The study, conducted by Professor Clemens Kroneberg and his research team, found that school pupils suffer from limited face-to-face contact with their friends.
The researchers surveyed just under 600 children aged around 14 or 15 from schools in Germany with a 20-minute questionnaire about their everyday school life and leisure activities.
In addition, about half of the students received eight mini-questionnaires on their daily mood and activities sent to their smartphones over a period of four weeks during lockdown.
The student surveyed perceived the restrictions in leisure as significantly worse than independent learning in homeschooling or everyday family life during school closures.
‘In contrast, online contact only – the most common interaction in the second lockdown – did not improve their mood. According to our results, parents can hope for better-tempered children when they attend daily face-to-face classes,’ says Professor Kroneberg.
Furthermore, the study revealed that, on average, girls found the restrictions more stressful than boys and were more likely to report being sad, depressed, lonely, or worried.
For this reason, the researchers believe that online learning should not replace face-to-face learning as the limited contact with friends will have a detrimental effect on their mental health.