Excerpted from abstract
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian and American parents of young children have faced unique stressors, such as additional homeschooling and caregiving responsibilities, and families in both countries have experienced pandemic-related deteriorations to mental health (Gadermann et al., 2021). This paper examines the parenting concerns of parents of young children in the United States and Canada during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic based on data from Statistics Canada’s Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians - Parenting During the Pandemic crowdsource survey and the University of Oregon’s Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development – Early Childhood (RAPID-EC) survey, and explores contextual factors that might explain the similarities and differences between Canadian and American parents’ pandemic experiences. Findings suggest that Canadian parents were highly concerned about their families’ well-being, while American parents were moderately concerned. Parents of a child with a disability in both the United States and Canada were more likely to express concerns regarding parenting, including concerns for their children’s learning and behaviour. Canadian and American teleworkers were more likely than those not working or working outside the home to report concern for their children’s behaviour, but only Canadian teleworkers were less likely to report concern for their children’s academic success. Closures of schools, day cares, and other programs for children may have contributed to similar parenting concerns across the two countries, while other contextual factors, including differences in child care use and access to employment supports, may partially explain differences between Canadian and American parents’ concerns.