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Kids with ACEs Benefitted from In-School Classes During COVID

We have yet more evidence that in-school classes were better for kids during the pandemic than online learning. Researchers looked at data from a survey of more than 4000 teenagers aged 11 to 15. The researchers cross-referenced the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that the teens reported with the activities and mental health challenges that they reported.  They found that even those teens with high ACEs reported better mental health if they also were part of in-school classes during the pandemic.  That effect actually was stronger for teens with high ACEs scores than for teens with low or mid-level numbers of ACEs.  There also was a correlation between better mental health and coping behaviors such as exercise, but it was much lower than the correlation with in-school classes.  

This study adds to the body of evidence that children who have suffered trauma need the connections of personal contact to help develop resilience and recover from their negative experiences.

These findings suggest that in-person schooling and several coping behaviors (caring for one’s body, exercising, and engaging in healthy behaviors) were associated with significantly higher [positive affect] and lower [perceived stress] during the COVID-19 pandemic among adolescents with high [adverse childhood experiences]. Adolescents with high ACEs demonstrated especially greater mental health scores when they reported in-person schooling.


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