Differential Impacts of COVID-19 on Summer Activities and Environments for Children from High-and Low-Income Families


  • Dan Richmond
  • Rachel McGovern
  • Taylor Wycoff
  • Michael Froehly
  • Meagan Ricks
  • Jim Sibthorp


opportunity gap, summertime, children, COVID-19, recreation


This study examined how the COVID-19 affected the summer activities and environments of children from high-and low-income households. Results show that childrenfrom high-income households had access to more enriching activities both before and during the pandemic, even though COVID-19 restricted access to programming for all children. While all families struggled in many ways to make the most of the pandemic summerof 2020, there were silver linings that included more family timeand less hectic schedules. The paper also identifies how work-from-home arrangements and virtual programming that arose during the pandemic could help bridge the opportunity gap moving forward.