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Parent mental health during lockdown (Nov 2020)

Focus of report

This report provides cross-sectional data from 1949 parents/carers who completed the baseline questionnaire between 17/04/2020 and 31/05/2020.  

In this report, we examined parent/carer mental health and wellbeing during lockdown and the relationship between child activities and parents’ mental health.   

This was examined for 

Parent mental health and wellbeing. 

  • Proportion of parents with normalmoderate and severe DASS-21 subscale scores 
  • The correlation between parents’ DASS-21 subscales and the wellbeing scale 
  • Demographic differences in DASS-21 subscales:  
    1. Parent gender 
    2. Parent age 
    3. Household income 
    4. Parent ethnicity 
    5. Number of children 
    6. Parent working status 

Association between parent/carer mental health and children’s play 

  • The correlation between the DASS total score and parents/carers’ perspective on children’s play 
  • The relationship between parent mental health and child activities:  
    1. Spent time outside 
    2. Take part in physical activity 
    3. Playing outside 
    4. Playing inside 
    5. Playing a screen-based game 
    6. Doing art or craft activities 
    7. Watching a screen 
    8. Contact with nature 

Key findings 

  • Parents from lower income households scored higher in the anxiety and depression DASS-21 subscales compared to parents from higher income households 
  • Parents who stated that they were not currently employed scored higher othe anxiety and depression DASS-21 subscales. 
  • There is a moderate positive correlation between the DASS total score and parents’ worries about not doing enough with their pre-school child (r=0.41, p<.01) as well as stressfulness about keeping their pre-school child occupied (r=0.43, p<.01).  
  • There is a weak negative correlation between the DASS total score and having ideas about ways to play with their pre-schooler (r=-0.16, p<.01).  
  • There is a moderate negative correlation between the DASS total score and keeping their pre-schooler occupied (r=-0.3, p<.01). 
  • There’s no clear relationship between parent mental health and how their preschool-aged child was reported to spend their time.