The COVID-19 pandemic is an unexpected and major global event, with the potential to have many and varied impacts on child development. However, the implications of the pandemic for maternal depressive symptoms, early childhood temperament dimensions, and their associations, remain largely unknown. To investigate this, questionnaires were completed by mothers (N = 175) before and during the pandemic when their child was 10- and 16-months (Study 1), and by an extended group of mothers with young children (6 – 48 months; 66 additional mothers) during the first and second national lockdowns in the United Kingdom in 2020 (Study 2). Results indicated that whilst maternal pandemic-related stress decreased over the pandemic, the proportion of mothers feeling some level of pandemic-specific depression increased. Despite this, we did not observe an increase in the severity of global maternal depressive symptoms, or any negative impact of the pandemic on the development of temperament in infancy and early childhood.
Center for Open Science