Impact of COVID-19 on Families with Children: Examining Sociodemographic Differences

Tre D. Gissandaner, Crystal S. Lim, Dustin E. Sarver, Dustin Brown, Russell McCulloh, Lacy Malloch, Robert D. Annett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated differences related to employment and family psychological health. However, empirical evidence examining COVID-19-linked differences concerning children and families remains scant. This study addresses this gap by examining sociodemographic differences associated with COVID-19 on family access to resources and family psychological health.Method:A telephone survey of 600 caregivers living in Mississippi was conducted from August 2020 to April 2021. Caregivers answered questions about levels of worry regarding themselves or their child contracting COVID-19 and impact of the pandemic on household income, access to resources, and family psychological health.Results:Multivariate models demonstrated that Black caregivers (n = 273; 45.5%) had increased odds of agreeing that they worry about contracting COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR] = 2.57). Furthermore, as caregiver reported household annual income decreased, caregivers had increased odds of agreeing that they worry about contracting COVID-19 (OR = 1.16), lost job-related income (OR = 1.14), and had a hard time obtaining resources (OR = 1.16) because of the pandemic. No significant differences related to rural or urban residence were observed.Conclusion:The findings highlight the need for pragmatic responses that are attuned to differences by providing more equitable access to resources for families. The findings suggest that strategies addressing family worry, obtaining job-related income support, and helping families obtain tangible resources may positively affect family psychological health. As population changes in vaccination rates and COVID variants emerge, reassessment of family and community impact seems indicated. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E88-E94
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • COVID-19
  • differences
  • income loss
  • psychological health
  • resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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