Covid-19 Changed Student Behavior & How Are Schools Responding?

Covid-19 Changed Student Behavior

There are many articles that discuss how COVID-19 changed student behavior, but one of the latest ones is from Edutopia, published on July 28, 2023. The article explores how the pandemic affected students’ social and emotional well-being, and how schools are responding to these challenges. The article reports that teachers are still struggling with the aftermath of the pandemic.

As students have lost physical fitness, social skills, and sense of belonging. The article also suggests that schools need to provide more support to students, not only academically, but also socially and emotionally, to help them recover from the pandemic’s impacts. The article is based on a visit to schools throughout Northern California, and it includes quotes from teachers, students, and experts.

If you are interested in reading more articles on this topic, you can also check out these ones:

  • The Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Student Well-Being and the Mediating Role of the University Support: Evidence From France, Germany, Russia, and the UK². This article is a research study that examines how student perceptions of their degree completion and future job prospects during the pandemic affect their well-being, and what role university support plays in this relationship. The article uses data from 2,707 university students in four countries, and it finds that university support provided by instructors and administration mediates the relationship between the perceived impact of COVID-19 and levels of student well-being.
  • Did the COVID-19 pandemic worsen student behavior?³. This article is a news report that summarizes the findings of a survey conducted by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) on how COVID-19 affected student behavior in U.S. schools. The article reports that most schools across all regions said COVID-19 especially increased threats of physical attacks or fights between students, and that verbal abuse and general disrespect directed toward teachers increased as well.

More Read…

  • Psychology Researchers Examine Student Behaviors Prior to and at Outset of COVID-19 Pandemic⁴. This article is a press release that describes a research study conducted by psychology researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi on how student behaviors changed before and during the pandemic. The article reports that students reported more symptoms related to mood disorders, more stress, and more alcohol use during the pandemic, compared to before.
  • New CDC data illuminate youth mental health threats during the COVID-19 pandemic⁵. This article is a press release that announces new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how COVID-19 affected youth mental health in the U.S. The article reports that emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts increased among adolescents aged 12–17 years during the pandemic, especially among girls. The article also provides recommendations for parents, caregivers, schools, and communities to support youth mental health.

How Are Schools Responding?

Schools are responding to the COVID-19 impacts on student behavior and well-being in different ways, depending on their context, resources, and needs. Some of the common strategies that schools are using or considering are:

  • Providing more social and emotional learning (SEL) opportunities for students, such as teaching them coping skills, mindfulness, empathy, and resilience. SEL can help students manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
  • Creating a safe and supportive school climate, where students feel valued, respected, and connected to their peers and teachers. A positive school climate can foster students’ sense of belonging, engagement, and motivation.
  • Offering more counseling and mental health services for students who are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, or other challenges. Schools can also partner with community organizations or healthcare providers to expand their capacity and reach.
  • Implementing restorative practices, such as circles, peer mediation, or conferencing, to address student behavior issues and conflicts. Restorative practices can help students understand the impact of their actions, repair harm, and restore trust.
  • Providing more physical activity and wellness opportunities for students, such as recess, sports, clubs, or fitness programs. Physical activity can improve students’ health, mood, cognition, and academic performance.


These are some of the ways that schools are responding to the COVID-19 impacts on student behavior and well-being. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every school or student. Schools need to assess their own situation and needs, involve stakeholders in decision-making, monitor progress and outcomes, and adjust their strategies as needed.

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