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Impact Of Lockdown On Children”S Social Skills

1. Introduction - Impact Of Lockdown On Children”S Social Skills

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1.1. Background overview

Social skills are demonstrated as a set of learned capabilities that entails the individual to communicate properly and competently in a provided social context. Social skills of children are associated with sharing, listening, cooperating and collaborating, patience, empathy, following directions, positivity, research boundaries and many more. As opined by Morris et al. (2021), COVID-19 and its pandemic situation have severely impacted the social skills of the children. COVID-19 and its constant restrictions all over the world have led every working sector such as businesses, education and many more to be closed for a stipulated time. The parents of the children who have acknowledged them for around a week have obtained that their children are more emotionally stressed as compared to others (Oecd, 2022). The information on social-emotional factors is obtained from the below graph.

Figure 1: Socio-emotional factor of the student

(Source: Oecd, 2022)

The government of the UK has imposed strict restrictions on the education sector where all the schools and educational institutes are closed. This has been initiated to protect the children from getting infected by a spreadable disease. Later, the educational sector initiated online classes to continue their study and make the students active in their social skills (Bowyer-Crane et al. 2021). In this context of the study, many educational institutes have critically focused on Social learning theory to focus on the social behaviour and activeness of the skills of children. The theory is mainly focused on the idea that social behaviour is acknowledged by initiating and observing others' behaviours. Through this theory, it is comprehended that learning social skills develops positive behaviour of students and minimises negative issues. In this study, the aspects of lockdown and its effect on the social skills of children in the UK are critically evaluated considering both primary and secondary research methods.

1.2. Aim

The study aims to evaluate the effects of lockdown on the social skills of children from the perspectives of social and healthcare.

1.3. Rationale

The research on the “impact of lockdown due to COVID-19 on children’s social skills” is initiated to understand every aspect of children’s social behaviour. As mentioned by Tokatly Latzer et al. (2021), many countries from the primary stage initiate the social skills development within the children which was more prevalent with the emergence of the pandemic and COVID-19. It has been seen that there are huge gaps in primary numeracy and literacy of the working population. As it is reported by 750 million who are aged more than 15 that they are not able to read and write with the calculation being nearly doubled as large if literacy is calculated through direct measurement (Worldbank, 2022). The routine of families in the UK was disrupted which added stress to students, teachers and many students that were affected by restricted resources.

Figure 2: Combatting the impact of COVID-19 on children

(Source: Statista, 2022)

The above data represents the impact of COVID-19 on the socialisation and communication of children. It is comprehended from the above data that around 58 per cent responded to responses that communication and socialisation from the perspectives of social skills are disrupted (Statista, 2022). Socialisation and communication are demonstrated as the major aspects of social skill development.

It is researched by Forbes that some children faced maximised “separation anxiety” which had developed accustomed to being around their family more rapidly. “Trauma experiences” were also the reason for stress among the children and their families in the UK which has significantly charged social behaviour (Forbes, 2022). Other than these, the effect of lockdown on their skills is huge as they experience communication issues, listening issues, lack of patience among them, lack of empathy and more. These issues are often seen among them when they represent themselves on some social occasions and join online classes after some relaxation.

1.4. Research Questions

RQ1. What is the significance of social skills development among children since early childhood?

RQ2. What are the social skill issues experienced by children during the Covid-19 restriction?

RQ3. How social distancing during pandemic situations has affected the overall social skill development among children?

RQ4. What are the strategies adopted by the parents to mitigate the issues of social skills and behaviour within the children?

1.5. Hypothesis

H0: COVID-19 did not deteriorate the social skill development among the students

H1: COVID-19 did deteriorate the social skill development among the students

2. Methodology

2.1. Participants

The sample population is one of the vital aspects required for the conduction of the research study. Consideration of the sample population helps in obtaining detailed insights into the diverse perception of the participants regarding the subject matter. A survey is conducted in this study to demonstrate the aspects and prospects of the aim of the research matter. As stated by Mohajan (2018), survey conduction is feasible and has proved to be immensely beneficial in obtaining vast information on the research matter. Selecting sample size is crucially important as it influences the estimated precision and study in drawing the final statement. 20 samples have been selected by the researcher for conducting the survey who belongs to the age group 30-50 mainly. In this survey, a random sampling method is used for obtaining the information from the sample size.

The population that is focused on by the researcher is mainly from the parent groups of a single child or more than one child. In this survey, both the genders have provided the responses where responses from the female gender are mostly obtained. As opined by D?wigo? and D?wigo?-Barosz (2018), the social background of the individuals who have participated in the survey are sophisticated and they belong from a middle-class family. The children have access to all the digital technologies and other rich aspects nevertheless they experience issues in their social skills development (Newman and Gough, 2020). The parents of middle-class families are mostly selected for getting the responses because they have the visualisation of different aspects of their children. Income status of this group is highly proportionate as compared to those belonging to the working class and has more accessibility to the recent trends.

