Presentation - ECV2022-231
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on families and children. The extant literature and expert voices are raising serious concerns about the social and emotional impacts of school closures, isolation, and other similar measures on children.
Aim: To summarise research that has emerged regarding the potential social and emotional impacts of home learning for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method: A scoping literature review methodology was used to gather data related to the research aims. An a-priori protocol detailed the inclusion criteria as studies that considered social and emotional impacts of home learning during mandated COVID-19 school closures, included a sample of children ages 4–13, were child focused, and published between 2019–2021. A comprehensive, multidisciplinary search of six databases (Proquest Education, SOCIndex, PsycINFO, ProQuest Social Sciences, SCOPUS and ERIC) was undertaken on 21 July 2022. Screening and data extraction began following systematic database searches.
Results: The literature shows that potential impacts of school closures on children are multifaceted, regarding wellbeing and mental health. Data shows increased screen use (including electronic devices and televisions), decreased physical activity, and sleep disturbances. Some research indicates that negative outcomes may disproportionately affect certain groups of children, such as those with existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities.
Conclusions: The research highlights the important role played by schools in supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of children. Emerging scholarship had also drawn attention to existing socioeconomic inequalities for children which were exacerbated during the pandemic. A greater focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of children is required within policy and practice.
Implications for children and families: As a parent you may be worried about the immediate and ongoing impacts that home learning may have or had on your children. If you are worried about the long-term wellbeing of a child, post home learning, consider seeking professional support and speaking to your child’s educator.
Implications for practitioners: This research provides you with insights into the potential social and emotional impacts that extended absences from formalised learning environments may have on children.
Key words: children’s voices, families’ voices, wellbeing, education, vulnerable communities, regional/rural communities, review
This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: