Paying the price? Academic work and parenting during COVID-19

Authors

  • Jennifer LP Protudjer University of Manitoba
  • Jackie Gruber University of Manitoba
  • Dylan Mckay University of Manitoba
  • Linda Larcombe University of Manitoba

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36834/cmej.72873

Abstract

Introduction: The shift to remote working/learning to slow transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has had widespread mental health impacts. We aimed to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the mental health of students and faculty within a health sciences faculty at a central Canadian university.

Methods: Via an online survey, we queried mental health in the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic quantitatively (scale: 1 (most negative)-100 (most positive)) and qualitatively.

Results: The sample (n = 110) was predominantly women (faculty 39/59; [66.1%]; students 46/50; [92.0%]). Most faculty were married/common law (50/60; [84.8%]) and had children at home (36/60; [60.0%]); the opposite was true for most students. 

Faculty and students self-reported comparable mental health (40.47±24.26 and 37.62±26.13; respectively). Amongst women, those with vs. without children at home, reported significantly worse mental health impacts (31.78±23.68 vs. 44.29±27.98; respectively, p = 0.032).

Qualitative themes included: “Sharing resources,” “spending money,” “few changes,” for those without children at home; “working at home can be isolating,” including the subtheme, “balancing act”: “working in isolation,” “working more,” for those with children at home.

Discussion: Amongst women in academia, including both students and faculty, those with children at home have disproportionately worse mental health than those without children at home.

Author Biographies

Jennifer LP Protudjer, University of Manitoba

The Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, The University of Manitoba, Canada

George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, Winnipeg, Canada

Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, The University of Manitoba, Canada

Centre for Allergy Research, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Jackie Gruber, University of Manitoba

Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

Dylan Mckay, University of Manitoba

The Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, Winnipeg, Canada

Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, The University of Manitoba, Canada

Department of Community Health Sciences, The University of Manitoba, Canada

Linda Larcombe, University of Manitoba

Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Manitoba, Canada

 Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, The University of Manitoba, Canada

Department of Community Health Sciences, The University of Manitoba, Canada

Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

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Published

2022-01-04

How to Cite

1.
Protudjer JL, Gruber J, Mckay D, Larcombe L. Paying the price? Academic work and parenting during COVID-19. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2022 Jan. 4 [cited 2022 Jun. 25];13(2):13-7. Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/72873

Issue

Section

Original Research