Social and emotional impacts of home learning for children during the COVID-19 pandemic: What the literature is telling us

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact upon families and children. The extant literature and expert voices are raising serious concerns regarding the social and emotional impact that school closures, isolation and other similar measures are having on children.
Aim: To summarise research that has emerged regarding the potential social and emotional impacts of home learning for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method: A scoping literature review methodology was used to gather data related to the research aims. An a-priori protocol detailed the inclusion criteria as studies that; considered social and emotional impacts of home learning during mandated COVID-19 school closures, included a sample of children ages 4- 13, were child focussed and published between 2019- 2021. A comprehensive, multidisciplinary search of six databases (Proquest Education, SOCIndex, PsycINFO, Proquest Social Sciences, SCOPUS and ERIC) was undertaken on July 21 2022. Screening and data extraction commenced following systematic database searches.
Results: The literature is showing that potential impacts of school closures on children are multifaceted, regarding wellbeing and mental health. Data shows increased levels of screen use (inclusive of electronic devices and televisions), decreased physical activity and sleep disturbances. Some research indicates that negative outcomes may be disproportionately affecting certain groups of children, such as those with existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities.
Conclusions: The research highlights the important role played by schools in supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of children. Emerging scholarship had also drawn attention to existing socio economic inequalities for children which were exasperated during the pandemic. A greater focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of children is required within policy and practice.
Implications for children and families: As a parent you may be worried about the immediate and ongoing impacts that home learning may have or had on your children. If you are worried about the long-term wellbeing of a child, post home learning, consider seeking professional support and speaking to your child’s educator.
Implications for practitioners: This research provides you with insights into experiences that potential social and emotional impacts that extended absences from formalised learning environments may have on children.

Online presentation

Online presentationEarly Childhood Voices Conference 2022
OtherThe Early Childhood Voices Conference 2022 (ECV2022) is a multidisciplinary international conference providing a platform to share research about innovative methods, theories and partnerships with children, families and practitioners that supports social justice during early childhood and within the early childhood sector. ECV2022 was organised by the Charles Sturt University Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Research Group as an opportunity to present research in a virtual online space.

Researchers and post-graduate students were invited to submit abstracts to share their work on innovations to improve the lives of children, families and practitioners during early childhood (generally birth-8 years) and within the early childhood sector. Papers employing qualitative and/or quantitative methods, reviews (e.g., scoping and systematic reviews) and scholarly theoretical papers were welcomed. All abstracts were peer reviewed by the ECV2022 Scientific Committee and authors of accepted abstracts submitted online presentations.

ECV2022 is online and asynchronous. There is no registration fee and no fees to present or view the presentations due to Charles Sturt University’s motto “For the public good”. The conference was held from 5th to 9th December 2022. Presentations will remain online via YouTube. The presentations are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License to indicate that adaptations or commercial use of the presentations are not allowed.
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