COVID-19 MCH Research Agenda

Understanding the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on US children, families and communities is critical to (1) documenting the scope of the problem, (2) identifying solutions and mitigating harm and (3) building more resilient response systems. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, between June and October 2020, the Life Course Intervention Research Network (LCIRN) facilitated a series of virtual meetings for representatives from MCHB-funded maternal and child health research networks to develop a maternal and child health Covid-19 Rapid Research Agenda. The results of this process have now been published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal and have been made open access online as part of the Nature Public Health Emergency Collection.

Investigating the impacts of COVID-19 on children’s mental health and ways to address them emerged as the highest research priority, followed by studying resilience at individual and community levels, identifying and mitigating the disparate negative effects of the pandemic on children and families of color, prioritizing community-based research partnerships, and strengthening local, state and national measurement systems to monitor children’s well-being during a national crisis.

Table of research questions on the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on children's health and well-being

Enacting this research agenda will require engaging the community, especially youth, as equal partners in research co-design processes; using anti-racist research methods; and adopting a “strengths-based” approach. New collaborative funding models and investments in data infrastructure are also needed.

Recommended approaches for researchers, funders, policy makers, and research institutions

The published paper is available at

Click below to download a PDF of the full report, which includes further details about the process, detailed research questions for each ecosystem level, and discussion of the recommended approaches.