Parental burnout and remote learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic: Parents' motivations for involvement. Academic Article uri icon


  • Given the chronic stress that families experienced during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic accompanied by school closures, many parents were vulnerable to parental burnout as they supervised their children's remote learning in addition to other roles. According to self-determination theory (SDT), when parents' basic needs are met, they are optimally motivated to support their children's learning and create environments that support their children's needs. Using a variable- and person-centered approach, we explored associations between parents' burnout, academic concern, motivational styles and profiles, and need-supportive behavior. Considering the pandemic, we expected parents with increased burnout and academic concern to report higher levels of controlled motivation or belong to a low-quality motivation profile and report less support for their children's needs. Parents with 5- to 8-year-olds were recruited, targeting states in the U.S. with the longest shelter-in-place restrictions (CA, NY), to complete an online survey, resulting in a sample (N = 218) of parents from 38 states in the U.S. Results showed parents exhibiting more autonomous motivation and two latent profiles denoting only motivation quantity but not quality. Higher burnout was related to nonoptimal motivation styles and profiles, while academic concern was related to increased motivation. Parents of older children had increased motivation. Findings highlight that even during a global pandemic, parents showed some levels of optimal motivation to support their children's remote learning. Results also highlight the importance of meeting parents' basic needs in order for them to support the developmental and learning needs of their children. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

published proceedings

  • Sch Psychol

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Nyanamba, J. M., Liew, J., & Li, D.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Nyanamba, Juliet M||Liew, Jeffrey||Li, Danni

publication date

  • March 2022