CURE: An Ounce of Prevention: Building Resilience in Communities

Family Functioning During COVID-19

CURE: An Ounce of Prevention: Building Resilience in Communities

Student Presenters

Rachel Walton, Megan Bohn, Natalie Barber, Emma Hanley

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jennifer Doty


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


COVID-19 has had many different impacts on children and families globally (Perelli-Harris & Walzenbach, 2020; Małgorzata et al., 2020). Prior research emphasizes the impact of risk factors, such as job loss or health concerns, that result in worsening familial relationships (Russell et al., 2020). Protective factors, such as cognitive reframement, are seen to lead to enhanced parent-child relationships (Prime et al., 2020). In this study we aim to identify the specific impacts COVID-19 has had on family functioning with respect to these factors. This study is a secondary qualitative data analysis of data collected from interviews conducted with parents about their experiences following a parenting intervention program in Spring 2020. Thirty-two parents with 5th and/or 6th grade children were recruited through social media outreach. After a screening process, they were selected to participate in the program and were compensated upon completion. The following interview questions explored changes in their familial relationships that occurred because of COVID-19 and in response to the parenting program. This study consisted of coding for themes using NVivo and then analyzing and summarizing these recurring themes. We identified recurring themes that show how COVID-19 has impacted family functioning. The most prevalent themes include both positive and negative outcomes. The primary trends we recognized include the need for structure in the home, an increase in time spent with immediate family, an increase in family bonding time, the children’s lack of understanding about COVID-19 and social distancing, and an overall increase in stress for both parents and children.


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