Parenting stress and risk of child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: A family stress theory-informed perspective

Qi Wu, Yanfeng Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The risk of child maltreatment is heightened during the pandemic due to multiple COVID-19 related stressors, such as physical and mental health concerns, economic stress, challenges in homeschooling, marital conflicts and intimate personal violence, and intensified child–parent relationships. Both parental internal (e.g., parenting styles) and external resources (e.g., social support), and parental perceptions toward stressors will affect how parents cope with these stressors, which may exacerbate or mitigate the risk of child maltreatment. Guided by family stress theory, this article identifies COVID-19 related stressors at the family level, and further elaborates on how these stressors are associated with child maltreatment via parents’ resources, perceptions, and coping strategies. Implications for future practice and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-196
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Child Welfare
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • family stress theory
  • heightened child maltreatment risk
  • parental resources
  • parenting stress
  • perception and coping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Health(social science)

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