Missing Out On Summer Break Experiences Can Adversely Impact Mental Health Of Poorer Children, Says New Research

There are two kinds of children at school – those who can afford to fly off to another country or city during vacations and those who stay back at home due to lack of affordability. The socioeconomic difference between both these categories can keep children divided and little has been done to address this matter.

Now a new research shows, that even when school is on break, children from less advantages background can struggle. This new study reports that the inaccessibility to childcare due to high costs and the inability of parents to afford expensive holiday travels can negatively impact the mental health of children.

What Does This New Study Reveal?

A new study which was led by research experts from the Cardiff university shows how children from low income backgrounds face mental health and wellness related problems. The wellbeing of children during vacations hasn’t been addressed or researched in-depth before.

This new study changed this by collecting data reported by 103,971 children themselves. These children, or participants of the study, were between the ages of 11 to 16 and studied in schools across Wales. Results showed that those among the children who came from poorer backgrounds reported feeling lonely and hungry during summer break.

During holidays, these children were also less likely to engage with friends or spend time in social physical activities. This led them to feeling lonely, whereas, hunger was explained by researchers to be caused because their families couldn’t afford good, nutritious food which they are served during meal time breaks at school.

Moreover, the study also found that these children’s mental health further worsened when they returned back to school after holidays. Unfortunately, the impacts of poor experiences that threaten mental health can accompany a child in the long-run as well. This stresses on the need to solve the socioeconomic barriers that are between kids from different family backgrounds.

A proposed solution would be for the government to take action and provide a sum for children’s wellbeing during school holidays. In the UK, government already has taken steps by providing funds for school holidays to those who come from poorer families.

Social Isolation And Loneliness

Social isolation and loneliness when prolonged can cause not only mental but physical health problems as well. Loneliness is linked to anxiety and depression. It can make it hard for children to make friends and can adversely impact their self-esteem and confidence. This loneliness during childhood can also predict the same for adulthood.

Key Takeaway

New study finds that children who come from poorer social backgrounds and cannot afford holiday fun during summer break can experience loneliness, social isolation as well as hunger. This can have an adverse impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Their mental health only worsens as they return to school after the holidays.

In this regard, government should take measures to provide for less advantaged kids during vacations. Left unchecked, this loneliness can cause problems in adulthood as well.