New insights into children and young people's mental health derived from the interaction between the family ecosystem and the COVID-19 pandemic

Year of award: 2021


  • Dr Matthias Pierce

    University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Project summary

Families form 'ecosystems', where changes to one member affects the others. The COVID-19 pandemic has had dramatic effects on this ecosystems, including interruptions in schooling, loss of social supports, changes to work, unemployment, and financial uncertainty. Because families function as ecosystems - where changes to one member is felt by others - these are likely to have knock-on effect on children and, crucially, their mental health. Using data from surveys conducted over the pandemic, I shall investigate how changes to the family ecosystem affects the mental health of children. By examining longitudinal change and embracing the complexities within families, I hope to disentangle causation from association and provide information on the universal determinants of mental health in children. This will inform interventions aimed at improving children?s mental health and our responses to future pandemics. A collection of results and a children's mental health dashboard will be put on