How School Closures Damaged U.S. Children's Mental Health

How School Closures Damaged U.S. Children's Mental Health

The sample group of the families was ethnically and racially diverse—39.3% white, 30.2% Latinx; 22.4% Black; and 8.1% mixed. Only 4.2% of children were labeled agitated or angry before the closures, compared to 23.9% after, a jump of 19.7 points. Self-harm and suicidal ideation, for example, declined from 0.5% to 0.4% among Black children, and from 0.4% to 0.3% among Latinx kids. Overall, the figure for the “loneliness” characteristic was 31.9% post-school closures, but it broke down to 22.9% among Black kids and 17.9% among Latinx, compared to 48.4% among whites. Even if the Black and Latinx children’s change in overall mental health as tabulated in the study was less severe than that of white kids’, they experienced hardship all the same.

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