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The Kids Aren’t Alright: How Social Isolation Affects Social Development

It could be a while before kids can get back to school. How is social isolation affecting them?
It could be a while before kids can get back to school. How is social isolation affecting them?

Children across the country have been cooped up for months because of the extended COVID-19 lockdown. As we prepare for even more social distancing, many parents may be wondering how all this time away from others could affect the social development of their kids.

According to research conducted during the coronavirus pandemic and child psychologists, children in their late childhood and adolescence are likely to suffer the most from isolation. As kids grow, their peer group becomes the more important hub for social development than their immediate family.

Such concerns are global. A recent report from London’s Anna Freud National Center for Children and Families warns that kids and teens may develop serious mental health conditions because of the pandemic, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

What should healthy social development look like for children? And what do we know about how social distancing might affect them?

As a part of our series on K-12 education during the pandemic,1A Correspondent Sasha-Ann Simons spoke to some families to find out how they’re coping, as the days of virtual learning are far from over.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

Sasha-Ann Simons

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