Summary of key findings
- During the pandemic, young parents (aged 14-24) surveyed were impacted more by the pandemic than both other young people and older parents. These impacts can be multi-generational and affect both youth/parent development and infant and child development.
- Half of employed young parents surveyed reduced their hours or lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is twice the rate of older parents. 38% who lost jobs listed needing to take care of children as a reason.
- Compared to older parents, young parents surveyed were more likely to have an unmet meet in the household, have an unmet need for their child, and to be concerned about paying an expense. Concerns about meeting basic needs, such as housing and childcare, can worsen the mental and physical health of young parents and their children.
- Young parents surveyed were four times as likely to report experiencing intimate partner violence during the pandemic compared to parents aged 35-44. People who have had traumatic experiences like intimate partner violence are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and may be especially in need of services and support.
- Nearly half of young parents surveyed were concerned about housing expenses, which was twice the rate of parents aged 35-44 and six times the rate of youth who were not parents. With the expirations of the eviction moratorium in Massachusetts, consideration should be taken to the unique needs of young parents in accessing affordable and stable housing.
- Experiencing homelessness can have numerous lasting repercussions, including increasing risk for postpartum depression, intimate partner violence, poor mental health, and sexual assault or trafficking.
- Compared to other youth, young parents surveyed were twice as likely to report testing positive for COVID-19, and twice as likely to lose someone due to COVID-19. They were also more than four times as likely to have a household member test positive for COVID-19 compared to older parents.