Resources of families adapting the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany: A mixed-method study of coping strategies and family and child outcomes
Keywords:family climate, child well-being, innerfamilial processes, abc-x model, online survey, child interviews
Objective: The aim of the present work is to analyse families’ coping with the COVID-19 pandemic depending on available resources by examining the family as a cohesive system.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected families in several ways, with many studies reporting a decreased well-being of children and parents. How families cope with the new situation is dependent on family resources and personal resources.
Method: A mixed-method approach combines data from an online survey (N = 11,512) and complementary qualitative interviews. The study was conducted in spring 2020 during the initial COVID-19 lockdown in Germany. The study analyses how familial and individual resources affect the family climate and child well-being.
Results: The study uncovered that although structural conditions, processes within the family, and individual ressources, especially the mothers working situation, are relevant for the COVID-19 experience. Family processes are the essential factor for positive family well-being. However, these processes meet their limits if the pre-existing conditions in the families are unfavorable. Nonetheless, children are also capable of developing their coping strategies.
Conclusion: Future studies should examine families and their available resources as a whole system and include the children’s perspective.