The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental and physical health of children and their parents. The pandemic has also affected the ability to conduct in-person research at most institutions across the United States. However, recent technological advances may allow many in-person assessments to transition to virtual formats. There is an urgent need to develop virtual versions of currently used assessments of the home environment and parent-child interactions, and to concurrently study the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on family relationships. The proposed project seeks to address this urgent need by building upon ongoing research efforts among three sites from the NIH HEALthy Brains and Cognitive Development (HBCD) study: Arkansas Children?s Research Institute, Cincinnati Children?s Hospital, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We will develop and test a virtual version of the HOME Inventory in 90 caregivers with infants between 6-18 months of age. We will validate this virtual version by performing in-person HOME Inventory assessments in 45 of these dyads. In all participants, we will use a standard questionnaire to assess COVID- 19 exposure and impact. Finally, we will examine associations between regional and temporal variations in COVID-19 exposure and impact and dimensions of the HOME Inventory. The results of this study will be used to finalize the development of a virtual HOME Inventory protocol that can be widely used in future studies, including the HBCD Phase II study.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to develop virtual versions of child and family assessments and to use these virtual assessments to study the effect of the pandemic on family relationships. To address this need, three sites from the NIH HEALthy Brains and Cognitive Development Study will develop and test a virtual version of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory, examining the impact of the pandemic on parent-child interactions using the virtual HOME.