Parents are struggling to raise children in the pandemic era “amid reports of a growing youth mental health crisis,” according to a new survey.
Four in 10 parents with children younger than 18 said they are “very” or “extremely” worried about anxiety or depression, Pew Research Center reported Tuesday.
Another 36% of those surveyed said they are somewhat worried about their children experiencing emotional issues and 23% said they are not too worried or not worried.
While most parents find their roles rewarding and enjoyable most of the time, higher percentages of mothers than fathers said it’s equally tiring and stressful.
“Many parents worry that their children might struggle with mental health or be bullied at some point,” lead researcher Rachel Minkin said in an email. “Concerns about challenges children may face vary between moms and dads, and by race and ethnicity, with mental health topping the list.”
Overall, 87% of survey respondents described parenting as an important part of their identities and 64% rated their parenting as excellent or very good. But 62% said parenting was harder than they expected.
Another 35% said they are very or extremely worried about their children getting bullied, making it the No. 2 concern on the survey after mental health.
“These items trump parents’ concerns about certain physical threats to their children, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, teen pregnancy and getting in trouble with the police,” Ms. Minkin and fellow researcher Juliana Menasce Horowitz wrote in a summary of the findings.
White and Hispanic parents were more likely than Black and Asian parents to worry that their children might struggle with anxiety or depression, according to the survey.
And Black and Hispanic parents were most likely to be extremely or very worried about their children getting shot or running afoul of the police.
Pew surveyed 3,757 parents through an online survey panel Sept. 20-Oct. 2. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.