2.2. Procedures

Conducting a survey undergoes several stages which are mentioned below:

Step 1: Development of survey questionnaires is followed in the primary stage as it is important to involve the respondents.

Step 2: In this stage, the parents are made clear regarding their requirements for the survey and the process of filling up the responses.

Step 3: The third stage belongs to distribution of survey questionnaires where the link is provided to the parents for providing the information.

Step 4: It has been assured to the parents that the collection of data is utilised only as a research objective.

Step 5: The last step belongs to ensuring the parents that all aspects of ethics were maintained in attaining the data in the survey.

2.3. Ethical Considerations

Maintaining different aspects of validity, reliability and ethics are extremely crucial for the conduction of surveys in research work. In this study, a survey is conducted where the researcher is obtaining the information from the public. There is a possibility of leaking the personal information of the individual while they are participating in the survey (Zangirolami-Raimundo et al. 2018). The parents might have a false impression if any sort of misconduct happens to them. In any research work, the maintenance of transparency is crucially important as it helps in maintaining a good relationship with the respondents. Respondents can have faith in the researcher and provide a genuine and authentic response to the questions if ethical standards are properly maintained.

The secondary method is also followed where the researcher has gathered information from different books, journals, and articles. In this context, there is a high chance of plagiarism. However, researchers have taken slight insight from the existing information. Over viewing all the aspects of primary and secondary research, the "Data Protection Act, 2018” has been followed which has been incorporated by the UK government (Legislation, 2022). This act ensures that the information accumulated from other sources of the individual is secured and managed properly. Regulations of privacy are also incorporated which assists the study to achieve more validity and reliability.

3. Results/Findings

3.1. Data analysis


Responses -Yes





























Table 1: Data analysis

3.2. Pie charts

Figure 3: Demographics: gender

Figure 4: Isolation impacted social skills of children

Figure 5: Change in behaviour in children during a lockdown

Figure 6: Strategies can help in mitigating social skill issues

3.3. Descriptive data

Descriptive information is utilised to summarise or illustrate the features of a data set or sample in a research study. As opined by Chirico et al.(2019), descriptive data in research work enables the individuals to represent the information in a meaningful manner which permits simpler data interpretation. From the quantitative analysis of data, it is obtained that all the participants have responded fully where most of the responses are based on agreement. Few participants have disagreed with the questions. The participants who have represented their opinion through responses are generally female.

4. Discussion

4.1. Implications of the research

The findings from primary research explain that isolation has impacted the communication of children with others. Constant movement and travel restrictions confiscated the minds of children which has led them to behave differently. Most of the parents respond that aggressive and violent behaviour is highly observed among them during the COVID-19 pandemic (Ganie and Mukhter, 2020). Lack of patience and empathy creates stress on the mind of the children which forces them to behave indifferently toward the others.

In a survey, the parents also responded that some online learning tools and virtual play dates can efficiently assist the children in coping with social isolation. The research study has identified from the responses of the parents that isolation is the major reason for changing the behaviour of students. As opined by Osipova (2020), the issues of change in the social skills of children can be mitigated with the utilisation of social tools and playing games. In this context, social learning theory can be helpful for the students as they can imitate the behaviour of their parents and others positively. Parents must focus on their cognitive behaviour as the children can adopt social learning skills within them.

4.2. Findings of research questions

The first question of the study is concerned with understanding the significance of the development of social skills. Social skills assist the children in early childhood, teach the manner to have interaction, improve body language, create a positive connection, share, cooperate and even play collaboratively. Social skills lead to improving cognitive capabilities and mental ability along with better mental health (Cahoon et al. 2021). It is obtained while gathering information from the secondary sources that social skills in early childhood rely on multiple core competencies which comprise verbal ability, empathy and self-control. Awareness among the children regarding social skills from early childhood is crucially significant for developing an effective personality and maintaining strong behaviour.

The second question associated with the research work is on understanding the issues that children experience during the restrictions of COVID-19. The pandemic situation has brought significant disruptions in normal life for humanity. As opined by Chakraborty et al. (2021), a conversation between children with other humans has become restricted to that of a family due to the movement restrictions of COVID-19. Children's schools and immediate neighbourhoods have been taken away from their personal lives due to pandemic situations. Lack of interaction, lack of patience and lack of empathy, and changes in behaviour are some of the issues of social skills experienced by children during lockdown restrictions of COVID-19.

