Investigating the Impact of Isolation During COVID-19 on Family Functioning – An Australian Snapshot
journal contributionposted on 07.12.2021, 00:00 authored by Jade SheenJade Sheen, A Aridas, P Tchernegovski, Amanda DudleyAmanda Dudley, Jane McGillivrayJane McGillivray, A Reupert
This study explored possible changes in family functioning from the perspective of parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-four parents/guardians of children under 18 years completed a semi-structured interview, average length 47 min. Interviews focussed on changes in different aspects of family functioning including family roles, routines, and rules; parenting practices; communication and relationships; and strengths, challenges, and tensions. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis applied in an idiographic and inductive manner to reduce the loss of individual experiences and perspectives. Four superordinate themes were identified: shifting family roles and boundaries throughout the pandemic; impacts on routines and relationships; opportunities and resourcing; and, experiences of support and unity. Gender differences were evident across some themes, particularly changing roles, workload and work-home boundaries. Challenges and tensions were frequently highlighted, particularly by “vulnerable” family groups such as those with children with disabilities. Parents also described a renewed sense of family and community that underpinned adaptive coping responses. The results highlight the importance of family connectedness in times of need.