Examining children's questions and parents' responses about COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey


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Ünlütabak B., Velioğlu İ.

Current Psychology, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-022-03331-4
  • Journal Name: Current Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Child question-asking behavior, Parents' explanations, Conceptual development, COVID-19 pandemic, Sociocultural context, EXPLANATIONS, CHILDHOOD, MECHANISM
  • Kayseri University Affiliated: No

Abstract

© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on both adults’ and children’s everyday lives. Conversations about biological processes such as viruses, illness, and health have started to occur more frequently in daily interactions. Although there are many guidelines for parents about how to talk to their children about the coronavirus, only a few studies have examined what children are curious about the coronavirus and how they make sense of the changes in their everyday lives. This study addresses this need by examining children’s questions and parents’ responses about the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Turkish sociocultural context. Using an online survey, we asked 184 parents of 3- to 12-year-olds to report their children’s questions about coronavirus and their answers to these questions. We analyzed children’s questions and parents’ responses using qualitative and quantitative analyses (Menendez et al., 2021). Children’s questions were mainly about the nature of the virus (34%), followed by lifestyle changes (20%). Older children were more likely to ask about school/work and less likely to ask about lifestyle changes than younger children. Parents responded to children’s questions by providing realistic explanations (48%) and reassurance (20%). Only 18% of children’s questions were explanation-seeking “why” and “how” questions. Parents were more likely to provide explanations if children’s questions were explanation-seeking. Family activities such as playing games and cooking were the most common coping strategies reported by parents (69.2%). The findings have important implications for children’s learning about the coronavirus and how adults can support children’s learning and help them develop coping strategies in different sociocultural contexts.