Families in quarantine for COVID‑19 in Italy. Resilience as a bufer of parental distress and problematic children’s emotions and behaviors

185
Erica Pugliese, Oriana Mosca, Daniele Paolini, Francesco Mancini, Domenica Puntonieri, Fridanna Maricchiolo (2022): Families in quarantine for COVID‑19 in Italy. Resilience as a bufer of parental distress and problematic children’s emotions and behaviors. In: Current Psychology, 2022.

Abstract

The pandemic of Covid-19 has had a high impact on people’s lives and especially on families. In Italy, in 2020, the several forced closures led families to live indoors to manage anxiety and distress. It was considered appropriate to investigate which protective factors, like parental resilience, can mitigate the negative impact of pandemic-related distress on family life. We have conducted two online surveys during different national lockdowns for Covid-19. The first survey was conducted immediately after the disruption of the virus and the second one after nine months. We measured parental resilience and distress, anxiety, problematic behaviors, and somatization of their children (as assessed by the parents). The aim was to investigate the protective role of parental resilience in mitigating parental distress and in turn problematic emotional states and behavior of their children. Mediation analyses confirmed the hypothesis that parental resilience lowers parental distress and consequently the anxiety and behavioral disorders of their children in both acute distress (first study) and chronic distress (second study) situations. Such results suggest that the improvement of parents’ resilience can buffer the negative impact of pandemic-related parental distress and children’s behavioral problems on both occasions. The need for focused interventions and treatments aimed to reinforce parental resilience is discussed. Targeted prevention and support strategies are needed now, and early in case of future health crises.

BibTeX