BOLD Blog in Brief

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents have found themselves increasingly immersed in their children’s schooling, as well as worrying about the effects of social isolation on their adolescents. Researchers discussed these and related issues in interviews on the BOLD blog and podcast in March.

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Parental involvement in children’s schooling, especially in early childhood, is understood to be largely positive; however, conflict between parents and teachers can potentially be detrimental, according to applied developmental psychologist, Sharon Wolf. For example, Wolf’s research team found that excessive monitoring from parents demotivated teachers, particularly highly motivated ones. Although the effects of greater parental involvement during the pandemic are still unknown, Wolf hopes that parents will have a greater appreciation for teachers, which in turn may elicit more productive relationships. Read more here.

Significant biological changes occur in the human brain during adolescence, a time when social interactions are particularly important, says Sarah-Jayne Blakemore in an interview on the BOLD podcast. Little is known about how social deprivation—such as during the current pandemic—may affect human adolescents, but animal studies have suggested profound effects. However, Blakemore notes that while the pandemic has restricted in-person interactions, it is encouraging that adolescents can connect with friends through social media, video apps, and online games. She discusses whether this may in fact help to mitigate the effects of social distancing on adolescent mental health. Listen to the podcast here.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

BOLD Blog

Blog on Learning and Development, Jacobs Foundation