COVID-19 impact on psychological outcomes of parents, siblings and children with intellectual disability

The Family Research Team examined the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on parents, siblings and children with a learning disability, using data obtained from Wave 2 of the 1000 Families Study collected both pre-lockdown and during/just after the first lockdown. This used data gathered from 397 family caregivers who completed Wave 2 of the study before the end of July 2020, with some having completed the survey before the first lockdown and some during lockdown and just after. By accounting for how everyone was doing at the time of the Wave 1 survey, we did not find any overall evidence of a negative impact of the first lockdown on the 1000 Family Study families in terms of parental wellbeing, the wellbeing of siblings, and the wellbeing of children with a learning disability. This study is unique as other research studies were not in place to examine changes in wellbeing before and after the first lockdown restrictions back in March 2020 (because the pandemic was not expected!).

Further research will be required to determine whether the experiences of loss of services, worries about COVID-19, and restrictions in social contact will take longer to affect parents, siblings, and children with a learning disability. Additionally, it will be important to examine the effect of later lockdowns such as the winter lockdown, which may have made things much harder for families. Finally, some families will have been affected much more than others, and we need to do further work to understand which families have been more affected by the pandemic situation.

The study has been published, and is available here to download and read for free. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please email [email protected].


Bailey, T., Hastings, R. P., & Totsika, V. (2021). COVID-19 impact on psychological outcomes of parents, siblings and children with intellectual disability: longitudinal before and during lockdown design. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research: JIDR, 65(5), 397–404.

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