Teens and Parents Dissatisfied with Virtual School

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, April 8, 2021

Teens and Parents Dissatisfied with Virtual School

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on BYU Wheatley Institution.

In a national survey of U.S. teens and parents in Fall 2020 sponsored by the Wheatley Institution, teens attending school virtually with a live component (37%), virtually asynchronously (38%), or attending in person on a part-time basis (38%) were more likely to be dissatisfied with their school experience than those attending school full-time in-person (24%).

Similarly, the parents of school-aged children attending school part-time in-person or virtually with no live sessions (asynchronous) were the most likely to be dissatisfied (29% in both groups), compared to virtual with live (synchronous) sessions (25%) and full-time in person (18%).

However, teens in virtual classes were no more likely to be depressed, lonely, or unhappy than those attending in person. Virtual students were also less likely to be sleep-deprived.

Teens in virtual classes were also more likely to say that they disliked school than their peers attending school in-person on a full-time basis. Dislike of school was especially high (22%) among those taking asynchronous classes, which was more than twice as high as teens attending school full-time in person.

Parents whose children were in virtual school, whether live or asynchronous, were the most likely to say that managing their children’s schooling had been difficult (31% in both groups), compared to 27% for those with children in part-time in-person school and 14% for full-time in-person.

Virtual and part-time schedules carry significant logistical and educational challenges for students and parents – they seem to be yearning to get back to full-time in-person school,” said Jean M. Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and author of iGen, who helped design the survey. “On the other hand, it’s very encouraging that teens in virtual classes were not experiencing more mental health issues than those attending in person.”

Source: BYU Wheatley Institution