The life outcomes of children during COVID-19: Exploring the protective roles of the joint and nuclear families in India
Using a qualitative approach, we explored the protective roles of joint and nuclear families in shaping the life outcomes of children during COVID-19. Sixteen full-time mothers of children aged 9-12 years (8 each from joint and nuclear families) were interviewed and thematic analysis revealed five major themes viz., negative impacts, differences in positive engagement, emotional protective roles, promotion of positive health habits and activity management. Findings suggest that joint families carry more resources to positively engage their children in creativity, studies, exercise and entertainment as compared to nuclear families. Contrary to nuclear families, joint families gave emphasis to resolve emotional grievances, promote positive emotional engagement and support emotionally. The joint and nuclear families also differed in attending food habits, health grievances and physical exercise of children. The joint families played more positive roles in managing play behaviours, sleep habits, television watching and other activities of children compared to nuclear families.
Keywords: children; COVID-19; joint family; life outcomes; nuclear family; thematic analysis.