Publication Date



anxiety, family, child, COVID-19, pandemic, mental health, public health


Purpose: The objective of this study was to explore parent and child anxiety during the pandemic. Unlike previous pandemics, measures implemented to prevent the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been much more limiting.

Methods: An explanatory convergent mixed-methods design was used to describe anxiety of children 9–17 years of age and their parents during August–October 2020. Adult and child versions of State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to examine levels as measured on STAI’s state-anxiety subscale. Web-based interviews with a subset of patients were conducted qualitatively to analyze anxiety-related themes.

Results: A total of 188 parents and 140 children responded to the questionnaires. Mean overall anxiety scores for parents (49.17 [standard deviation: 12.247]) and children (35.43 [standard deviation: 7.894]) were higher than published norms. Parent and child anxiety were positively correlated (r = 0.36; P = 0.01). From interviews with 11 parents and 11 children; 4 major themes and 10 subthemes describing physical and emotional outcomes resulting from limited social contact, work and family role strain, and uncertainty about COVID-19 were identified.

Conclusion: Parents and children reported elevated anxiety levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings of this study can guide the development of strategies that mitigate the negative impact of isolation, role strain, and uncertainty related to future public health crises.




January 27th, 2022


June 2nd, 2022


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