Disparities in COVID-19-related stressful life events in the United States: Understanding who is most impacted

This article was originally published here

Health Soc Care Community. 2021 Dec 1. doi: 10.1111/hsc.13671. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States have been exacerbated by pre-existing inequities in resources and opportunities, leaving the most vulnerable to face a multitude of hardships. The goal of the current study was to characterise COVID-19-related stressful life events in specific life domains and to identify the sociodemographic characteristics of individuals who are more likely to experience such events. Participants (n = 372, 57% female) in a follow-up study of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development completed the Epidemic-Pandemic Impacts Inventory (June-August 2020) to assess COVID-19-related stressors. Sociodemographic factors (gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and wealth) were examined simultaneously as predictors of the number of stressful life events in separate categories of work/finances, home life, social activity, health and healthcare, adjusted for covariates (household size, community COVID-19 transmission risk). In negative binomial regression analyses, being female (vs. male) predicted a 31%, 64%, 13% and 94% increase in the number of stressful life events in domains of work/finances, home life, social activity and healthcare, respectively, whereas each one standard deviation increase in wealth predicted a 17%, 16% and 21% reduction in the number of stressful life events in domains of work/finances, COVID-19 infection and healthcare, respectively. Findings highlight the pronounced and far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women as well as the unique role wealth may play in lessening such impacts. This new knowledge may be leveraged to develop intervention and policy-related strategies to remediate impacts of COVID-19-related stressors on those most vulnerable.

PMID:34854149 | DOI:10.1111/hsc.13671