Psychological distress and burden among family caregivers of children with and without developmental disabilities six months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for family caregivers of children with developmental disabilities (DD). The purpose of this study was to conduct a 6-month follow-up on the experiences of caregiver burden and psychological distress among caregivers of children with autism (ASD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during COVID-19 pandemic, compare their experiences to caregivers of children without DD, and test the interaction between opportunities for self-care and caregiver burden and psychological distress. Results indicated caregivers of children with ASD/ADHD continued to report significantly higher levels of psychological distress and caregiver burden compared to caregivers of children without DD. Counter to study hypotheses decreased opportunities to engage in self-care as a result of the pandemic predicted higher levels of psychological distress and caregiver burden for caregivers of children without DD, whereas only caregiver burden was moderated by self-care for caregivers of children with ASD/ADHD. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to negatively impact the psychological health of family caregivers of school-age children. In general, greater challenges are presented for caregivers of children with ASD/ADHD, but they seem to be more resilient to some COVID-19 challenges than caregivers of children without DD.Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.