A new study has once again brought to our attention the concerning repercussions of the pandemic lockdowns on the development of children. In the United Kingdom, a staggering 50% of parents have reported a significant decline in the emotional and social skills of their children, according to research carried out by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).
Full and conclusive research of the severe damage COVID lockdowns had on our children, psychologically, physically and providing catastrophic interruptions to education Mental health, eating disorders and drastic drops in self confidence all now proven pic.twitter.com/CKJqhbPepN
— Moneypenny (@nic_moneypenny) August 2, 2023
These findings provide a stark glimpse into the devastating effects that prolonged lockdown measures have had on the younger population, with particular emphasis on children aged four to seven, where a substantial 52% displayed concerning outcomes, compared to 42% among 12- to 15-year-olds.
The IFS study also underscored the concerning impact on children whose parents were furloughed or forced to take mandatory leaves of absence from their jobs.
This group exhibited even more pronounced declines in socio-emotional skills, with 51% experiencing worsened development, in contrast to 45% among children whose parents remained employed throughout the pandemic.
The research probed important aspects of children’s behavior, asking questions about heightened fearfulness, persistent restlessness, and general compliance. Andrew McKendrick, a research economist at IFS and the author of the study underscored the far-reaching implications of the study’s findings.
He emphasized how the forced lockdowns subjected children to a host of challenges, including disrupted schooling, limited interactions with peers and extended family. McKendrick further highlighted the significant role of economic disruptions faced by parents in shaping children’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
This influence was evident even when these disruptions did not include considerable income losses. Reacting to the research, Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza expressed deep concern over the long-lasting impact on children’s emotional and social development.
Arabella Skinner, representing the parents’ advocacy group UsForThem, emphasized the research’s illustration of the unintended and detrimental consequences of lockdowns on children’s well-being.
The study underscores the importance of developing and preventing the recurrence of such a crisis and supports the growing body of evidence that all points to the catastrophic toll that the government-mandated lockdowns have exacted on our children and on society.