Rural-Urban Differences in Child and Adolescent Mental Health pre and during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2021
Anticipated completion date:
December 2022

Changes in everyday life associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated precautions may have increased emotional stress and reduced access for children and families to mental health support services, which has been shown to increase the risk of adverse childhood experiences among children. Little is known about how child and adolescent mental health, as well as access to and receipt of care from mental health services, may have changed over time for rural children and adolescents, compared to urban children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings from this study will be useful for policymakers and program makers in designing mental health supports for rural children and adolescents during the pandemic.

This project's aims include:

  1. Examining rural-urban differences in the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Examining rural-urban differences in access to mental health care professionals before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Examining the receipt of care from a mental health professional before and during the COVID-19 pandemic