Students Attending School Remotely Suffer Socially, Emotionally, and Academically

Published Online in:
Educational Researcher
July 14, 2021

Angela L. DuckworthCharacter Lab, University of Pennsylvania
Tim KautzMathematica
Amy DefnetMathematica
Emma Satlof-BedrickCharacter Lab
Sean TalamasCharacter Lab
Benjamin LiraUniversity of Pennsylvania
Laurence SteinbergTemple University

What is the social, emotional, and academic impact of attending school remotely rather than in person? We address this issue using survey data collected from N = 6,576 high school students in a large, diverse school district that allowed families to choose either format in fall 2020. Controlling for baseline measures of well-being collected 1 month before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as demographics, high school students who attended school remotely reported lower levels of social, emotional, and academic well-being (effect size [ES] = 0.10, 0.08, and 0.07 standard deviations, respectively) than classmates who attended school in person—differences that were consistent across gender, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status subgroups but significantly wider among 10th–12th graders than ninth graders.

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Read the press release: "Study Finds 'Thriving Gap' Between Students Who Attended High School Remotely Versus in Person"

Study citation: Duckworth, A. L., Kautz, T., Defnet, A., Satlof-Bedrick, E., Talamas, S., Lira, B., & Steinberg, L. (2021). Students attending school remotely suffer socially, emotionally, and academically. Educational Researcher. Prepublished July 14, 2021.