About this Research Topic
The COVID-19 emergency required significant measures to ensure infection control that resulted in public health, social and economic challenges worldwide. While social-distancing and isolation measures help to reduce community-based transmission, they also represent a stressful experience with detrimental consequences on children and their families. Research on the effects of prior pandemics and disasters suggests that there may be both immediate and long-term adverse consequences for many children, with early childhood being a particular risk factor. This scenario is exacerbated by the stress experienced by parents, affecting their ability to provide consistent care and support, and undermining the parent-child relationship. Many parents attempted to work from home while caring for children, faced demands of home-based schooling, or dealt with economic uncertainty. Demands that are even greater for parents who must care for children with special needs or disabilities.
Since parenting is a critical driver of a child’s early development, many questions arise, such as:
• What can be done to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on parents and their children?
• How early parenting interventions can mitigate the pandemic impacts on young children?
In crises such as the COVID-19 outbreak, parents may face difficulties in providing adequate care and emotional support for their children. Parents' support can play a key role in buffering children from pandemic impacts in the short- and long-term periods. Parents can mediate the child’s experiences. In particular, as developmental theory suggests, parenting itself and quality of parenting can buffer the negative impact of stress/trauma, particularly in populations of vulnerable parents and children (i.e. low-income families, families with children with special needs or disabilities, families characterized by higher levels of harsh parenting, families with food or housing insecurities). Therefore, since the unique challenges of COVID-19 require adapting of early parenting intervention considering social distancing measures, it is important to increase the understanding of the effectiveness of parenting supports in the pandemic and post-pandemic phases. This would benefit the promotion of an evidence-based public health response and strategies during and after the outbreak.
This Research Topic will collect evidence of the effectiveness of early parenting interventions during and post-COVID-19. Interventions can be performed in several settings, such as eHealth, telehealth, interactive videos, home-based parenting program, or in face-to-face traditional models. The primary aim is to provide specific references for policy-makers worldwide to effectively plan and contrast against pandemic consequences on:
• infant and child developmental outcomes;
• family adjustment through early parenting interventions designed for enhancing parent's self-efficacy;
• positive coping strategies;
• family and social support networks promotion.
Therefore, we welcome submissions that focus on early parenting interventions in any of the following: clinical trials, methodological innovations, original research, pilot studies, brief research reports.
Keywords: Child development, early parenting intervention, eHealth, telehealth, home-based program, parenting, pandemic effects, young children
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.