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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Can high COVID-19 vaccination rates in adults help protect unvaccinated children? Evidence from a unique mass vaccination campaign, Schwaz/Austria, March 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Hannes Winner; Janine Kimpel; Florian Krammer (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Eurosurveillance

In 2021, many countries still did not have vaccines against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) available for young age cohorts. In addition, some parents were and still are hesitant regarding potential risks and benefits of inoculating their children, meaning that vaccination coverage for this population remains modest. This raises the important question whether population immunity can be achieved by high vaccination rates when a sufficiently large share of vaccinated adults provide indirect protection to unvaccinated individuals in the community. If this indirect vaccination effect exists, a high coverage among older cohorts may protect younger cohorts such as children from infection. More generally, community protection may help contain the pandemic even in the presence of groups unwilling or unable to get vaccinated. This study aimed to analyse this indirect protection effect, a unique rapid mass vaccination campaign. In particular, following an outbreak of the Beta variant (Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (Pango) lineage designation B.1.351) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the district of Schwaz (Austria), the government of Austria supplied 100,000 extra doses of the Comirnaty vaccine (BNT162b2 mRNA, Pfizer/BioNTech) to rapidly mass-vaccinate the entire adult population (≥ 16 years) of Schwaz.

Survey and 10-day diary data on infant nutrition, development, and home learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic from the LEARN-COVID pilot study

AUTHOR(S)
Tilman Reinelt; Clarissa Frey; Rebecca Oertel (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Open Psychology Data
The LEARN-COVID pilot study collected data on infants and their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assessments took place between April and July 2021. Parents (N = 357) from Switzerland (predominantly), Germany, and Austria answered a baseline questionnaire on their behaviour related to the pandemic, social support, infant nutrition, and infant regulation. Subsequently, parents (n = 222) answered a 10-day evening diary on infant nutrition, infant regulation, parental mood, and parental soothing behaviour. Data and documentation are stored on Zenodo, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6946048. These data may be valuable to researchers interested in infant development and parenting during the pandemic as well as to researchers interested in daily variability in infant behaviour, parenting, and nutrition.
How middle and high school students wear their face masks in classrooms and school buildings

AUTHOR(S)
Gerald Jarnig; Reinhold Kerbl; Mireille N. M. van Poppel

Published: August 2022   Journal: Healthcare
In addition to other mitigation measures, face masks have been used in schools worldwide as a precondition for allowing school attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The quality and habits of mask wearing have, however, not been evaluated thus far, leaving uncertainty about the efficacy of this measure. It was the aim of this study to assess the accuracy of face mask wearing by children and adolescents in different school situations. In May and June 2022, students of two selected Austrian schools were asked to provide information about the different variations in wearing a face mask in different situations at school (in classrooms with or without the presence of a teacher, and in school buildings outside classrooms without the presence of a teacher).
Remote workers' free associations with working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria: the interaction between children and gender

AUTHOR(S)
Martina Hartner-Tiefenthaler; Eva Zedlacher; Tarek Josef el Sehity (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Empirical evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic shows that women carried the major burden of additional housework in families. In a mixed-methods study, we investigate female and male remote workers’ experiences of working from home (WFH) during the pandemic. We used the free association technique to uncover remote workers’ representations about WFH (i.e., workers’ reflection of subjective experiences). Based on a sample of 283 Austrian remote workers cohabitating with their intimate partners our findings revealed that in line with traditional social roles, men and women in parent roles are likely to experience WFH differently. Mothers’ representations about WFH emphasize perceived incompatibility between the work and non-work sphere whereas fathers’ representations highlight work-family facilitation of WFH.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on families living with autism: an online survey

AUTHOR(S)
Corinna Isensee; Benjamin Schmid; Peter B. Marschik (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

The current SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic presents a great challenge for governments, health care professionals and the general population. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might be especially vulnerable to restrictions imposed by the crisis. The objective of the study was to examine the impact of the SARSCoV- 2 pandemic on children with ASD and their families. It conducted an online survey two months after the beginning of lock-down (18th of May to 5th of July 2020) in Germany and Austria. It investigated behavioral and emotional changes of children related to the lock-down alongside parental stress and intrafamilial burden

Graduating during the COVID-19 pandemic: digital media practices and learning spaces among pupils taking their school-leaving exams

