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Rabe, Julia Elisabeth; Schillok, Hannah; Merkel, Christina; Voss, Stephan; Coenen, Michaela; Bock, Freia de; Ruden, Ursula von; Bramesfeld, Anke and Jung-Sievers, Caroline (2021): Belastung von Eltern mit Kindern im Schulalter während verschiedener Phasen der COVID-19-Pandemie in Deutschland: Eine Analyse der COVID-19-Snapshot-Monitoring-(COSMO‑)Daten. In: Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Gesundheitsforschung-Gesundheitsschutz, Vol. 64, No. 12: pp. 1500-1511

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Abstract

Background Parents face a variety of personal challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, while simultaneously being confronted with additional, school-related pandemic containment measures. Objectives To investigate burden in parents of school-aged children across different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany and to identify particularly affected subgroups. Methods The COSMO project is a repetitive cross-sectional survey monitoring the psychosocial situation of the population in Germany during the pandemic with a sample size of approximately n = 1000 respondents per survey wave. A quantitative analysis of COSMO data was conducted using closed survey questions on the item burden as the main outcome, and, if applicable, on parenthood-associated burden from March 2020 until January 2021. Results During the first COVID-19 wave, parents of school-aged children were significantly more burdened compared to the general study population. However, burden decreased significantly from March/April to June 2020. During the second COVID-19 wave in January 2021, burden was homogeneously high across all groups. Single parenthood, a low household income, having a chronic health condition, a COVID-19 infection and a migration background were associated with higher burden, although none of these factors was consistently significant across the survey waves. Mothers reported to be more affected by parenthood-related burden than fathers. Conclusions School measures for infection control have to be weighed carefully against the psychological impact on parental burden with subsequent negative impact on the family system. An English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink as Supplementary Information.

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