SERU Consortium, University of California - Berkeley and University of Minnesota.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant hardships for student caregivers enrolled at large, public research universities, according to the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium survey of 30,593 undergraduate students conducted May through July 2020 at nine universities. In the survey, 6% of respondents (n = 1,767) identified as caregivers for children, 11% of respondents (n = 3,236) identified as caregivers for other adults (age 18 and over), and 3% (n = 874) cared for both children and adults during the pandemic. Students who were caregivers for children may have been parents caring for their own children or family members (e.g., siblings). Students who were caregivers for adults may have been caring for their family members (e.g., parents, partners, spouses) or others.
The results indicated that the pandemic has heightened caregivers’ financial hardships; specifically, students who were caregivers were more likely to experience the loss or reduction in family members’ income, loss or reduction of wages from off-campus and on-campus employment, and unexpected increases in living expenses or technology expenses compared to their peers who were not caregivers.
Students who were caregivers were also more likely to experience food insecurity and housing insecurity compared to their peers who were not caregivers. Additionally, students who were caregivers were also more likely to screen positive for generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder than their peers who were not caregivers. Finally, students who were caregivers were also more likely to lack access to an appropriate study environment and were less likely to be able attend scheduled online classes during the transition to remote learning.
Soria, K. M., McAndrew, M., Horgos, B., Chirikov, I., & Jones-White, D. (2020). Undergraduate student caregivers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic: Financial hardships, food and housing insecurity, mental health, and academic obstacles. SERU Consortium, University of California - Berkeley and University of Minnesota. https://cshe.berkeley.edu/seru-covid-survey-reports
Soria, Krista M.; McAndrew, Molly; Horgos, Bonnie; Chirikov, Igor; Jones-White, Daniel.
Undergraduate Student Caregivers’ Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Financial Hardships, Food and Housing Insecurity, Mental Health, and Academic Obstacles.
SERU Consortium, University of California - Berkeley and University of Minnesota..
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