Family Demands and Satisfaction with Family Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract

Based upon theories that describe the process of family stress adaptation, we model changes in family demands and satisfaction with family life during the COVID-19 pandemic among a sample of n = 1,042 respondents from Germany. Moreover, based on ecological perspectives on the role of family context, we consider partnership status and parental status as predictors of changes in these variables over time. Using a longitudinal research design, we model co- occurring trajectories of changes in family demands and satisfaction with family life between early April 2020 and early September 2020 using unconditional and conditional multivariate latent growth curve modeling. Results suggest that, on average, both family demands and satisfaction with family life increased across this time period and that having minor children ≤ 17 years of age was associated with decreases in satisfaction with family life across time. Moreover, an exploratory analysis suggests that partnership status may help offset the positive relationship between parental status and family demands. These findings have implications for future research on family life during a crisis and suggest that single parents of young children should be the focus of interventions to reduce family-related stressors and increase levels of family wellbeing during times of crisis.

Publication
Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
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Cort W. Rudolph
Associate Professor of Industrial & Organizational Psychology