July 31, 2020

COVID-19 Family Study

Coping with COVID-19: Using Behavioral Science and Digital Health to Promote Healthy Families

Faculty Collaborators: Eve S. Puffer, Eric P. Green, Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, Tiarney Ritchwood, David Eagle
Team Leader/Postdoctoral Fellow: Amber Rieder
Graduate Students: Savannah Johnson, Justin Rasmussen, Kaitlin Quick
Undergraduate Students: Ameya Sanyal, Emmy Duerr

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unprecedented levels of stress around the globe. A parallel mental health epidemic is emerging alongside COVID-19 as 34 million families across the United States experience prolonged isolation alongside widespread economic hardship. The COVID-19 Family Study aims to examine the impact of stress, isolation, and economic hardship on families in the context of COVID-19, and help address the need for feasible, scalable interventions to strengthen family relationships in low-resource settings during a pandemic.

Our team is working to contribute to efforts to address this need in two ways.

First, we are conducting a survey of parents on the impact of COVID-19 on their families and children in the southern United States.

Second, we will work to adapt and pilot evidence-based intervention strategies for delivery in North Carolina with the aim of developing an intervention that can be delivered by lay providers and reduces conflict and improves problem-solving, connection and supportiveness within families. We aim to develop an approach that a) serves families experiencing high levels of relationship distress coupled with other socioeconomic vulnerabilities and b) is feasible and scalable in areas with low access to mental healthcare including rural communities.

Funders: Charles Lafitte Foundation (Psychology and Neuroscience Graduate Student Research Award), Duke Bass Connections, Duke Global Health Institute,  Duke Undergraduate Research Support (Remote Summer Research Grant), Duke Psychology & Neuroscience

Status: Ongoing