Social distancing measures including face masks are suspected of causing young children’s development to have drop by up to 23 per cent during the COVID pandemic, according to a new study.
Brown University scientists Sean CL Deoni, Jennifer Beauchemin, Alexandra Volpe, and Viren D’Sa, penned the review, in conjunction with the global consulting firm Resonance, collecting data from 1,600 children – and their caregivers – who have been enrolled in the study between the ages of 0 and 5 on a rolling basis.
The probe analyzed the cognitive development of the youngsters through infancy, childhood and adolescence, and looked at how average development scores in three key areas had been affected during the COVID era – with shocking results.
The report found that there was a 23 per cent drop in scores measuring kids’ intelligence quotients since the start of the pandemic. Results showed the early learning composite mean result dropped by a whopping 23 per cent, from a high of just under 100 in 2019, to 77 in 2021
In the study, researchers first analyzed 1,070 assessments administered on 605 kids prior to March 2020, when COVID lockdowns and masking began.’Christmas is surely cancelled…’ Britons fear the worst and another festive period in lockdown after Boris Johnson’s hastily-announced new rules to fight Omicron variant, and other top stories from November 28, 2021.PauseNext video1:16 / 1:57Full-screenRead More
Then, a further 154 assessments from 118 kids administered between March 2020 and June 2021, during the height of the pandemic, were carried out.
Meanwhile, 39 children born in 2018 and 2019 were analyzed over the course of the pandemic, into 2021.
The team then carried out checks on three widely accepted measures of child development – the early learning composite (ELC), verbal development quotient (VDQ), and non-verbal development quotient (NVDQ).
A child’s early learning composite is derived from their fine motor, visual reception, receptive, and expressive language scales, and is the early years equivalent to an IQ score.
The two development quotients measures how well a child is maturing in their language skills and other skills as compared with a sample of youngsters their own age.