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Survey of over 2,000 Southeast Los Angeles families with children in grades K-12 found that lower income Latinx families endured greater hardship in their educational experience and suffered more impacts to their psychological well-being during the pandem

06-24-2021 09:13 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Miller Geer & Associates

/ PR Agency: Miller Geer & Associates
LOS ANGELES—June 23, 2021 — As Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) emerged as one of the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots with some of the highest infection and hospitalization rates in California, AltaMed Health Services, the nation’s largest independent federally qualified community health center, partnered with Great Public Schools Now (GPSN) for a targeted survey to understand the educational and social-emotional impacts of COVID-19 on SELA families with at least one child in grades K-12. The survey of 2,093 SELA families (45% identified as Latinx) found that because of pre-existing social vulnerabilities, lower income Latinx families were more impacted by the pandemic in their educational experience and psychological well-being than other families of different ethnicities.

Among Latinx families surveyed, one in three reported worsening grades among their child, about half of the families expressed that their child(ren) didn’t have their own room to do their school work, and families were twice as likely to report being “very concerned” about their child(ren)’s psychological wellbeing.

“Southeast Los Angeles is primarily a working-class Latinx community with high poverty rates and the survey’s findings confirm that lower income Latinx families experienced worse educational, health and economic impacts during the pandemic,” said Cynthia Romo, civic engagement program manager at AltaMed Health Services. “Over the years, many studies have found that lower education attainment correlates with poorer health outcomes. AltaMed recognizes the recovery of the communities we serve will require increased advocacy and civic engagement and initiated this survey to understand the extent of the impact.”

The survey asked respondents about their income, their child’s distance learning experience, and social determinants of health. Participants were recruited to participate in the survey in two of AltaMed’s health clinics through social media and community partners that serve the SELA area.

Survey Key Findings:

1. Due to pre-existing social vulnerabilities in South East Los Angeles, Latinx and low income families were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic

Nearly 9 in 10 respondents reported that their family experienced one or more COVID-related impact(s), including changes in income, job loss, family death, and/or family hospitalization.
About two thirds of Latinx families report COVID-19 impacting their income
One in four low income families experienced job loss due to COVID-19


2. Furthermore, our survey confirmed that pre-existing the pandemic exacerbated educational inequities in SELA communities. Latinx and low-income families are seeing higher levels of learning loss and less academic support.

About 1 in 2 Latinx students do not have their own room to do their schoolwork
Two thirds of Latinx families reported worsening grades in their students.
Over half of low income families reported grades worsening in their household throughout the pandemic


3. Finally, our survey found that the pandemic created a system that worsened health inequities in the region and exacerbated all other social determinants of health (like housing security, access to transportation, and access to healthcare), creating barriers to recovery for the community.

Latinx families were twice as more likely to report being “very concerned” about their child(ren) psychological wellbeing
3 in 4 low-income families report being concerned about having enough food to eat


“These findings support the growing body of evidence showing that the pandemic hit our families and students of color the hardest,” said Dr. Ana Ponce, the Executive Director of Great Public Schools Now. “We must come together as a city, as neighbors, as Angelenos, to do whatever it takes to support these families and students to recover academically, emotionally, and psychologically from the hardships of the past year.”

The survey confirmed that Latinx families were experiencing hardships in education, social and health outcomes that were exacerbated by the pandemic due to inequities that existed prior to COVID-19 lockdowns. Increased funding and research is necessary to further evaluate the depth of impact that COVID-19 has had on the region and to more importantly, inform efforts to support the holistic recovery of the Southeast Los Angeles community.

To learn more about AltaMed’s civic engagement and community outreach efforts, visit myvotemyhealth.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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AltaMed Health Services
2040 Camfield Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90040

About AltaMed Health Services

AltaMed understands that when people receive care that considers their individual health needs and respects their cultural preferences; they grow healthy—and help their families do the same. Since 1969, we have delivered complete medical services to communities across Southern California. Our team of qualified multicultural and bilingual professionals—from these same communities— is focused on eliminating barriers to primary care services, senior care programs, and essential community services. With nearly 50 accredited health centers and service facilities, we remain committed and ready to help you grow healthy at any age.

About Great Public Schools Now (GPSN)

Great Public Schools Now envisions a great public school for every student in Los Angeles. Guided by this vision, our mission is to invest in schools, organizations and initiatives that catalyze excellence in public education, convene leaders and uplift public understanding to advocate for great public schools.

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