Psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on parents in an urban setting in Andhra Pradesh
Shvetha Chilukuri1, Srinivas Singisetti1, Srikrishna Nukala2, Archana Vinnakota1, Abhilash Garapati3, Vidya Sanapala3, Laxman Rao Nambaru4
1 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Gitam Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Professor, HOD, Department of Psychiatry, Gitam Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, Gitam Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, Maharaja Institute of medical sciences, Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, India
Department of Psychiatry, Gitam Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Visakhapatnam - 530 045, Andhra Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Existing literature around pandemics suggests that preventive measures during lockdown have an adverse impact on psychological well-being across different demographic groups. In particular, parents' stress is somewhat complex and influenced by the demands of looking after children, homeschooling, and an increase in domestic chores and needs exploration and timely attention.
Aims: The aim is to study the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and various associated factors on parents.
Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional study done online using Google Forms sent to WhatsApp groups in an urban setting in Andhra Pradesh, on a purposive sampling basis.
Materials and Methods: A purposive sampling approach using a survey questionnaire through WhatsApp produced data from 159 parents who completed the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) short version and the Parental Stress Scale (PSS).
Results and Conclusions: Criteria for severe stress on the DASS-21 were met in 47% of parents. Severe anxiety and depression were noted in 39% and 40% of the sampled parents, respectively. Mean parental stress scale score significantly correlated with the depression, anxiety, and stress subscales of the DASS-21. These findings indicate that pandemics and subsequent disease-containment responses such as lockdown may create a condition that parents may find overwhelming and one that could have a negative impact on parents and children. Pandemic planning must address these needs within the disease-containment measures.