The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children’s Conduct Problems and Callous-Unemotional Traits

With quarantine and stay-at-home orders, family life has been drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the effect of COVID-19 worries and exposures on child behavior has yet to be fully investigated; however, in this study led by PISC Senior Scholar Rebecca Waller, associations between parental COVID-19 behaviors, parenting practices, child conduct problems, and child callous-unemotional traits were explored.

Using survey data from 303 children, the study found that more worry about COVID-19 was specifically related to higher levels of child conduct problems, particularly parental worries about themselves or family members contracting the virus. These findings suggest a deeper impact of the pandemic not only upon more visible aspects of family life, but also upon child mental health and development.

Other researchers who contributed to this study include Tralucia Powell, Yuheiry Rodriguez, Natalie Corbett, Samantha Perlstein, Lauren White, Ran Barzilay, Nicholas Wagner.

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