Vol. 18 No. 1 (2021): n° 1 gennaio-giugno 2021
Dossier. Family relations and parenting in a time of Covid-19

Parents’ view on distance learning during lockdown. A national survey

Giulia Pastori
University of Milan Bicocca
Valentina Pagani
University of Milan-Bicocca
Andrea Mangiatordi
University of Milan-Bicocca
Alessandro Pepe
University of Milan-Bicocca

Published 2021-06-19


  • parents,
  • distance learning,
  • pandemic emergency,
  • emotional and behavioral impact,
  • quantitative methods

How to Cite

Pastori, G., Pagani, V., Mangiatordi, A., & Pepe, A. (2021). Parents’ view on distance learning during lockdown. A national survey. Rivista Italiana Di Educazione Familiare, 18(1), 61–96. https://doi.org/10.36253/rief-10256


During the COVID-19 emergency, between March and May 2020, Italy was in an almost complete lockdown situation and millions of Italian children of all ages, overnight, stopped going to school and started receiving telematic communications from teachers or educators. Lockdown and distance learning had a significant impact on the overall well-being of parents and students and this study represents a contribution to deepen the understanding of parents’ perceptions and observations on it. The study was an exploratory cross-sectional quantitative research project and the data was gathered through a structured computer-assisted web survey, administered right after the total lockdown, between May 19th and June 2nd, reaching out to 6.905 parents of 9.802 primary and secondary school children (5-18 year old children). The data gathered offered a clear picture of the conditions in which distance learning occurred during the months of lockdown and reliably detected an overall stressful situation for many families and many children and adolescents. Results highlight the weaknesses of distance learning, lacking crucial functions that constitutively distinguishes an “in-person” school, of socio-cultural protection, parental support, and social arena.


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