Relevance. The introduction of quarantine measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 has dramatically changed the format of social life leaving an imprint on social interactions within large and small groups. Moving school and college students to the distance education format and the employees of many enterprises to the remote format of work has brought changes both at the level of relationships within school teams and at the level of family relationships.
The objective of the study is to determine the external and internal factors of mutual understanding between parents and children during the period of isolation.
Design. The sample consisted of 214 parents of schoolchildren living in the cities of the Central Federal District, mainly in the Kaluga Region. The survey was conducted online in April-May 2020 and used Google Forms. External stress factors (housing conditions, financial problems, the sufficiency of computer technology and the quality of Internet connection for remote work / study for all family members) as well as the degree of mutual understanding were studied using a questionnaire. To assess internal factors TIPI-RU, “SHPANA” (PANAS), Brief Cope questionnaires and a questionnaire of behavior style in conflict were used.
Based on the results of the study a model for the indirect influence of external stressors (financial problems, the sufficiency of computer technology and the quality of Internet connection) on the mutual understanding of children and parents was developed. This influence is mediated by affective states, coping strategies and the style of behavior of parents in conflict. Such personal qualities of the parents as conscientiousness and emotional stability are also important. Mutual understanding between parents and children is facilitated by a positive emotional attitude of parents, their use of coping strategies such as positive reappraisal, planning, humor, acceptance, as well as styles of behavior in a conflict aimed at reconciliation and compromise.
Conclusions. The results of the study showed the need for a differentiated and individual approach to the study of the psychological reactions of the population to the situation of a pandemic and quarantine. Many families perceived the current situation as an opportunity to devote more time to communication and self-development, to the development of children and relationships. The results obtained may reflect the regional specifics – the study was carried out in cities with a less stringent (compared to Moscow) isolation regime during the quarantine period.
Sections: Developmental Psychology;
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; understanding; telecommuting and learning; schoolchildren; parent-child relationships; coping-styles; behavior in conflict
Available Online 30.10.2020
Leonova E. V. (2020). Parents and children in time of isolation: external and internal factors of mutual understanding. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 13(3), 48–56. doi: 10.11621/ npj.2020.0307