Four in Ten Parents of School-Aged Children Say a Child Fell Behind Academically Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Four in ten parents say someone in their household left a job or worked fewer hours to care for their children, including higher proportions of Black, Hispanic, and low-income parents

As a result of the pandemic, about four in ten (39%) parents of school-age children (ages 5-17) report that at least one of their children has fallen behind academically, which is the case for parents with household incomes below $ 40,000 ( 51%) and Hispanic parents (50%), shows a new KFF Vaccine Monitor report.

Among parents of children under the age of 18, more than a third (36%) say that at least one of their children has fallen behind in social and emotional development due to the pandemic, and around three in ten (29%) say that a Child was mentally ill or had behavioral problems.

Parents whose children went to school at least partially online in the previous school year are more likely to report that they had a child who was academically (47% vs. 26%) or lagged behind in school than parents whose child went to school entirely or mostly personally visited has social or emotional development (46% vs. 31%) or experienced mental health or behavior problems (39% vs. 22%). These differences persist even after controlling for demographic differences, including gender, race / ethnicity, income, parents' educational level, and whether the children attended public or private school.

Parents report pandemic-related emotional and mental health problems for both their children and themselves

In the past 12 months, about four in ten parents (42%) said their children had a new mental health symptom that they did not have before the pandemic, including difficulty concentrating on schoolwork (27%), nervousness, or mild anxiety (19%), trouble sleeping (18%), loss of appetite or overeating (15%), or frequent headache or abdominal pain (11%).

A lower proportion (17%) of parents said their children had used mental health services in the past 12 months, and 11% said they sometimes thought their child needed but did not get mental health services or medication . The main reason parents were unable to use mental health services for their children was because they could not find a provider (32%).

Many parents themselves report the negative effects of the pandemic on mental health. A majority of parents (54%) say worries and stress related to the pandemic have had a negative impact on their mental health. Mothers, Black and Hispanic parents, low-income parents, and parents with recent career changes are among the groups most likely to report mental health problems.

More than half of black parents and low-income parents left jobs or changed schedules to look after their children during the school year

Around four in ten parents say that they or someone else in their household gave up a job or changed their working hours in the past year to look after their children. Black (53%) and Hispanic (44%) parents are more likely than white parents (32%) to report that their household was interrupted due to childcare needs, as do lower-income parents (51% of parents with household incomes below .40,000 US dollars.) Dollars) compared to those with higher incomes (35% of those with incomes of $ 40,000 or more).

Of parents who say they quit their job or changed their work schedule to care for their children during the pandemic, over half (54%) say they still haven't gotten to a pre-pandemic work schedule have returned, which equates to one in five (21%). of all parents. About four in ten lower-income parents (39%), a third of black parents, and a quarter of Hispanic parents said their household had a work break and has still not returned to work or hours prior to the pandemic.

Many parents report that these employment interruptions due to childcare needs have negatively impacted their stress levels, family finances, and mental health, including greater proportions of Black and Hispanic parents and those with lower incomes. About one in four Black and Hispanic parents say their household has experienced a job interruption related to childcare that has had a profound impact on their family's finances and stress levels. Of parents with household incomes of less than $ 40,000, one third reported a break from household work that had a major impact on their stress levels (33%) or family finances (33%), and one in five (21%) ) reported such a disorder has a huge impact on their mental health. The proportions reporting these effects are much lower among white parents and those with higher incomes.

The new report shows that parents who experience household stoppages due to childcare are more likely to report that their children are academically retarded (51% vs. 32%), retarded in social and emotional development (49% vs. 28%) ). or had mental health problems (41% vs. 21%) compared to those who had no work interruption during the pandemic.

The KFF vaccine monitor: The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the well-being of parents and children was designed and analyzed by pollsters from the KFF and carried out from July 15 to August 2 on a nationwide representative, probability-based sample of 1,259 parents with one child under 18 years in her household. The interviews were conducted in English and Spanish, online (908) and over the phone (351). The sampling error margin for the entire sample is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Results based on subgroups may have a higher margin of error in sampling.

The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project that tracks public attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. Using a combination of surveys and qualitative research, this project tracks the dynamics of public opinion during the development and diffusion of vaccines, including the trust and acceptance of vaccines, the need for information, trustworthy messengers and messages, and the public's experience of vaccination.

Comments are closed.