Staffordshire University is urging families to take part in a study which aims to assess the impacts of coronavirus on children.
“The current coronavirus situation presents a unique opportunity to discover the diverse characteristics and consequences of a pandemic upon children, be that fear of loss or death, isolation from friends or disruption to schoolwork and normal lives.”
The study of children’s drawing is open to participants aged 4 – 14 in all parts of the UK and can be carried out entirely in the home. Children are simply asked to draw a picture about their life since coronavirus struck.
A picture is then taken of the drawing and, with help and permission from a parent, who is asked to complete some basic demographic and situational questions, this is uploaded on a dedicated and secure website for the project.
The project is led Dr Richard Jolley and colleagues in Staffordshire University psychology department who will be examining the children's drawings.
Dr Jolley explained: “The current coronavirus situation presents a unique opportunity to discover the diverse characteristics and consequences of a pandemic upon children, be that fear of loss or death, isolation from friends or disruption to schoolwork and normal lives.
“We are also interested in how these themes may vary between age and gender of the child, but also due to other factors outside and inside the home. For instance, we wish to know whether the themes are related to which country the child lives in, if they live in a rural or urban environment and if either parent is a key worker.”
Schools and organisations through the UK have already been contacted about the project – but with school holidays imminent, the research team are appealing directly to families to take part.
Dr Sarah Rose added: “Generally drawings are something children and young people like to do and they can capture a lot about people’s experiences and feelings. Sometimes children are unable to find the words to express how they feel but, as the saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
“Given that these are unprecedented times, this is an important study which could help us to understand the impacts of children living through the pandemic for years to come.”
For further information on the study, please email email@example.com