Many Hispanic American Parents Are Concerned About the Pandemic’s Effects on Their Children’s Mental Health
Washington, D.C., August 11, 2022 — In a new poll from the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Hispanic parents were more likely to agree they were concerned about the pandemic’s effects on their children’s mental health than other groups (67% versus 49% non-Hispanics). They were also more likely to agree they are concerned about their children’s social skills after isolation (59% versus 47% non-Hispanic), their children deal with behavior issues that were not present prior to COVID (46% versus 28% non-Hispanic), their children are getting into trouble at school more frequently (33% versus 19% non-Hispanic), and academic performance has struggled (51% versus 42% non-Hispanic).
These findings are from APA’s Healthy Minds Monthly Poll, which was conducted by Morning Consult July 21 and 22, 2022, among a sample of 2,210 adults.
When asked to rank their level of concern on seven issues negatively affecting K-12 students, Hispanic adults ranked gun violence (61% versus non-Hispanics 54%), mental health (57% versus non-Hispanics 48%), and cyberbullying and social media (46% versus non-Hispanics 48%) among their top three highest concerns.
At the same time, Hispanic adults’ attitudes toward mental health programs in schools matched those of their non-Hispanic counterparts. The majority of adults agreed that it is important for schools to play a key role in mental health, through educating students about mental health (87% Hispanic, 85% non-Hispanic adults), staff training (88% Hispanic, 87% non-Hispanic adults), or connecting students to mental health support (83% Hispanic, 85% non-Hispanic adults).
“Not surprisingly, longstanding health disparities led to the pandemic having an outsized effect on the Hispanic community, in which many children lost family members,” said APA President Rebecca Brendel, M.D., J.D. “Now and over the long term, we must pay attention to the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of people in the Hispanic community and connect families with the resources they need.”
Hispanic parents had similar attitudes to non-Hispanic parents in whether they’d be comfortable referring their child to a mental health professional if they noticed a concerning change in behavior (72% versus 73%). They were more likely to say they would want a school staff member to refer their child, with parental consent, to mental health support, should an issue arise (78% Hispanic versus 70% non-Hispanic).
On current events, compared to last month’s Healthy Minds Monthly Poll, the percentage of Hispanic adults indicating anxiety saw an uptick around climate change (up 9 points to 76% this month), COVID-19 (up 9 points to 61%), gun violence (up 10 points to 80% this month), and the future of reproductive rights (up 12 points to 66% this month).
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.