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Impact of Confinement on English-speaking Families

MONTREAL, JUNE 17, 2020 – A survey conducted with over 2,100 Quebec parents released during the Semaine Québécoise de la Paternité reveals that English-speaking families have been hard hit by the impact of confinement. However some have experienced positive changes in co-parenting. This conclusion is based on the analysis of results from 439 English-speaking respondents to a survey commissioned by the Regroupement pour la Valorisation de la Paternité (RVP) and supported by the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN).

Impacts on parents’ mental health

Nearly one quarter (23%) of English-speaking respondents experienced psychological distress according to a scientifically recognized index of psychological distress. In comparison to French-speaking families, they were more likely to have experienced fatigue (44% versus 38%) with parenthood being a source of stress for a considerable proportion among them (57% versus 43%), and they expressed a significant doubt regarding whether they are responding appropriately to their children (65% versus 34%).

According to CHSSN’s Russell Kueber, these results demonstrate how the crisis has affected English-speaking parents. “English-speaking communities are scattered throughout Quebec and are experiencing specific isolation and inclusion issues that could increase social inequalities in terms of health,” says Kueber. In his opinion, this could help explain why English-speaking families have felt the effects of the crisis so strongly.

Some have experienced positive changes in co-parenting

Although heavily affected, English-speaking parents seem to have nonetheless experienced positive outcomes on their co-parenting (working as a team to take care of their children). Almost two thirds (65%) of the English-speaking respondents indicated that confinement measures have changed some of their co-parenting practices, with the changes seen as positive in most cases. By comparison, this proportion was 50% among French-speaking respondents.

A high percentage reported a positive change in terms of: the time spent with the children (67%), the understanding of their needs (47%), the quality of the relationship between them (48%), their ability to empathize with the other parent (34%), task sharing (36%), their communication (36%), the perception of their role as a parent (39%) and that of the other parent (30%).

“Despite the difficulties, this near three-month confinement appears to have led to a realization of the benefits of co-parenting and an increased questioning of certain practices,” Russell Kueber analyzed. “The good news is that many respondents identified some positive co-parenting experiences,” he added.

>> Click here to view the full survey results (in French)


The survey was conducted by the firm SOM on behalf of the Regroupement pour la Valorisation de la Paternité in partnership with the Observatoire des tout-petits, Naître et grandir, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, and the Community Health and Social Services Network, with 2,115 Quebec parents, including 1,040 fathers and 1,075 mothers, between May 22nd  and June 2nd, 2020. Among them were 439 parents that preferred to respond to the questionnaire in English.

About the Community Health and Social Services Network

The Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) was created to support the efforts of Quebec’s English-speaking communities aiming to resolve health inequalities and promote community vitality. Launched as a result of the efforts of four founding organizations, the CHSSN now has over 60 projects and partnerships in the primary health care, community development, and public health sectors. The CHSSN’s objective is to contribute to the dynamism of Quebec’s English-speaking communities by building strategic relationships and partnerships within the health and social services system to improve access to services.

For more information or interviews:
Russell Kueber