A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation has found parents are reporting notable adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s academic and social development as a new school year approaches.
The study found that 36% of parents say their child fell behind in their social and emotional development, and about 29% said their child experienced mental health or behavioral health problems due to the pandemic. Another notable conclusion is a finding that parents whose children attended school all or mostly online, or who had a mix of online and in-person schooling, were more likely than parents whose child attended school all or mostly in-person to say they had a child who had these adverse effects, even after controlling for other demographic factors and type of school setting.
In addition, the report found that 42% of parents said that their children experienced at least one new mental health symptom in the past 12 months that they had not experienced before the pandemic. This includes difficulty concentrating on schoolwork (27%), problems with nervousness or being easily scared or worried (19%), trouble sleeping (18%), poor appetite or overeating (15%), and frequent headaches or stomach aches (11%).