As a call to action in the field, we highlight that the COVID-19 pandemic is an abrupt and chronic stressor to children and families of disadvantaged and marginalized backgrounds. Critically, this global crisis has a disproportionate impact on the physical, mental and behavioral health of these vulnerable members of society, due to pre-existing disadvantages such as economic hardship, educational inequities, risks of maltreatment and community violence. A lack of access to mental health support further deprives children and their caregivers of the resources needed to cope with magnified adversities during the pandemic. These inequalities are not the mere result of the pandemic, but are magnifications of pre-existing societal disadvantages that are detrimental to the wellbeing of the most vulnerable. We advocate for long-term strategies to change societal structures that oppress marginalized children and families, and emphasize that the pandemic reflects a pressing need to invest in interventions.
Frontiers in Sociology