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Challenges And Opportunities For Academic Parents During COVID-19

Challenges and Opportunities for Academic Parents During COVID-19

While I haven’t been posting on my blog about recent publications anymore, I would like to make an exception for our recently published article “Challenges and Opportunities for Academic Parents During COVID-19”. The article is published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology – Educational Psychology, so it’s a few steps removed from my regular research on shear in concrete or bridge testing.

For this article, I had the opportunity to work together with colleagues from different fields and different countries, who put in their time and effort to bring this study to a good end. I have learned so much through this collaboration and I’m so grateful to my collaborators and the study participants.

The abstract is as follows:

Parents in academic careers face notable challenges that may go unrecognized by university management and/or policy makers. The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on some of these challenges, as academic parents shifted to working from home while simultaneously caring for children. On the other hand, many parents found that the shift to working from home offered new opportunities such as working more flexible hours, development of digital skillsets, and increased involvement in the education of their children. In this article we explore the work-related challenges and opportunities experienced by academic parents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and offer potential long-term solutions for academic parents and their universities. We use the following methods: (1) a literature review focused on identifying the work-related challenges academic parents faced prior to the pandemic, as well as the impact of the pandemic on scientists and working parents and (2) administer a world-wide survey with the goal of identifying the challenges and opportunities associated with parenting and academic work through the COVID-19 lockdown (304 total responses; 113 complete). Moving forward these findings have enabled conclusions to be drawn in order to shape a new normal. Our aim is to offer university administrators, policy makers, and community service providers with ways to provide additional support for academic parents as well as provide tools for academic parents to learn successful strategies directly from their peers.

The paper is open access, so if the topic sounds interesting to you, you can read it without restrictions.

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