Study: Remote learning had big negative impact child mental health
Findings suggest Black and Hispanic children and lower-income families may experience "disproportionate mental health difficulties."
A recently published study looks at the impact on the mental health of K-12 students related to remote instruction due to school closures during the COVID pandemic. The impact found was significant.
“The Association Between School Closures and Child Mental Health During COVID-19” was published early in September via the JAMA Network.
The vehicle for the study was a survey that 2,324 adults with K-12 aged children completed.
This study found that attending school remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with disproportionate mental health consequences for older and Black and Hispanic children as well as children from families with lower income,” the study’s conclusion reads. “In the context of complex school reopening decisions that balance competing risks and benefits, these findings suggest that allocating funding to support safe in-person instruction may reduce mental health inequities associated with race/ethnicity and income. Critically, as children return to in-person instruction, mental health inequities may not resolve on their own.”
The study’s conclusion also says that “Ensuring that all students have access to additional educational and mental health resources must be an important public health priority, met with appropriate funding and work force augmentation, during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The study found that students from higher-income families with access to in-person learning such as private schools or students with access to some form of in-person school choice (charter schools, learning pods, homeschooling) tended to have better mental health outcomes.
According to the study, “Older children who attended school remotely had worse mental health outcomes compared with those who attended school in person, whereas younger children who attended school remotely had comparable or slightly better mental health outcomes than those who attended in person.”