CDC Survey Shows Strain on Families, Students from Remote Learning

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released survey results showing that American families have been strained by school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and suffer high levels of stress when children are given online instruction. The survey, conducted Oct 8 through Nov 13, 2020, included 1,290 respondents with children ages 5 through 12 enrolled in public or private school, with 45.7 percent reporting that their child received virtual instruction, 30.9 percent in-person instruction, and 23.4 percent combined instruction. “For 11 of 17 stress and well-being indicators concerning child mental health and physical activity and parental emotional distress, findings were worse for parents of children receiving virtual or combined instruction than were those for parents of children receiving in-person instruction,” the CDC said. Among parents with children in online school, 24.7 percent reported worsened mental or emotional health of children, compared with 15.9 percent of children learning in person. Parents of children receiving virtual instruction were also more likely than parents of children receiving combined instruction to report experiencing emotional distress (54.0 percent vs 42.9 percent), report loss of work (42.7 percent vs 30.6 percent), and have a conflict between working and providing childcare (14.6 percent vs 8.3 percent).

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