Early childhood educators’ psychological distress and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Abstract

There is growing awareness of the impacts of COVID-19 on children, families, and more recently, early childhood educators. This study aimed to add to this research and explore Australian early childhood educators’ psychological distress and wellbeing in relation to COVID-19. Accordingly, 205 educators (117 early childhood educators, 86 leaders and 2 others) completed the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, measuring levels of post-traumatic distress, and an open-ended question on wellbeing, both in relation to COVID-19. Educators’ responses to the open-ended question were matched to those who scored high, medium, and low on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised. Results demonstrated 66.8% of educators scored in the low range for post-traumatic distress, 11.7% scored in the moderate range, and 21.5% scored in the high range for post-traumatic distress on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised. Participants scoring in the low range on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised provided fewer comments regarding the emotional impacts of COVID-19. There were no differences between the groups in terms of fear of COVID-19 infection, challenges related to increased workload during the pandemic, and frustration with the Australian government response to COVID-19. Educators and early childhood leaders reported comparable wellbeing challenges during the pandemic. This research has implications for the types of support provided to educators during future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-306
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Post-traumatic distress
  • Early childhood
  • Educators
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19

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