Remote learning and mental health during the societal lockdown: A study of primary school students and parents in times of COVID-19

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges to families around the world. The prolonged school closures in Hong Kong have forced young students to stay at home and adapt to remote learning for over a year, putting their mental health conditions at risk. Focusing on primary school students and their parents, the main objective of our research is to investigate the socioemotional factors and their associations with mental health conditions. 

Methods: A total of 700 Hong Kong primary schoolers (mean age = 8.2) reported their emotional experiences, loneliness, and academic self-concept via a user-friendly online survey; 537 parents reported depression and anxiety, perceived child depression and anxiety, and social support. Responses from students and parents were paired to account for the family context. Structural Equation Modeling was used for correlations and regressions. 

Results: The results of students’ responses showed that positive emotional experiences were negatively associated with loneliness and positively related to academic self-concept among students. Furthermore, the paired sample results showed that, during the one-year societal lockdown and remote learning period, the socioemotional factors were associated with mental health conditions among primary school students and their parents. Among our family sample in Hong Kong, evidence supports the unique negative association between students-reported positive emotional experiences and parents-reported child depression and anxiety, as well as between social support and parents’ depression and anxiety. 

Conclusions: These findings highlighted the associations between socioemotional factors and mental health among young primary schoolers during the societal lockdown. We thus call for more attention to the societal lockdown and remote learning context, especially since the social distancing practice could be “the new normal” for our society to handle the future pandemic crisis. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1106
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Citation

Ye, F. T.-F., Gao, X., Sin, K.-F., & Yang, L. (2023). Remote learning and mental health during the societal lockdown: A study of primary school students and parents in times of COVID-19. BMC Public Health, 23, Article 1106. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-023-16040-9

Keywords

  • Primary school
  • Remote learning
  • Emotions
  • COVID-19
  • Mental health

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