In the follow-up survey, we were interested in whether the number of individuals in a household during lock-down/shelter-in-place has an effect on people’s mental health status. We were particularly curious about whether individuals with children are more worried during this unprecedented time.
Most participants reported having two adults in the household, and most reported having no children (under the age of 18) in their household.
We found that depression levels did not differ by the number of adults in the household, meaning that individuals with more adults in the household have similar levels of depression (relatively low levels) as those with fewer adults in the household. Perceived stress and anxiety levels increased with the number of adults in the household; individuals with more adults in the household have, on average, higher levels of perceived stress and anxiety, than those with fewer adults in the household.
Depression, perceived stress, and anxiety levels increased with the number of children in the household. Compared with participants with fewer children in the household, those with more children have higher levels of depression, perceived stress, and anxiety.
These results provided preliminary evidence suggesting that individuals with children may be experiencing higher levels of depression, stress, and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For parents who are in need of support during this time, visit this website for a great list of resources.