Social distancing during pandemic situations has highly affected the overall social skill development among children. The factor of social distancing created an issue of “lack of conversation” which has a domino impact on children across the nation. Lack of interaction creates a disruption in the emotional and cognitive stability which in turn makes a harmful impact on the mental health of the student (Rogers et al. 2021). The patience of children also decreased with the factors of social distancing as they do not have the tendency to wait for anything in their house which they are required to do if they are in a public place.

Handwritten letters and virtual playdates are the most utilised technique adopted by the parents globally in mitigating the issues of social skills and behavioural change within children. Apart from the parents, educational institutions are also focusing on grounding the festive celebrations online (Bowyer-Crane et al. 2021). Parents have adopted fun activities with their children at home to develop their patience skills so that they can behave in the same manner publicly.

5. Evaluation of the research

5.1. Evaluation

The research topics are quite interesting which has assisted in exploring various information from different sources. Survey conduction is the part of planning which has provided extremely fruitful responses that are not expected. One of the major issues in this research study is not exploring the existing literature in depth which created a gap in the research work (Holt and Murray, 2021). Exploring more literature may benefit the study more to have more knowledge and interesting facts on the study matter. Planning for the research study can be developed by outlining the proper structure of the report before its initiation.

5.2. Validity definition

Validity is demonstrated as the range in which the facts are accurately and properly calculated in a quantitative study. Validity in the research is essential as it demonstrates what survey questions to be utilised (Sürücü and MASLAKÇI, 2020). It assists in ensuring the researcher is utilising questions that correctly calculate the problems of significance.

5.3. Analyse the research's Validity

Designing the survey is highly valid as google forms have significantly measured the outcomes that are intended to do the research work. As opined by Vakili and Jahangiri (2018), the research work is valid because it creates outcomes that correspond to real variations, features and properties in the social world. However, a gap in certain places of the research work is there which might somehow impact the validity.

5.4. Development of Validity

Questionnaire designs can be improved to obtain more validity. In the survey, open-ended questionnaires might be utilised where the participants can have the chance to share their perspectives (Vakili and Jahangiri, 2018). Apart from that, more psychographic questions can be added to make it more validated.

5.5. Reliability definition

Reliability is mentioned as to how continuously a process calculates something. As opined by Schaufeli et al. (2020), reliability is essential in the research as it calculates the research quality. It is defined as the possibility that a system, service or product may act its intended function enough for a particularised time.

5.6. Analyse the reliability of the research

In this research work, the information obtained from the journals selected and responses obtained from the survey conduction are similar. The information that is obtained from both sources is relevant and topic-oriented (Lechien et al. 2020). The measurement of the information obtained and similar responses make the study highly reliable.

5.7. Process of development of reliability

The study is highly reliable and no changes in the improvement are required. In this study, a random sampling method is used which assists the researcher in getting the more validated and reliable information. However, choosing a non-random sampling method and considering the particular population set can be effective for this research work.

5.8. Scope of future research

Considering the section of literature review in this research study can prove to be highly beneficial. An exploration of theoretical paradigms along with the objectives can make the study more informative (Lechien et al. 2020). In future, readers along with the parents can obtain much information on social skills development and other aspects through this research work.

6. Conclusion

6.1. Reflection upon hypothesis

A hypothesis is demonstrated as the testable statement regarding the connection between more than one variable or proposed illustration for some observed circumstances. In this study, mainly two hypotheses are identified and the findings of the research suggest that H1 is supported and H0 is rejected. The findings of the research work have claimed that COVID-19 has a positive effect on children's social skills.

6.2. Outlining future research

Future studies can focus on other aspects of skill development which can be “Application of digital technology and personalisation tool is skill development of children". From this research study, future readers can identify the issues and their impact (Friedman et al. 2022). This can further help the researcher to identify the personalisation tool that can assist in the skill development of children.

6.3. Recommendation

  • Parents can utilise the online tools to involve the students to do multiple social activities for their development of social skills.
  • Indulging children in playing games at home can provide them more opportunities to interact with others and motivate them to share, listen and take turns (Adegboye et al. 2021).
  • Communication tools must be utilised by the parents so that the children can act actively which can also help in increasing empathy and patience (Friedman et al. 2022).
  • Parents can engage their children in more co-curricular activities which can shift their focus to various fields.



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Forbes, 2022. About /impact-of-covid-19-on-childrens-social-skills. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/leahcampbell/2021/10/31/impact-of-covid-19-on-childrens-social-skills/?sh=3aebe4ec2a54 [Accessed on: 19th may, 2022]

Legislation, 2022. About Data Protection Act 2018. Available from: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/12/contents/enacted [Accessed on: 19th may, 2022]

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