EUNSEO (RUBY) Lee
Archbishop Mitty High SchoolClass of 2025San Jose, CA
- "In what ways can parents minimize the impacts of masking on children’s social-emotional development?" with mentor Ellyn (Apr. 17, 2023)
In what ways can parents minimize the impacts of masking on children’s social-emotional development?
Started June 29, 2022
Abstract or project description
Over the past two and a half years, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected kids' lives in a multitude of ways. Public health measures such as social distancing have led to isolation and replaced many social-interactions, through play or at school, with digital alternatives. While some of these public health measures have ended, the practice of masking is here to stay for now. Although masking is necessary for the health and safety of children, it may have some unintended consequences. Masks cover most of the face and hide many facial expressions that allow us to understand other people’s emotions. The ability to understand another person’s emotions is a key aspect in social-emotional development, and developing strong social-emotional skills is important for maintaining positive social relationships. However, the impacts of masking on children’s social-emotional development, as well as potential ways to minimize any potential negative effects of masking has been thus far underexplored. In this paper, I will review existing literature on the impacts of COVID-19 on children’s social-emotional development with a specific lens on how masking could play a crucial role in this relationship. As well as the impacts, I will explore other existing literature providing ways to decrease the effects of masking on the social-emotional development of children. The potential benefits of examining this highly pressing question include bringing awareness to parents and educators about the impact of masking on social-emotional development. In addition to raising awareness, the findings of this review may also equip parents with knowledge and skills in order to better support children’s social-emotional development throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.