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Relationship Between Pre-Existing Depressive Symptoms and General COVID-19 Related Stress Levels Among Adoptive Parents

Su Jin Hwang, Lee Raby (Faculty Mentor), Department of Psychology, University of Utah, 380 South 1530 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 Bailey Speck, Department of Psychology, University of Utah, 380 South 1530 East, Room 701, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 Lee Raby, Department of Psychology, University of Utah, 380 South 1530 East, Room 502, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Many individuals have undergone changes in their lives to protect themselves from COVID-19 outbreak: quarantine and social distancing. People with pre-existing depression-related conditions may show higher level of perceived stress, greater distress related to self-isolation, and experience lower quality of sleep during the pandemic relative to the general population. However, studies examining the association between pre-existing depression symptoms and the impact of COVID-19 on parents are limited. We examined the associations between the level of depressive symptoms prior to the pandemic and various outcomes during the pandemic. Specifically we assessed the overall level of stress related to COVID-19, sleep quality, and distress due to their family’s reduced access to positive social interactions due to social isolation among parents who recently adopted a young child. Parents may experience heightened stress due to changes in child care during the pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 54 adoptive parents (95% female) completed an online questionnaire about their depressive symptoms. Several months later, parents completed an additional online survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Parents’ ages ranged from 25 to 68 years old (average = 36 years). Adoptive parents who reported higher depressive symptoms prior to COVID-19 pandemic experienced higher overall level of perceived stress related to the pandemic (r = 0.33, p = .02). Parents’ levels of depressive symptoms were not significantly associated with their later sleep quality or level of distress due to social distancing and quarantine during the pandemic. Overall, the results of this study suggest that interventions are needed to reduce the heightened level of distress due to the pandemic among parents who have high pre-existing levels of depressive symptoms. Future research should examine other factors that may be associated with the increased level of stress related to the pandemic among parents.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Su Jin Hwang

Institution: University of Utah

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7073