Behavioural Problems in Preschool Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Turkey: The Role of Parental COVID-19 Experiences and Parental Stress, Depression and Anxiety

Sancili S., TUĞLUK M. N.

CROATIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION-HRVATSKI CASOPIS ZA ODGOJ I OBRAZOVANJE, vol.24, no.3, pp.861-885, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.15516/cje.v24i3.4525
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.861-885
  • Keywords: children's behavioural problems, COVID-19 pandemic, parental stress, preschool period
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this paper was to examine the relationship between parents' COVID-19 experiences (contact with COVID-19, housing conditions and the quality of life, and difficulties of the pandemic period) and parental stress and their depression, anxiety and stress levels. The study was conducted using a correlational survey model, one of the quantitative research designs. The participants were selected via convenience sampling method, i.e. 307 parents of children four to six years of age from Istanbul voluntarily participated in the study (M=4,94; SD=0,79). The data were collected online using the following instruments: General Information Form; COVID-19 Survey; Parental Stress Scale; Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS21); and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The obtained data were analysed using SPSS 25. The research results showed no significant relationship between COVID-19 experiences and parental stress, that is, it was proven that parents' contact with COVID-19 does not affect their depression, anxiety or stress levels. However, housing conditions, the changing quality of life due to COVID-19 and the experienced difficulties during the pandemic have an effect on parents' anxiety and stress levels. With regard to the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and childrens' behavioural problems, contact with COVID-19 and experienced difficulties during the pandemic were not found to be related to children's behavioural problems. On the other hand, the results revealed the joint significant effect of parental experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic and their stress, depression and anxiety levels on children's behavioural problems.