Studies have examined the effects of distance learning on students’ mental health. They showed a positive connection between students and teachers, but the effects on boredom and isolation were less pronounced. While students who felt connected to their teachers and peers were more likely to report feelings of calm, trust, and confidence, those who felt disconnected were more likely to report anxiety, confusion, and annoyance. In contrast, students who reported feeling disconnected from the learning process were more likely to report feelings of anger, frustration, and vigilance.
Social relationships are important to a student’s mental health, but distance learning takes away those interactions. Students may feel isolated and depressed because of the lack of social interaction. Moreover, they may lose motivation and struggle to grasp new material if they do not interact with other students. In addition, the pressure of completing schoolwork may be overwhelming for teens, and they may give up altogether. This can increase negative assumptions about their ability to complete difficult tasks.
Students’ physical and mental health can be affected by the increased screen time that comes with online instruction. The effects have been linked to increased levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived attention problems. Moreover, the effects of distance learning on students’ mental health are complex. They can experience “Zoom fatigue” or depression and can even resort to substance abuse as a coping mechanism. However, it’s not clear exactly what causes such problems.
Researchers in China have shown that distance learning can worsen a child’s mental health. These studies suggest that young Chinese students, who were exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic, may be more susceptible to mental disorders than other children. Likewise, similar findings were made in the Philippines, where children showed greater mental health problems than adults. These results highlight the need for better measures to mitigate the mental strain of distance learning in developing countries.
The benefits of distance learning extend beyond the academic aspects. Many parents reported reduced physical activity, less time outside, and reduced contact with friends and family. A study of parents of combined students revealed a more negative impact on their children. Parents of remote students also reported fewer hours of sleep and less time with their children, but it’s too early to determine whether this is due to increased workloads or lack of physical activity. The survey results showed that parents who were exposed to virtual learning found an increased risk for 11 of 17 child-and parent-well-being indicators.
The study also examined how distance-learning has affected students’ academic development. The researchers found that approximately half of students were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of them reported that distance learning had worsened their academic performance while others reported that it boosted their energy levels. But these effects did not stop there. It is also important to note that the study did not examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ mental health.