COVID-19 Unmasked COVID-19 Unmasked

Welcome to the COVID-19 Unmasked Survey, a national study by Children’s Health Queensland to find out how young children aged 1-5 years and their families in Australia are coping with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

About the survey

looking at computer

This Australian-first research will help us understand:

  • the different types of experiences young children and families are having
  • how young children are coping with the many social and lifestyle changes
  • how caregivers are coping and supporting their children during this time

Who is taking part in the survey?

Adults (18 years+) in Australia caring for a child aged between 1-5 years.

What’s involved?

We are asking participants to fill out a short online survey every three months over the next year to see how things change for your family.

The survey questions relate to family life and relationships, health and wellbeing, parenting, psychological symptoms, and how people are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. The questions cover a lot of areas so we can get a good idea of how things are for participating families at each point in time.

More information

If you have any questions or concerns about this research, please contact the project manager
Dr Alexandra De Young
t: +61 07 3266 3100


Children’s Health Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee
t: +61 7 3069 7002

What we’ve learned so far

1 in 4 children are experiencing higher than average levels of anxiety symptoms
5-10 % of children may need specialised mental health support
1 in 5 parents are struggling with moderate to severe anxiety, depression or stress
Young children most affected by not seeing friends and family
Many families with young children continue to be affected by the ongoing threat, uncertainty and unpredictability of life during a pandemic. While these stressors and difficulties are likely to be normal and or transient for most, some children and parents may require higher levels of psychological support. This is especially the case for families living in Victoria.

The good news is 80% of children are experiencing good mental health during the pandemic, demonstrating sound emotional well-being, strong relationships and emotion regulation skills.

Read the reports

COVID-19 (Young Children) Report 2: Impact of the second wave in Australia on the mental health of young children and parents (Published March 2021)

COVID-19 Unmasked (Young Children) Report 1: Early findings and recommendations (Published October 2020)


The COVID-19 Unmasked Survey (Young Children) is a Children’s Health Queensland initiative led by Dr Alexandra De Young and Dr Elisabeth Hoehn, of the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health. The research team includes Dr Mira Vasileva and Associate Professor Eva Alisic (The University of Melbourne); Professor Sonja March (University of Southern Queensland), Associate Professor Vanesa Cobham (Children’s Health Queensland and The University of Queensland), Associate Professor Caroline Donovan (Griffith University), and Professor Christel Middeldorp (Children’s Health Queensland and The University of Queensland).

The University of Queensland
Griffith University
The University of Melbourne
University of Southern Queensland