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    Review of 'Child Externalizing and Internalizing Behavior and Parental Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic'

    Child Externalizing and Internalizing Behavior and Parental Well-Being During the COVID-19 PandemicCrossref
    Average rating:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 3 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 4 of 5.
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    Reviewed article

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    Child Externalizing and Internalizing Behavior and Parental Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    In this study we surveyed families’ experiences with parental depression, stress, relationship conflict, and child behavioral issues during six months of the COVID-19 pandemic through the COVID-19: Global Social Trust and Mental Health Study. The current analyses used data collected from online surveys completed by adults in 66 countries from April 17, 2020-July 14, 2020 (Wave I), followed by surveys six months later at Wave II (October 17, 2020-January 31, 2021). Analyses were limited to 175 adult parents who reported living with at least one child under 18 years old at Wave I. Parents reported on children’s level of externalizing and internalizing behavior at Wave I. At Wave II, parents completed self-reported measures of stress, depression, and inter-partner conflict. Child externalizing behavior at Wave I significantly predicted higher levels of parental stress and marginally predicted parental depression at Wave II, controlling for covariates. Child internalizing behavior at Wave I did not predict parental stress or depression, controlling for covariates. Neither child externalizing nor internalizing behavior predicted parental relationship conflict. The overall findings demonstrate that child behavior likely influenced parental stress and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings suggest that mental health interventions for children and parents may improve the family system during times of disaster.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Psychology,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Family & Child studies
      Mental wellbeing,COVID-19,Parental stress,Family,Relational conflict,Internalizing problems,Health,Children,Externalizing problems,COVID19

      Review text

      Reviewed by: Professor Jiang Hong Liu

      This is a well-written manuscript with good design and analysis. It is interesting to see that Wave I child externalizing behavior predicts Wave II parental depression and stress to some degree. I would like to see further discussion on the rationale for why externalizing behavior but not internalizing behavior had this impact, as internalizing behavior is usually related to maternal depression. I would also like to see the transactional model mentioned in the Introduction to be integrated more in the Discussion. Otherwise, this was a  scholarly and well-crafted piece of work


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