Date Approved

2021

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Catherine Peterson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chong Man Chow, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather Janisse, Ph.D.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (U.S.) was anticipated to have a tremendous impact on mental health, leading to heightened anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The current study examined the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in parents of children with food allergies and asthma compared to parents of healthy children, examined associations between disease-specific measures and broad measures of anxiety, and explored moderating variables impacting the relationship between COVID-19-related stressors and psychological outcomes. A national sample of 265 parents completed an online survey between April and June 2020. Parents of children with food allergies and asthma experienced greater psychological distress than parents of healthy children; however, disease-specific measures were not associated with broad measures of anxiety. Results suggested that parents of children with food allergies and asthma were uniquely affected early in the COVID-19 pandemic and in need of psychosocial support.

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