Parenting and Chinese Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has posed a new set of challenges to parents with dependent children. Pioneer studies (e.g., Cannito and Scavarda, 2020; Collins et al., 2021; Cui and Hong, 2021; Dunatchik et al., 2021; Fuller and Qian, 2021; Goldberg, McCormick and Virginia, 2021; Kerr et al., 2021; Shafer, Scheibling and Milkie, 2020; Zhang, Lu and Du, 2021) have examined how the pandemic has shaped the work–family conflicts of parents, their gendered division of childcare, and the mental health of parents and children. However, scholars have paid relatively less attention to parenting practices and family dynamics during the pandemic. It remains unclear what practices parents used to cope with the childcare challenges and how their familial relations shaped these practices. To fill this gap in the literature, I examine parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic as a set of interactive practices embedded in physical care, emotional care, and child discipline. I draw on qualitative interviews with 43 parents in Shenzhen, China to analyze interactive parenting at three levels: a) parent–child interactions; b) family interactions and collaborations; and c) parent–child–school interactions in homeschooling. Through demonstrating how multifaceted family relations and dynamics shape these interactive practices, my study sheds new light on the complexity of parenting during a public health crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2022
EventHong Kong Sociological Association 22nd Annual Conference: Global Crises, Alternative Futures - Face-to-face & Online, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Duration: 8 Jan 20228 Jan 2022


ConferenceHong Kong Sociological Association 22nd Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryHong Kong


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