The latest report from the Co-SPACE study highlights that for participating primary school aged children:
- Over the course of the first national lockdown when most children weren’t physically in school (between March and June), behavioural and restless/attentional difficulties increased.
- Behavioural, emotional, and restless/ attentional difficulties generally decreased from July (i.e. when home schooling demands typically reduced), throughout the summer holidays, and also as children returned to school in September.
Professor Cathy Creswell, Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford, and co-lead of the study, said:
Our findings highlight the challenges that children and families faced during the first lockdown when most children were not able to attend school. We are pleased to see that things have generally improved for study families since the pressures of home learning have reduced, but our findings raise concerns about the impact of the ongoing disruption to schooling that many children are dealing with. We don’t yet know the impact of this second lockdown, although children being able to attend school could make all the difference. High rates of mental health difficulties among children in low income families also highlight the huge challenge faced as more and more families tackle the economic impacts of the pandemic.