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Boise State researcher: Women disproportionately affected by pandemic stress

Jayash Paudel says women have been more affected by job loss and increased struggles with childcare and household responsibilities.

BOISE, Idaho — A researcher at Boise State University says the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected women more then men.

Jayash Paudel, who is also an economics professor at the university, says the pandemic has been hard on everyone. But according to his recently-published research, which drew from a global online survey of more than 100,000 people, "women bear a much larger mental health burden."

"What is striking is that the negative impact on mental health tends to be more pronounced among those who are staying home, and those that have a significantly large number of members in the household," Paudel said.

Paudel said his research found that women lost their jobs at a higher rate than men, and that a disproportionate share of chores, childcare, and other household tasks are falling onto women.

"There have also been more cases of domestic violence increasing and females seem to be impacted," he said.  

Mental health experts say anyone - male or female - who is suffering from stress or despair as the pandemic drags on is encouraged to practice self-compassion, adjust their expectations, and accept their emotions. Reaching out to other people for support or professional help can also alleviate some of the pressure. 

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