Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MSW/MA Social Work and Child Development

First Advisor

Cynthia Puccio

Second Advisor

Emma Forrester


The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown of 2020 impacted the world profoundly, both on global and individual levels. In many respects, the world returned to “normal” in the ensuing years. However, what does “normal” mean for a child whose development was interrupted by lockdown, depriving them of experiences that they would have otherwise encountered on their developmental trajectory? How might the impacts of such an interruption manifest in subsequent years? This thesis explores some such potential consequences, utilizing a multiple-case study design to explore the intersection between early childhood developmental theory and the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020. For this study, individual therapy sessions were conducted with two fourth graders (aged 9-10) throughout the course of their academic year. These children experienced lockdown in early childhood, a developmental stage during which new forms of play and socialization are typically explored in collective settings. Findings indicate that deprivation of peer interaction in early childhood as a result of mandatory social isolation and school closures have potential to impact emotional regulation, academic capacities, and one’s relationship to rules and boundaries in middle childhood. Lastly, this thesis offers further directions for exploration in an effort to mitigate further stress on children, teachers, and caregivers.