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Between 2016 and 2020, there were significant increases in children’s diagnosed anxiety and depression, decreases in physical activity, and decreases in caregiver mental and emotional well-being and coping with parenting demands. After the onset of the pandemic specifically, there were significant year-over-year increases in children’s diagnosed behavioral or conduct problems, decreases in preventive medical care visits, increases in unmet health care needs, and increases in the proportion of young children whose parents quit, declined, or changed jobs because of child care problems.

Study findings point to several areas of concern that can inform future research, clinical care, policy decision making, and programmatic investments to improve the health and well-being of children and their families.

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authors: Lydie A. Lebrun-Harris, PhD, MPHReem M. Ghandour, DrPH, MPAMichael D. Kogan, PhDMichael D. Warren, MD, MPH