Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The International Public Policy Observatory's (IPPO) Rapid Evidence Review has now been released. Co-authored by Professor Cathy Creswell, the Review was commissioned by the UK Department for Education following a recommendation from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Father working from home with two children
© IPPO

This Rapid Evidence Review synthesises the research evidence from 32 studies on harms relating to the impact of lockdown and school closures on UK parents and carers, and aims to address what specific harms parents and carers have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and what potential mitigating factors may reduce the impact of these harms. 

The review concludes that parents and carers have been disproportionately affected by school-closures with research evidence showing:

  • Increases in mental health problems
  • Financial struggles - including impacts on employability in specific sectors
  • An increased risk of domestic violence within the home.

Existing gender inequalities and stereotypical gender roles in divisions of unpaid care work may have put women at a greater risk of poor mental health and loss of earnings. Mothers, single parents, ethnic minorities, parents with lower socioeconomic status (SES) and/or parents with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) should be especially targeted for interventions.

Professor Cathy Creswell, Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford,  said: 

 

'The COVID-19 pandemic has brought substantial challenges for parents and carers of children and young people. Our review has highlighted the negative impacts on parents and carers both economically and in terms of their mental health, particularly for families who already faced disadvantages. Support for parents and carers will be critical as they face ongoing disruption and to support recovery beyond the pandemic.'

 

Further information

Read the full report

The Review's authors were: Dr Hope Christie (Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Edinburgh), Dr Lucy V Hiscox (Department of Psychology, University of Bath), Professor Cathy Creswell (Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford), Professor Sarah L Halligan (Department of Psychology, University of Bath). These authors were supported by review specialists Carol Vigurs and Dr Bridget Candy (EPPI-Centre).

The work was undertaken under the umbrella of the ESRC-funded International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) and managed by the EPPI Centre, a specialist centre in the UCL Social Research Institute

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

Similar stories

Treating mental illness with electricity - new podcast

A new wave of treatments that stimulate the brain with electricity are showing promise on patients and in clinical trials.

The risk of seizures and epilepsy is higher after COVID than after the flu

Professor Arjune Sen, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, on new research suggesting that though the overall risk of seizures is small, it is greater after COVID

Hours of gaming not negatively impacting wellbeing of most adolescents - new study

University of Oxford researchers found that although many school-age adolescents are spending considerable time gaming, it is not having a negative impact on their wellbeing.

Few mental health apps make it to real world, according to new Oxford University study

Despite enthusiasm for digital technology in addressing young people’s mental health, few effective apps have been successfully rolled out.

Oxford gets £122m funding for healthcare research

Health and care research in Oxford is to receive £122 million in government funding over the next five years to improve diagnosis, treatment and care for NHS patients.

Dementia research - new trial with diabetes drug

An important new trial will test the effects of oral semaglutide on the build-up of a protein in the brain that characterises Alzheimer's disease.