Distance Learning and Parental Mental Health During COVID-19
Distance Learning and Parental Mental Health During COVID-19

Published Online in:
Educational Researcher
December 16, 2020

Cassandra R. Davis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jevay GroomsHoward University
Alberto Ortega, Indiana University
Joaquin Alfredo-Angel Rubalcaba, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Edward Vargas, Arizona State University

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, there is a concern about the extent to which this pandemic will affect students. Since March 2020, schools transitioned to a distance-learning format, which unintentionally forced parents into new teaching roles as proxy educators. In this brief, we explore the association between distance learning and the mental health of proxy educators. We find that parents with children who struggled with distance learning experienced elevated mental distress. Given the relationship between teacher burnout and student outcomes, we argue the importance of supporting parents during this time to improve students’ schooling.

Read the full open-access article

Read the press release: "COVID-19 Turned Parents into Proxy Educators; New Research Examines the Stress It Caused.

Watch the authors discuss study findings and implications.

Study citation: Davis, C. R., Grooms, J., Ortega, A., Rubalcaba, J. A., & Vargas, E. (2020). Distance learning and parental mental health during COVID-19. Educational Researcher. Prepublished December 16, 2020. http://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X20978806

Media Coverage

Parents Feel the Strain as Pandemic Adds New Role: Teacher
U.S. News & World Report, December 22

How online learning affects parents’ mental health
District Administration, December 16


Author Video

Watch as study authors Cassandra R. Davis (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Alberto Ortega (Indiana University) discuss the significance of their recent study published in Educational Researcher​.