Mums living in Victoria had the worst mental health decline in Australia during the 2020 Covid lockdowns, new research has discovered.
While the research found that there was no negative impact for single mums during the lockdowns, women in couples with children under 15 had the most severe impact on their mental health.
The University of Melbourne study analysed 151,583 observations from 20,839 Australians from 2011 to the first period of 2020. It compared two groups – people who were in lockdowns during 2020 and those who were relatively free of restrictions.
Study spotlights inequality in household duties
Study co-author Professor Mark Wooden said the research showed how lockdowns can amplify exisiting inequalities in who is responsible for household and parenting duties.
“If lockdowns and other policies intended to restrict population movement are to remain part of the policy toolkit for responding to pandemics, more attention needs to be given to providing support to alleviate the potential negative side-effects, including for example, focusing on equitably delivering childcare services and schooling,” Professor Wooden said.
“Further research is also needed into the potential modifying role that environmental factors, such as housing and access to outdoor space, might have on the psychological effects of lockdowns.”
The research found that the mental health effects were greater in those with a higher income. But that there was no evidence of mental health impacts for teens aged between 15 and 19 years.We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.