The unusual school, work, and home conditions that many Americans have faced during the outbreak have given researchers new opportunities to study the causes and consequences of family stress and behavior.
When school buildings and childcare centers close, which increases the time children spend using the screen and impairs parents’ mental health to boot, according to a study by Boston College and the University of Maryland. As reported by AdSerge last year, researchers concluded that this increase in children’s “screen time” indicates higher stress levels in parents and reduced access to resources, with no change in their philosophy about exposing their children to hours of TV or YouTube.
As schools resumed, the team wondered if they would find the opposite result. (It is not given, because They react more strongly when people lose resources Rather than getting them.) Would sending children back to school be associated with less rest screen time for children and improving parents’ mental health?
“Parents are less anxious and frustrated. It’s a beautiful discovery. And kids are getting less interesting screen time,” says Joshua Hartshorn, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Boston College, who wrote the report.
Hartshorn believes the results help measure the high cost of school closures and the significant benefits of reopening schools for parents – and therefore, for children.
“Even if you don’t care about a parent’s mental health for some reason, we know that frustrated, anxious parents aren’t so busy with their children,” he says. “Not surprisingly, it’s hard to be a really warm, actively engaged parent if you’re struggling on your own.”
The study found that the burden of caring for children was reduced and mental health was better, compared to parents whose children had actually gone to school and whose children were learning in a literal or hybrid form. It found that children spent less fun time with the screen than literally learning to go to school in person. How hybrid school education was structured in terms of screen time was more ambiguous, perhaps in part because that concept meant different things in different places.
According to Hartshorn, despite strong belief among some parents and advocates, there is limited research on whether entertainment screen time itself is bad for children. And The reality of the epidemic seems to be softening the role of some people on this issue. But even so, less interesting screen time can be a positive sign about family health, because “it means kids have to do better with their time than streaming and gaming,” Hartshorn says. “Give them fun things with their friends and they won’t stream Netflix all day.”
This study is currently pre-printed, meaning that the results have not yet been peer-reviewed and published in the scientific journal. It extracts data on children between the ages of five and 18 from a number of national sources. Hartshorn says one of the challenges of conducting the study was that nationwide data on school reopening in 2020 was scarce.
The results of these two studies may have implications beyond the risks of starting and closing schools and trade-offs during periods. Hartshorn believes he should direct policymakers and social scientists away from interventions that are primarily intended. To inform For people and actually events Provided For people.
Finally, the study concludes that people with epidemics may not have suddenly changed their beliefs about screen time and parenting – but their ability to act on those beliefs has changed dramatically due to the sudden unavailability of care in school and children.
“Assumption is a cultural problem with cultural solutions, as opposed to a resource problem with resources,” says Hartshorn. “If you tell people to do it because they don’t have bandwidth, are you going to do anything but hurt them?”