New research from UW-Madison shows school closures, and cancellations could have long-term effects. It is common knowledge that kids need structure, although they might not agree it is key to their development. The COVID-19 Pandemic has literally turned the world upside down forcing people all over the world to stay home, social distance, wear masks, people losing their jobs, schools closed and more. As an adult it is hard to wrap your head around what is happening, but for kids this has to be even harder to process.

Dr. Timothy McGuine is a researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He led a team of researchers who surveyed over 3,200 young athletes across the state of Wisconsin back in May a few months after schools were closed down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The survey was done online in 71 different counties and the kids played a variety of sports.

Results from the study showed that moderate to severe depression was up by more than 20% and 65% of respondents reported feeling a level of anxiety that’s typically treated by medical intervention. Also, physical activity was down by 50% which is generally helpful in combating anxiety and depression.

McGuine said as reported in the Superior Telegram " this is the first data to be shared on the health and well-being of young athletes amid the pandemic. It shows they could face higher rates of substance abuse and lower graduation rates in the short term, researchers said. In the long term, that could mean higher rates of addiction and difficulty forming meaningful relationships or building careers."

Many school districts all across the country are trying to figure out what will happen this Fall from kids physically going back to school and also what will be done with school activities and sports. This same effect is most likely being felt by kids who participate in any school activities not just sports, so hopefully something can get figured out in a safe manner. For more on this story click here. 

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