Parenting in a pandemic: Work–family arrangements, well-being, and intimate relationships among adoptive parents
The COVID-19 pandemic presents unforeseen challenges to families. This mixed-methods study aimed to address how 89 adoptive parents (lesbian, gay, heterosexual) with school-age children are navigating a major public health crisis with social, economic, and mental health consequences. Specifically of interest were adoptive parents' worries and concerns; work–family arrangements; and mental, physical, and relational health, in the context of the pandemic and associated quarantine. Findings revealed that 70% of participants had changed work situations, with most newly working from home just as their children initiated remote homeschooling. The division of labor was rarely a source of stress, although the parent who was more involved in homeschooling sometimes experienced resentment. Concerns related to the pandemic included worries about health and children's emotional well-being and global concerns such as the national economy. Almost half reported declines in mental health (e.g., due to the stress of working and homeschooling), with lesbians being significantly more likely than others to report declines. Declines in physical health were rarer (less than 20%), with more than a quarter reporting improvements (e.g., due to increased exercise). Few reported declines in relationship quality, although almost a quarter reported declines in intimacy. Findings have implications for family and health professionals.
Goldberg, Abbie E.; McCormick, Nora; and Virginia, Haylie, "Parenting in a pandemic: Work–family arrangements, well-being, and intimate relationships among adoptive parents" (2021). Psychology. 300.