Most parents say pandemic has had negative impact on child’s behaviour – survey

Public Health Scotland has released the results of a survey on children’s wellbeing.

Neil Pooran
Tuesday 25 January 2022 12:08
Parents of children aged up to 11 were surveyed (Nick Ansell/PA)
Parents of children aged up to 11 were surveyed (Nick Ansell/PA)

Most parents of young children feel the pandemic has had a negative impact on their child’s wellbeing and behaviour, a survey has suggested.

Public Health Scotland has released the results of the third round of its Covid-19 Early Years Resilience and Impact Survey (Ceyris), which monitors the impact of the pandemic on children.

A total of 5,895 responses were received from people who were parents or carers for children aged from 0 to 11, though the open nature of the survey meant participants were not representative of the overall population.

Across a range of measures, the impact of the pandemic was more acutely felt among families on lower incomes.

The latest round of the survey was carried out in September and October last year.

Many parents reported reduced physical activity (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

For 59% of children aged between three and 11, parents or carers reported the pandemic had negatively impacted their behaviour.

This rose to 67% for families on low incomes.

Meanwhile, 47% reported that the pandemic had a negative impact on their levels of physical activity, while 22% said it had a positive impact.

In the same age group, 76% said the pandemic had a negative impact on how much time their child spent with friends.

A similar trend was seen with children’s relationships with their extended family, with 68% saying the pandemic had reduced time spent with extended family members.

However, 49% reported that the pandemic had a positive impact on the quality of the child’s relationship with the parent or carer in their own household, while 18% said it had a negative impact.

Public Health Scotland said: “Overall, the findings suggest that for a substantial proportion of children in our sample, parents and carers perceive the pandemic to have had a negative impact on child and family health, wellbeing and development.

“The impacts generally appear to be felt to a greater extent in families from low income households, who may have already been struggling before the pandemic.”

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