Social Support and Mental Health during COVID-19

Author: Timothy Worley, Ph.D. , Madison Mucci-Ferris
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Article Topics: children, mental health, psychology, survey research Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented source of stress for today’s college students. In addition to the physical health threat COVID-19 poses to students and their loved ones, the psychological impact of the pandemic has been profound, with stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms increasing globally. Research suggests the psychological toll may be especially high for college-aged young adults. Social support, particularly from family members , has been identified as a protective factor against COVID-19-related mental health issues . Examples of social support…

The Impact of COVID-19 on Child Care Facilities in Pennsylvania

Author: Philip Sirinides, PhD
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Article Topics: child care, Pennsylvania, mixed-methods, children The operational and financial impacts of COVID-19 on Pennsylvania child care providers and staff have been significant. Most child care programs closed, at least temporarily, in the initial weeks of the pandemic, eliminating income even while costs continued to accrue. Statewide, 86% of providers reported closing at some point, although the true rate of closure could be as high as 93% due to the unknown status of unresponsive providers. Throughout the closure, nearly all providers did not charge tuition, which had substantial financial impacts. Many child care providers need to make payments…

Parental Substance Abuse

Author: Dr. Rina Eiden
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Article Topics: substance use, family, children Market research regarding substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic is alarming. For instance, alcoholic beverage sales increased dramatically by about 55%in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Similarly, sales of combustible cigarettes have increased across several countries during the pandemic, with survey respondents indicating tobacco use as their primary stress reduction strategy. Similar concerns have been raised about other substances . According to the American Medical Association, by July 2020, more than 35 states reported an increase in opioid-related deaths , particularly…

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children in Foster Care

Author: Sarah Font, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: foster care, children, family, maltreatment Foster Care in the United States For the hundreds of thousands of U.S. children in foster care on any given day – including 15,000 Pennsylvanian children—the pandemic imposes novel threats to their health and wellbeing. By the time children enter foster care, they have experienced severe neglect, meaning their parents were consistently unable to meet their physical, emotional, and supervision needs. Some children have also experienced or witnessed physical or sexual violence and many have parents with serious drug or alcohol addictions . The totality of these experiences means that…

Aggressive Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Mark Feinberg, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: children, family, maltreatment During the COVID-19 pandemic, closed schools and daycare centers, parents working at home, and financial insecurity are increasing stress levels and frictions at home. These conditions lead to the potential for increases in harsh, aggressive parenting and child maltreatment that may go unreported. Against a backdrop of already high levels of family violence in the United States, family service providers should focus on ways to reduce conflict and aggression in all family relationships. Headlines are announcing that reports of child abuse are down substantially since social distancing began.…

Educational Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students with Disabilities in Pennsylvania

Author: Adrienne D. Woods, Ph.D. , Paul L. Morgan, Ph.D. , Yangyang Wang, M.A.
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Article Topics: special education, Pennsylvania, children The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting special education service delivery in Pennsylvania and beyond. However, there are steps parents, educators, schools, and policymakers can take to help mitigate the impact. How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting special education service delivery? Pennsylvania is among the 32 states, 3 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia to have closed its schools for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Pennsylvania alone, these closures have impacted over 3,000 public schools and affected more than 1.7 million students. This…