COVID-19 pandemic delayed socio-emotional development in young children

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that infants and toddlers experienced socio-emotional development delays during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study included 60,171 families enrolled in the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) between 2015 and 2021. The researchers examined the impact of COVID-19 on children’s socioemotional development, finding that all pandemic cohorts had higher odds of positive screening for socio-emotional delays compared with the pre-pandemic cohort. They also noted that referrals to early intervention services decreased during the pandemic. The researchers recommended that primary care providers be aware of the potential impact on children’s development and follow-up with additional support as needed.

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