Remote Learning Causes Depression in Children, New Study Reveals

Suffice it to say that the recent pandemic that we are all still going through has changed the manner in which people take part in day to day activities. With widespread lockdowns becoming the norm to prevent the uncontrollable spread of the virus, working and studying from home rapidly started to become the standard way to do things. While adults might love the idea of remote working, remote learning might not be similarly beneficial for older school going children in their late teens.

A study, published on JamaNetwork, analyzed responses from parents regarding how they felt their kids were doing from a mental health perspective. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that 2,000 children that were a part of this study mostly saw an increase in depression and anxiety while they were taking part in remote learning which is a concerning statistic since it means that this option might not be all that viable in the long term.

One reason for why this increase in depression and anxiety might be occurring might have something or the other to do with increased screen time. These children are spending most of their time in front of a screen, and that has been known to cause a mental health decline. On top of all of that, these school kids are not getting to interact with their friends and socialization is a crucial component of the school experience which remote learning is unable to account for due to the isolation that it tends to inculcate.

Another contributing factor to this is likely associated with a lack of separation between screen time for leisure and screen time for work. Students are not as used to using screens for work as adults are, and this often leads to procrastination while they are remote learning. The lack of face to face teacher contact might also make it more difficult for kids with learning disabilities to have their needs met in the best possible way which might make the increase in depression and anxiety even worse for those groups of individuals.

However, it is essential to bear in mind that many of these mental health problems might have been caused by the lockdowns themselves. Not being able to go out can make anyone depressed, so this data is not necessarily linked directly to remote learning but rather isolation in general. That doesn’t mean that remote learning is good for kids’ mental health either, but there are certain caveats that should be taken into account when attempting to parse data of this nature and get to the bottom of what it actually means.

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