Certain parenting behaviors associated with positive changes in well-being during COVID-19 pandemic

January 19, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have been faced with challenging circumstances to balance work, household, care of children and support of distance learning for school-age children without help from their regular support systems such as schools, childcare, and often other family members as well. A new longitudinal study in Germany examined day-to-day parenting behavior during the restrictions and closures caused by the pandemic from the end of March until the end of April 2020. Research showed that autonomy-supportive parenting (offering meaningful choices when possible) contributed to positive well-being for both children and parents.

The findings were published in a Child Development article written by researchers at DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education and the Center for Research on Individual and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk (IDeA) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

"We explored whether or not autonomy-supportive parental behavior would facilitate adaptation and better child well-being. We also explored whether such parenting behavior helps to create a positive emotional climate that benefits parents as well as children," said Andreas B. Neubauer, postdoctoral research scientist at DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education. "Findings suggest autonomy-supportive parenting behavior is positively associated both with better child well-being and higher parental need fulfillment." According to the authors, such parenting behavior requires parental energy and vitality but also reciprocally contributes to it.

Participants for the online study were recruited via social media, a press release, and contacts to school and parent-teacher associations. The study assessed parents of school children using online questionnaires over three weeks through the following methods: Additionally, parents were asked about their own well-being, their perceptions of the family climate and their child's behavior once before the 21-day period and once again after the 21 days.

"Our findings from the daily questionnaires suggest that autonomy supportive parenting is beneficial for the well-being of both children and parents," said Florian Schmiedek, professor, and head of the cognitive development unit at DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education. "Helping parents in their daily parental behavior choices might be an effective way to improve the family climate and child wellbeing in a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic."

The authors recognize several limitations within the present study: only one aspect of autonomy-supported parentings was assessed ("choice within limits"), the questionnaire had previously only been used in adolescents, the reports were only obtained from the perspective of predominantly female parents, and a daily low compliance rate (however this was considered adequate given the demanding time period).
Summarized from Child Development, A Little Autonomy Support Goes a Long Way: Daily Autonomy-Supportive Parenting, Child Well-Being, Parental Need Fulfillment, and Change in Child, Family, and Parent Adjustment Across the Adaptation to the COVID-19 Pandemic by Neubauer, A., Schmidt, A., Kramer, A., Schmiedek, F. (DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education). Copyright 2021 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.

Society for Research in Child Development

Related Pandemic Articles from Brightsurf:

Areas where the next pandemic could emerge are revealed
An international team of human- and animal health experts has incorporated environmental, social and economic considerations -- including air transit centrality - to identify key areas at risk of leading to the next pandemic.

Narcissists love being pandemic 'essential workers'
There's one group of essential workers who especially enjoy being called a ''hero'' during the COVID-19 pandemic: narcissists.

COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
An interdisciplinary team from the University of Geneva and the ETH Z├╝rich spin-off Meteodat investigated possible interactions between acutely elevated levels of fine particulate matter and the virulence of the coronavirus disease.

People who purchased firearms during pandemic more likely to be suicidal
People who purchase a firearm during the pandemic are more likely to be suicidal than other firearm owners, according to a Rutgers study.

Measles outbreaks likely in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
Major measles outbreaks will likely occur during 2021 as an unexpected consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new academic article.

The COVID-19 pandemic: How US universities responded
A new George Mason University study found that the majority of university announcements occurred on the same day as the World Health Organization's pandemic declaration.

Researchers find evidence of pandemic fatigue
A new study from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology shows that the behavioral responses to COVID-19 differed by age.

Excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic.

How fear encourages physical distancing during pandemic
Despite guidelines plastered on the walls and floors of grocery and retail stores encouraging customers to maintain six-feet of physical distance during the pandemic, many do not.

COVID-19 pandemic and $16 trillion virus
This Viewpoint aggregates mortality, morbidity, mental health conditions, and direct economic losses to estimate the total cost of the pandemic in the US on the optimistic assumption that it will be substantially contained by the fall of 2021.

Read More: Pandemic News and Pandemic Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.