AC Publishes Study on Student Resilience During COVID-19

by Harrison Tool

Posted on January 27th, 2022

Student Well-being During COVID-19

The latest Social Policy Report from the Society for Research in Child Development includes a first-of-its-kind study by Dr. Suniya Luthar and the AC research team detailing student well-being among over 14,000 students assessed during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that rates of clinically significant depression and anxiety were lower during distance learning in 2020 as compared to rates during 2019. As schools closed at the beginning of the pandemic, students' schedules were suddenly much less busy, and anxiety-inducing exams were canceled or delayed. Since the first three months of the COVID pandemic, however, rates of students reporting significant symptoms have risen, passing levels seen in 2019.

This study has clear implications for school leaders as they seek to support students' mental health during the current COVID surge. When looking at a variety of risk and protective factors linked with rates of anxiety and depression, the study found that parent support was most closely linked with symptoms. Students who felt high levels of parent support during the initial transition to remote learning were less likely to report high levels of anxiety and depression, while students who lacked this support were more likely to do so. Other predictors closely linked with student symptoms were learning efficacy, concerns heard by school adults, and students' worries about their future and grades.

These findings suggest that, as school leaders seek to promote resilience and improve well-being during this time, they should prioritize:

  1. Promoting and protecting the well-being of school parents and, especially, faculty/staff, who are struggling with burnout
  2. Providing students who are struggling to learn and worried about learning loss with academic support and access to additional resources
  3. Creating clear processes for students to share constructive feedback with faculty and administrators
  4. Making time and space for students to openly share their insecurities and uncertainties while ensuring the community knows about specific adults at school who are available to help.

It is now more important than ever for schools to proactively address the root causes of these symptoms with evidence-based best practices. Complete this interest form to learn how AC can partner with your school to identify the aspects of school climate most linked with your students' well-being and help improve mental health.

Access to the full Social Policy Report paper is available here through the Society for Research in Child Development:

Read the Paper →

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