasing stress, anxiety or depression symptoms. These parents were more likely to be younger than average; be a single adult in their household; have a pre-existing mental health condition; or have a child with special educational needs or a neurodevelopmental disorder.

The full pre-print is available to read and download here.