Article Critique: The Impact of Covid-19 Related School Shutdown on Sleep in Adolescents- A Natural Experiment
The study is experimental since the study itself mentions it was a natural experiment. In the experimental studies, an intervention is introduced, which could be the schools’ sudden shutdown with the advent of Covid-19. This sudden influence was studied with the qualitative study method, which was semi-structured interviews with 45 adolescents. The independent variable was the unanticipated school shut down due to Covid-19, and the dependent variable was the sleep behaviors of the developing adolescents. There was no manipulation done with the independent variable, which is the sudden outbreak of the pandemic. It was an abrupt incident that took place; it did not need any changes. Only the impacts of this sudden change were to be studied. The operationalization of the dependent variable, sleep behaviors, was done in the form of changes in the sleep schedule, sleep quality due to later sleeping hours, lesser daytime sleepiness due to not having to wake up forcefully, and improved daytime performance.
The terms dependent and independent are operationally defined since their measurement is to be done by particular computation methods of the selected study design. No evident changes were made on the independent variable since Covid itself was a change that imposed some drastic alterations on our society’s normal routines. For instance, it was the adolescents’ routine to wake up early morning before Covid compared to their normal waking times on the off days. Now that the schools’ abrupt closing down forced the schools to shift their online methods, the classes’ timings were late and allowed the adolescent to wake up late in the morning. However, they slept late at night as well but woke up late as well. This brought a change of two hours sleep pattern. Hence, the Covid itself is the independent variable that needs no amendments or variations. Still, it is the sole reason why changes were brought in the mechanisms of our society, especially the school-going children. The dependent variable was operationalized openly since it was clearly stated what is meant by ‘sleep behaviors. It is defined by the level of daytime sleepiness that was more than now when the children sleep two hours later than their normal sleep time and woke up late. It is inferred that they woke up at their usual time and did not have to be woken up forcefully; hence, their sleep duration was accurate. They felt fresh and completed their online school tasks, such as participating in the arts or physical education classes.
The qualitative research study design was adopted for this particular research since the natural experiment was aimed. The adolescents were asked questions about how pandemic suddenly impacted their daily school routine lives. It had to be measured how disrupted school routines impacted their sleep behaviors and how it affected their physical performances throughout the day and their online classes. Thus, a semi-structured interview approach was used with the use of interviews that were being conducted over the phone. Forty-five adolescents were chosen, out of which 32 were girls, the mean age was 13.5 years, 96% Caucasians, 2% Asians, and 2% were multiethnic (Gruber et al., 2020). There is no clear mention that whether the respondents were selected randomly or by any other method. It is not citing that they were selected from a nearby school, neighborhood or training center, etc. The trained research assistants were assigned to conduct this study, and the process was carried out from April 28 to June 3, 2020. The criteria based on…results. It seems as if the researchers have used manually coded analysis methods for concluding the results, which seem to lack many of the apt methods for analysis. If statistical analyses were used, it would have brought strength to the results’ validity and reliability. Moreover, if the sample was taken with suitable means and was the true demonstrative of the sample, the results could have differed.
Brief Summary of the Article
With the onset of Covid-19, the schools had to shut down their physical schooling practice and switched to the online method. The article aims to study the schools’ sudden closure on adolescent students’ sleep behaviors. A qualitative study was designed in which semi-structured interviews on a one-on-one basis were conducted with 45 adolescents from April 28 to June 3, 2020. Since it was a natural experiment, the results showed a two-hour delay in the students’ sleep time, and they woke up late as well. It was not done forcefully, and it increased their sleep duration, which directly affected their daytime sleepiness. Their daytime drowsiness was reduced, and they felt active in their online school tasks.
It is proposed that if post-Covid school times are delayed so that students follow their natural sleep times, it would positively affect their physical performance and improve their sleep health. They would feel less sluggish and would be more active in their school tasks, contributing to their better efficiency in the class. It is also stated that the results were consistent with the previous studies that showed students waking up naturally had better health and less sluggishness during the day. It is even recommended that if school time for young ones remains the same and for older youth are changed to later hours, then the school density would be reduced, and the…
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