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Lockdowns are socially and emotionally challenging, but children are resilient

Wednesday, November 3, 2021   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: research, children, resilience, education, health, wellbeing, Report

Growing Up in New Zealand media release: 2nd November 2021

Children in Aotearoa New Zealand have displayed strength in the face of adversity according to one of the world’s largest surveys looking at the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on children’s health, wellbeing and education.

The survey was conducted by this country’s largest longitudinal study Growing Up in New Zealand. It was carried out during COVID-19 restrictions in May 2020 - in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education.

Growing Up in New Zealand research director, University of Auckland Professor Boyd Swinburn says nearly 2,500 10 and 11 year-old children participated in the survey which makes this one of the largest studies globally to look at the impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on children.

“What came through loud and clear was the remarkable resilience and adaptability of New Zealand children to adjust to the restricted lifestyle, social isolation and uncertainty that COVID-19 restrictions imposed on them in 2020.

“However, it is clear that lockdowns are socially and emotionally challenging for some children and there is more that can be done to support them to weather the storm of any future restrictions. In particular, there should be a focus on better access to virtual mental health support and equitable access to devices for online learning,” he says.

Growing Up in New Zealand today released the two Life During Lockdown reports - one focused on health and wellbeing and the other focused on education.

The reports offer a unique insight into the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on children’s lives because the study could draw on baseline data gathered from children when they were eight years of age.

Find out more about the findings of Growing Up In New Zealand's Life in Lockdown research.