Indian Journal of Health Social Work
A STUDY ON FAMILY FUNCTIONING DURING COVID-19
Srinivasan N1, Senthil M.2
, Dipanjan Bhattacharjee3, Anshu Som4
, Narendra Kumar Singh5
1Clinical Social Worker, IIT Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India, 2Medical Social Worker, PGIMER,
Chandigarh, India, 3Associate Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Central
Institute of Psychiatry, Kanke, Ranchi, 4DMPH National Health Mission, Aligarh,Uttar Pradesh,
5Senior Psychiatric Social Welfare Officer, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Central Institute
of Psychiatry, Kanke, Ranchi
Correspondence: Srinivasan N , email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: The focus on family functioning characteristics related to various physical and
psychiatric conditions, as well as the examination of outcomes in children and adolescents across
diverse populations and countries, highlights the broad scope of the review. This comprehensive
approach is crucial for understanding the multifaceted effects of the pandemic on different aspects
of family life and mental health. The recognition of diversity in outcomes across different regions
and populations is essential, as the pandemic has not affected everyone uniformly. Socioeconomic,
cultural, and healthcare system differences can contribute to varied experiences and challenges
for families in different parts of the world. his type of review contributes to our collective
understanding of the unique challenges faced by families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODOLOGY: Overall, 3677 articles were found in the 368 pages of PubMed, with overlap,
duplication, and ineligible articles totaling 3616. After the ineligible articles were rejected, 61
articles were accepted for assessment, but 42 articles were turned down for reasons related to
longitudinal studies, qualitative studies, and experimental research designs. Finally, using a cross
-sectional study design, we chose 19 publications.CONCLUSION: In this assessment, it is made
clear how the pandemic’s economic and societal pressures affect family functioning across all
age groups. Recognizing that studies have found negative effects on family functioning and that
the pandemic may have the most severe and lasting economic and social costs we have ever
Keywords: Family, Functioning, Covid.
INTRODUCTION The COVID-19 outbreak is, without a doubt, a terrible human tragedy. There have been other significant times of loss over the course of human history, including wars, genocides, massive oppression, and other pandemics. Still, None have been as widespread across such a global network. Numerous people have died; nonetheless, many more are seriously ill. The closure of schools, daycare centers, and non-essential stores during the epidemic has had profound implications for daily life, posed challenges for working parents, and significantly altered the dynamics of education and business, NCHC (China); as a response to the pandemic, many countries, including China, implemented measures to contain the spread of the virus, and this often included the temporary closure of schools. These closures were part of broader public health strategies to promote social distancing and reduce the risk of transmission, Yun et al (2021), Families globally have encountered a range of unprecedented challenges, including health concerns, disruptions to daily routines, and uncertainties about the future, The pandemic has led to economic decline, affecting livelihoods andand financial stability for many families. This downturn is often associated with disrupted business activities, closures, and restrictions on various industries, Non-essential businesses, which often rely on in-person interactions, have faced particular challenges. Closures, restrictions, and changes in consumer behavior have contributed to economic hardships for these businesses and their employees, Ong et al (2020), Changes in dietary habits during lockdowns, such as limited access to fresh and diverse food, economic constraints, or altered eating patterns, could contribute to malnutrition. Malnutrition doesn’t solely refer to undernutrition but also includes imbalances in nutrient intake, which can result from inadequate or excessive consumption of certain nutrients, On the other hand, dietary changes, including increased consumption of processed and energy-dense foods, sedentary behavior, and stress, might contribute to obesity. Lockdowns and restrictions on physical activities may reduce opportunities for exercise, leading to weight gain for some individuals, Droit et al (2020), Disruptions to daily routines, increased stress, and uncertainty during the pandemic have been linked to sleep problems for many individuals. Changes in work schedules, worries about health, and the overall impact of the crisis on daily life can contribute to difficulties in maintaining healthy sleep patterns, The pandemic has been identified as a significant stressor, and prolonged stress can contribute to the development or exacerbation of depression. Factors such as social isolation, economic challenges, and concerns about the health of oneself and loved ones can contribute to depressive symptoms, The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, fear of illness, changes in work and social environments, and other stressors have contributed to increased levels of anxiety for many individuals. Generalized anxiety, health anxiety, and specific fears related to the virus have been reported, he fear of death can be a profound psychological impact of the pandemic. Concerns about personal health, the health of loved ones, and the overall mortality risk associated with the virus can contribute to existential fears and anxiety about death Szczeœniak, et al (2020).
