Background: Life-threatening events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may generate feelings of insecurity and fear in the affected population, particularly children. Parents' ability to help children cope with negative emotions is essential during challenging periods. The current study aims to analyse the coping strategies adopted by Italian caregivers concerning their children's fears about COVID-19. Method: An online survey was administered during the Italian lockdown to 649 parents of at least one child aged 5 to 17 years old. Respondents completed the survey for themselves and their children. In addition, a qualitative content analysis of the data from the open-ended question was conducted (N = 569; 87.9% women; M-Age = 45 years). Results: Several themes were identified. Firstly, families' primary approach was 'communication and meaning-making'. Secondly, another essential strategy was 'the importance of safe space', enabled by keeping routine in place and creating a loving and caring environment. Thirdly, other factors relevant to managing children's fears were 'adaptation', 'religion', 'a positive attitude', and 'humour and hope'. Finally, the last two strategies significant and valuable for Italian families were 'flexibility' and 'maintaining virtual contacts. Conclusion: During the pandemic COVID-19, parents may have used various strategies to protect their children from stress. Future research could investigate single parents' coping strategies explicitly developed during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Landoni, M., Silverio, S. A., Ionio, C., Giordano, F., Managing Children's Fears during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Strategies Adopted by Italian Caregivers, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH>>, 2022; 19 (18): 1-12. [doi:10.3390/ijerph191811699] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/222712]

Managing Children's Fears during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Strategies Adopted by Italian Caregivers

Landoni, Marta
;
Ionio, Chiara;Giordano, Francesca
2022

Abstract

Background: Life-threatening events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may generate feelings of insecurity and fear in the affected population, particularly children. Parents' ability to help children cope with negative emotions is essential during challenging periods. The current study aims to analyse the coping strategies adopted by Italian caregivers concerning their children's fears about COVID-19. Method: An online survey was administered during the Italian lockdown to 649 parents of at least one child aged 5 to 17 years old. Respondents completed the survey for themselves and their children. In addition, a qualitative content analysis of the data from the open-ended question was conducted (N = 569; 87.9% women; M-Age = 45 years). Results: Several themes were identified. Firstly, families' primary approach was 'communication and meaning-making'. Secondly, another essential strategy was 'the importance of safe space', enabled by keeping routine in place and creating a loving and caring environment. Thirdly, other factors relevant to managing children's fears were 'adaptation', 'religion', 'a positive attitude', and 'humour and hope'. Finally, the last two strategies significant and valuable for Italian families were 'flexibility' and 'maintaining virtual contacts. Conclusion: During the pandemic COVID-19, parents may have used various strategies to protect their children from stress. Future research could investigate single parents' coping strategies explicitly developed during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Inglese
Landoni, M., Silverio, S. A., Ionio, C., Giordano, F., Managing Children's Fears during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Strategies Adopted by Italian Caregivers, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH>>, 2022; 19 (18): 1-12. [doi:10.3390/ijerph191811699] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/222712]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/222712
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