The Way of Distance Teaching Is Related to Adolescent Students’ Health and Loneliness during the School Closure in Finland

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/336764

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Rimpelä, A.; Lindfors, P.; Kinnunen, J.M.; Myöhänen, A.; Hotulainen, R.; Koivuhovi, S.; Vainikainen, M.-P. The Way of Distance Teaching Is Related to Adolescent Students’ Health and Loneliness during the School Closure in Finland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 12377.

Title: The Way of Distance Teaching Is Related to Adolescent Students’ Health and Loneliness during the School Closure in Finland
Author: Rimpelä, Arja; Lindfors, Pirjo; Kinnunen, Jaana M.; Myöhänen, Anna; Hotulainen, Risto; Koivuhovi, Satu; Vainikainen, Mari-Pauliina
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2021-11-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/336764
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic enforced countries to close schools and rapidly transfer to distance teaching without preparation. Little is known about how different distance teaching practices influenced students’ wellbeing. We studied this during the period of school closures in Finland. Wellbeing was measured by health complaints and perceived loneliness, and distance learning was measured in terms of structure and dialogue of teaching, functioning of internet and digital equipment, difficulty of given tasks, and support for studies. All lower secondary schools were invited, and 29,898 students from 340 schools (grades 7–9) participated. A digital survey was distributed through schools just when these were reopened in May 2020. The main results were that the distance learning practices were related to adolescent health complaints and loneliness, so that less structure and dialogue in teaching, more problems with digital devices and internet, more difficult tasks and less support for studies were associated with higher health complaints and loneliness. From the point of view of students’ wellbeing, it matters how the distance learning is organised, how digital communication works, and if enough support for studies is available. These results of our research on distance learning practices during the present pandemic may guide schools in future crises and pandemic situations when distance learning is needed.


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