Parental unemployment during the pandemic has affected adolescent wellbeing, ESRI study finds – The Irish Times
Young people have suffered from poorer wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic when one or both of their parents lost their jobs, the state’s economic think tank said.
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) released a new report on Thursday which examines the effect of the pandemic on the well-being of adolescents in Ireland.
It found that young people from families that experienced a drop in income were less likely to have the resources, such as a computer or a quiet place to study, to fully engage in learning from home.
Researchers found that twelve-year-olds who had a computer suitable for remote learning and a quiet place to study had better well-being than their peers.
Declines in income were also associated with a greater reduction in daily activities that played a protective role in promoting well-being, including sports and physical exercise and in-person dating.
However, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) played a protective role, with better well-being of adolescents in households receiving the payment.
The research was based on a special survey of children who took part in the Growing Up In Ireland study and was conducted in December 2020, when schools reopened and restrictions eased.
The survey was completed online by 2,947 12-year-old children and their mothers, who had already been interviewed when the children were nine years old.
To assess well-being, the researchers used the Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5) measure, in which young people were asked, among other things, if they had felt discouraged or depressed over the last weeks. Higher scores indicated more positive well-being.
The researchers said they had “expected” the economic shock to have an indirect effect on young people due to the stress experienced by their parents.
“We found significantly poorer well-being among adolescents who said they always or sometimes saw their parents as ‘worried right now’ and among those who argued with their parents more than before,” said revealed the report.
ESRI said the research has policy implications. Income support benefits, such as the PUP, protect child well-being and underline “the importance of broader anti-poverty measures for child and adolescent development”.
“The findings also suggest the need for continued support for the most disadvantaged young people to overcome pandemic-related disruptions to their learning and to counter potentially longer setbacks to their emotional well-being,” the group added. reflection.