Employment Status and Psychosocial Adjustment Among Adolescents and Parents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Multi-Informant Data From Ecological Momentary Assessments

Ming Te Wang, Christina L. Scanlon, Juan Del Toro, Jacqueline D. Schall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families experienced financial and health stressors associated with parental employment. Using multi-informant and daily-diary data from a nationwide U.S. sample of parents and children (626 dyads; 18,780 daily assessments across 30 days: May 18, 2020–June 1, 2020, October 19, 2020–November 2, 2020; parents: Mage = 43, 15% male; children: Mage = 15, 42% male; 36% Black, 26%White, 14%multiracial, 12%Latinx, 11%AsianAmerican, and 1%NativeAmerican), this intensive longitudinal study investigated (a) the mediating role of health stress and financial stress in the link between parental employment status and psychosocial adjustment among adolescents and their parents and (b) whether this link differed by families’ socioeconomic status or receipt of government subsidies. Results indicated that families who experienced job loss tended to report higher levels of health stress and financial stress, which in turn was associatedwith heightened negative affect and poorer sleep quality for both parents and adolescents.When parents work from home (WFH), families tended to have lower levels of health stress and financial stress, which in turn weakened the positive links with negative affect and sleep quality. Lower- (vs. higher-) income families experienced weaker protective effects associated with WFH arrangements. Government subsidies were associated with lower stress and better psychosocial outcomes in families experiencing job loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • family well-being
  • parental employment
  • psychosocial adjustment

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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