Around 20% of Parents Experienced Job Loss in UAE During This Period

  • Publish date: Monday، 13 June 2022
Around 20% of Parents Experienced Job Loss in UAE During This Period

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) along with New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) conduct studies to understand the impact of COVID-19 on children and their families in the emirate.

The research took place at two different time points (September 2020 and February 2021) to examine how responses changed over time. The research focused on measuring the impact of COVID-19 on several aspects, including mental and physical health, education, social interactions, work and screen time.

According to ECA, the research results showed significant changes in lifestyle due to the pandemic, both positive and negative. Notably, parents’ perceived risk of getting COVID-19 increased over time.

However, improvements in terms of healthy eating habits, body weight, sleep quality, physical activity, and wellbeing were observed in both parents and children. The survey also found more improvements in wellbeing and physical activity for fathers compared to that of mothers who reported higher levels of stress.

According to a recent UNICEF 'Life in Lockdown' report (2021), there are only a few studies globally that explore the consequences of COVD-19 on children under nine years old. This Abu Dhabi-based survey targeted parents with children aged 0-8 years, in addition to conducting interviews with children aged 4-8 years.

However, the quality of parents’ relationship with their child significantly declined. While parents’ screen time remained constant across the survey’s two waves, children’s screen time increased significantly, especially for children aged 0-3.

Interviews conducted with children have indicated they felt less anxious over time. About 20 percent of parents experienced job loss during the pandemic.

This percentage was stable over time. Perceived economic hardship was stable for parents with children aged 4-8 years, but significantly increased for parents with children aged 0-3.

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