Impact of Family Functioning During Covid-19:
Family functioning involves the quality of relationships among family members and the roles they play within the family structure. This includes the emotional bonds, support systems, and the distribution of responsibilities among family members, Effective family functioning involves the ability of the family to navigate and manage challenges or problems that arise. This could include coping with stress, resolving conflicts, and finding solutions to difficulties that impact the family unit, Families often face changes and transitions, whether due to life events, external factors, or intentional shifts in family practices. The ability of a family to adapt and adjust to these changes is a crucial aspect of family functioning; Communication is a cornerstone of healthy family functioning. Effective communication involves not only the exchange of information but also the expression of emotions, needs, and expectations in a way that fosters understanding and connection among family members, Zhang (2018). he Olson Circumplex Model, developed by David H. Olson, is a widely used theoretical framework in family therapy and research, one in which there is not too much consensus or too little interaction between members of the family, can have a positive impact on an individual’s well-being and life satisfaction, Prime , et al (2020). Banovcinova, et al. claim that (2014), neediness can upset family working in light of the fact that ongoing monetary pressure frequently prompts continuous reception of coercive and correctional nurturing styles by guardians, which might incite parentyoungster relationship issues (9). Families with children pose a particular threat because they have a higher incidence of post-disaster mental health disorders than families without children. As parental impression of stress are profoundly associated to youngster trouble and increment the gamble of psychopathology, it is fundamental to recognize and relieve key stressors that might lead to maladaptive results in nuclear family, Costa, et al 2006. Increased economic and organizational stressors placed on parents or caregivers, as well as disruptions to normal schedules and organizational practices for all members, may be the primary sources of strain within families as a result of COVID-19 quarantine measures, Prime, et al (2020). Community, Huang, et al (2022) longitudinal study conducted among adolescent depression symptoms during pandemic predicted higher family functioning results lesser depressive symptoms. During this time medical workers received more burden especially post graduate medical students was done routine medical duties Chinese study, O’Connell, et.al (2019) found that family function and life satisfaction mediated with the depression. There is a big role of family structure and functions in each and every family and the study predicts functional changes and family history of Mania during pandemic, Jozefiak, et al (2019). Family dysfunction is a common symptom of severe mental illness and has been linked to less favorable outcomes, Macpherson, et al (2018). Youth with bipolar disorder (BD) have a lower level of family functioning than healthy youth (15). Therefore, most psychosocial medicines for BD target family working by the same token by implication or straightforwardly. Patients’ motivation and capacity to initiate and sustain self-care behaviors have been empirically linked to diabetes-specific family functioning, both directly through actions that impede or facilitate self-care and indirectly through effects on psychological well-being and diabetes distress, Mayberry (2012). The research on social support forms the bulk of our theoretical understanding of how a family might affect adult T2DM outcomes, Nicklett (2014). Additionally, a small number of studies on diabetic and hypertensive patients have shown that a patient’s ability to self-manage is correlated with how well their family functions, Zhang (2020). There was need to provide emotional support, financial support for CKD patients during Pandemic by their family members, Souza Júnior (2021). This review examines family functioning factors of various medical and Psychiatric illness, children and adolescents among various country population with different outcomes.
We conducted systematic review of the literature published from January 2020 to December 2022. Only PubMed search index was used to search the literature. The following keywords were used to search the articles such as Family Functioning, Covid-19. Overall the search all the 368 pages in the PubMed 3677 articles has been found, there was an overlap, duplication and ineligible up to 3616 articles, after rejection of ineligible articles 61 articles has been taken up for assessment but 42 articles was rejected due to (Longitudinal study, Qualitative study, Experimental research design). Finally we selected 19 articles with the cross sectional research design. We preferred not to include any other specific terms or keywords in order to consider all the possible variables. Only English language literature was selected other language literatures excluded. 1) The Study focused on Family Functioning during covid19 (Whether it’s been part of the literature or Main objective of the Literature). 2) The study focused on family system and its effects during covid-19 (Included all the type of variables but cross sectional). 3) Dissertation or thesis of this title excluded. 4) Guidelines and Booklets excluded. 5)Indirect effects of the study variables excluded.
Analysing family dynamics and COVID-19 There is little literature, so only papers in the PubMed index that met the necessary criteria were chosen for this investigation. The first study suggests that there are statistically significant variations in anxiety scores among perinatal women during the COVID-19 pandemic. his finding underscores the potential psychological impact of the pandemic on pregnant women and new mothers, , Prime, et.al (2020). Another study indicates that issues with parental psychosocial functioning and family interactions mediate the connections between family income, financial load, and child adjustment . This implies that the pandemic’s economic consequences may indirectly affect child adjustment through their impact on parental well-being and family dynamics. Some studies suggest that, in addition to worries related to the COVID-19 virus itself, other stresses associated with the pandemic may contribute to the worsening of family functioning. Specifically, escalating co-parental conflict is mentioned as a potential factor influencing family dynamics negatively. The statement about positive family functioning among undergraduate students being influenced by pre-COVID-19 study implies that the conditions and experiences before the pandemic may have a lasting impact on family dynamics during the crisis, Zhang (2018). There needs to be more literature on this topic, and only papers meeting certain criteria in the PubMed index were chosen. This suggests a need for further research to comprehensively understand the dynamics of family functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impact of the economic and social strains associated with the pandemic on family functioning across all age groups is made obvious in this review. Since the outbreak, things have changed considerably. Recognizing that studies have shown adverse effects on family functioning and that the economic and social cost of the pandemic may be the most severe and long-lasting that we have ever seen. We would be motivated to concentrate psychological intervention among family members during COVID-19 by further research.
Cross sectional studies included.
The current review suggests that while there is some literature on the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on family dynamics, there’s a need for more in-depth qualitative and experimental investigations to understand the nuances of these effects better. Qualitative research can provide a richer understanding of the experiences and perspectives of individuals and families during these challenging times. It can capture the complexity of the emotional, social, and psychological aspects that quantitative measures might need to grasp fully. By combining qualitative and experimental approaches, researchers can create a more comprehensive and nuanced picture of how the pandemic influences family dynamics. This, in turn, can inform interventions and support strategies to help families cope with the challenges posed by COVID-19.