Published on January 13, 2022 by Morgan Black  
A new study published in January 2022, coauthored by Clara E. Piano, assistant professor of quantitative analysis in Samford University’s Brock School of Business, is making its way across national news outlets. The study “The Effects of School Closures on Homeschooling and Mental Health: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic” investigates the surge in homeschooling over the course of the pandemic and the consequences of the closure of in-person learning on mental health outcomes.
Piano contributed by working with Census Bureau Pulse data for the economic research. The primary outcome found by Piano and her coauthors from Stanford University and The Cato Institute showed that school closures during the pandemic led more parents than ever before to homeschool their children.
Piano said, “For every one percentage point increase in public school districts that went remote in a state, we estimate that homeschooling increased by over two percentage points in that state. Families who decided to homeschool are more likely to be married, have more children, and lower incomes.”
They also found that school closures increased the reported levels of anxiety and worry amongst parents.
The study, first publicized via an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Piano’s coauthors, has become a recent topic of conversation on national outlets including Fox News and The Daily Caller.
Piano received her Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University and one of her primary areas of research is family economics.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.