About this Research Topic
The goal of this Research Topic is to examine the impact of school and childcare closures on maternal wellbeing during the pandemic and consider the lessons learnt for maternal mental health, and maternal participation in the workforce in a post-pandemic world. More specifically, we want to shed more light on maternal experiences overall, as well as from groups of mothers that we know were particularly challenged. For instance, while we know that working mothers’ mental health was significantly impacted, we know less about how working status impacted their well-being (Racine et al., 2022). Additionally, we are aware of no research on student mothers.
Caregiver responses to the lockdown and associated stresses were experienced differently across cultures (e.g., Morgul, Kallitsoglou, Essau, 2021). Adopting a global perspective in this Research Topic, we want to better understand maternal wellbeing during COVID-19 school closures across cultures.
Finally, while access to free childcare was proved a key factor of improved maternal wellbeing and employment during the pandemic (Racine et al., 2022), school closures taught us additional lessons about what matters for mothers which are yet to be unraveled. To this end, another goal is to identify the subtle factors that promoted or hindered maternal wellbeing.
For this Research Topic, we invite contributions that help us better understand maternal wellbeing at home and at work during the COVID-19 school closures, with a focus on the following issues:
• homeschooling and/or caregiving while working or studying;
• the gendered distribution of unpaid/domestic work;
• work-related issues informal and formal social supports (e.g., paternal support);
• maternal coping strategies;
• cross-cultural perspectives on the above issues.
We are interested in exploring those themes across several maternal characteristics and their intersection including race, age, level of education, single motherhood, full-time vs part-time employment and child characteristics such as special educational needs.
We welcome contributions from across the maternal population, but we encourage submission on working/studying mothers or research with implications for these populations. While the focus is on the maternal population, we are keen to incorporate a range of voices, so we welcome studies that include fathers, and/or employers. If the studies do not include mothers, then the relevance and implications for maternal wellbeing should be made explicit.
Keywords: COVID-19, school closures, childcare, maternal mental health and wellbeing, work, employment, homeschooling, coping strategies, informal and formal social support, cross-cultural differences, gendered distribution of labour, gender inequalities
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.