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Mental health status of students’ parents during COVID-19 pandemic and its influence factors
  1. Mengting Wu1,
  2. Wenyan Xu2,
  3. Yuhong Yao3,
  4. Lei Zhang1,
  5. Lei Guo1,
  6. Juan Fan1 and
  7. Jue Chen1
  1. 1 Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  2. 2 School of Social Development and Public Policy, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  3. 3 Mental Health Education and Counseling Center, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jue Chen; chenjue2088{at}; Dr Wenyan Xu; xuwenyan{at}


Background During the outbreak of COVID-19, the national policy of home quarantine may affect the mental health of parents. However, few studies have investigated the mental health of parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aims To investigate the depression, anxiety and stress of the students’ parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to explore the influence factors, especially the influence of social support and family-related factors.

Methods The Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Perceived Stress Scale-10 and Social Support Rating Scale were applied to 1163 parents to measure the parents’ depression, anxiety, stress and social support.

Results (1) The detection rates of depression and anxiety in parents were 6.1% and 4.0%. The depression, anxiety and perceived stress of parents in central China were significantly higher than those in non-central China. The anxiety of college students’ parents was lower than that of parents of the primary, middle and high school students. The depression, anxiety and perceived stress of parents with conflicts in the family were significantly higher than those with a harmonious family. Other factors that influence parents’ depression, anxiety and perceived stress include marital satisfaction, social support, parents’ history of mental illness and parenting style, etc. (2) The regression analysis results showed that perceived stress, social support, marital satisfaction, family conflicts, child’s learning stage as well as parents’ history of mental illness had significant effects on parents’ anxiety and depression.

Conclusion During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health of parents was affected by a variety of factors. Good marital relationships, good social support, family harmony and parents without a history of mental illness may be protective factors for parents’ mental health, while perceived stress and child in middle or high school are risk factors for parents’ mental health.

  • parents
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • mental health

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  • Contributors MW contributed to data analysis and manuscript writing. WX and JC designed the study and contributed to all aspects of implementation. YY helped in subject recruitment and study implementation. LZ, LG and JF helped in subject recruitment and literature search. All authors contributed to and have checked the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by Shanghai Clinical Research Center for Mental Health (SCRC-MH) (19MC1911100); National Natural Science Foundation of China (81771461); Shanghai Municipal Health Commission (2019ZB0201); Xuhui District Health and Family Planning Commission Important Disease Joint Research Project (XHLHGG201808).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the ethics committee of the Shanghai Mental Health Center affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University (number: 2020-32).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No additional data are available.

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