AUTHOR(S)
Belinda Mahlknecht; Richard Kempert; Tabea Bork-Hüffer

Published: July 2022   Journal: Sustainability
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed educational and qualification experiences among young people. When the pandemic spread in 2020, schools worldwide were required to switch to remote learning. Through a qualitative multi-method, partly mobile, in-situ research approach, we accompanied pupils in the final year of their secondary education as they prepared for and finalized their school-leaving exams to investigate the following questions: What did pupils’ socio-material-technological learning spaces look like during this period? How did they adapt their digital media practices to cope with learning remotely? How did their situatedness in these learning spaces influence their learning experiences? Building on existing research in the field of digital and children’s geographies as well as learning spaces, through a combined content and narrative analysis, this article situates pupils’ learning spaces and experiences of graduating during the pandemic in the context of family relations, socio-material home spaces, polymediated learning environments and the accessibility of outdoor spaces.
Children's mental health during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic: burden, risk factors and posttraumatic growth: a mixed-methods parents' perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Wenter; Maximilian Schickl; Kathrin Sevecke (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying containment measures such as physical distancing and school closures led to major changes in children’s everyday lives. By means of a mixed-methods study, the “Tyrolean COVID-19 Children’s Study” investigated the effects of the pandemic and factors influencing mental health and health-related quality of life of North Tyrolean (Austria) and South Tyrolean (Italy) children aged 3–13 years. Parents filled out N = 2,691 online questionnaires (951 preschool children: 3–6 years; 1,740 schoolchildren: 7–13 years) at four measurement time points (March 2020, December 2020, June 2021, December 2021). For both age groups, children’s mental health outcomes (internalising problems, posttraumatic stress symptoms) were worse in December 2021 (t4) than children’s mental health outcomes in March 2020 (t1). With regard to aggressive behaviour, this difference was only found among schoolchildren. Thematic analysis of an open ended, written question revealed the following positive changes in children during the Corona crisis: (1) the importance of intra- and extra-familial relationships, (2) new competences and experiences, (3) values and virtues, (4) use of time, and (5) family strength. Using multilevel modelling, threat experience, economic disruption, and perceived posttraumatic growth were shown to be the strongest predictors of all outcomes. Additionally, male gender was shown to be a predictor of aggressive behaviour. In terms of age, schoolchildren showed more internalising problems, aggressive behaviour, and threat experience than preschool children.
Change in BMI and fitness among primary school children in Austria: a 24-month follow-up study of 303 children measured before and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Gerald Jarnig; Reinhold Kerbl; Mireille N. M. van Poppel (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Sports
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic not only impacted the health of school children directly through SARS-CoV-2 infections, but the associated closures of schools and sports facilities also resulted in long-term negative side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria. A total of 303 primary school children participated in the longitudinal study. Data on height, weight, and fitness were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic (September 2019) and at one-year intervals (September 2020 and September 2021) during the course of the pandemic.
What will the coronavirus do to our kids? Parents in Austria dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their children

AUTHOR(S)
Ulrike Zartler; Vera Dafert; Petra Dirnberger (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Research
This study investigates parents' experiences in dealing with the potential negative effects of the pandemic on their offspring, and seeks to explicate (1) how parents have assessed their children's situations during the pandemic; (2) what challenges parents have experienced in accompanying their offspring through the crisis; and (3) what strategies parents have developed for helping their children cope with the effects of the pandemic.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment situation and financial well-being of families with children in Austria: evidence from the first ten months of the crisis

AUTHOR(S)
Nadia Steiber; Christina Siegert; Stefan Vogtenhuber

Published: April 2022   Journal: JFR : Journal of Family Research

 This study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment situation of parents and in turn on the subjective financial well-being of families with children in Austria. The pandemic had strong repercussions on the Austrian labour market. The short-time work (STW) programme covered a third of employees in the first half of 2020 and helped to maintain employment levels. This study provides evidence on how an unprecedented labour market crisis of this sort and in particular the exceptionally wide use of STW had affected the employment situation of parents and the financial well-being of different types of families.

The impact of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria: a longitudinal study with data from 708 children measured before and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Gerald Jarnig; Reinhold Kerbl; Mireille N. M. van Poppel

Published: March 2022   Journal: Sports
The COVID-19-related closing of schools and sport facilities resulted in major changes to daily routines worldwide. It was the aim of this study to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria. Seven hundred and eight primary school children (7–10 years old) participated in the longitudinal study. Data on height, weight, waist circumference, and fitness were collected before (September 2019) and during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (June 20, September 20, March 21, June 21).
Acceleration in BMI gain following COVID-19 restrictions: a longitudinal study with 7- to 10-year-old primary school children

AUTHOR(S)
Gerald Jarnig; Johannes Jaunig; Reinhold Kerbl (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Pediatric Obesity

The ramifications of COVID-19 restrictions might accelerate the already rising proportion of children with overweight or obesity. This study aimed to assess the association between COVID-19 restrictions and changes in body mass index (BMI) and the proportion of children with overweight or obesity. Cohort study with baseline measurements in September 2019 (prior to COVID-19 restrictions) and follow-up in June 2020, September 2020, and March 2021 at 12 primary schools in Austria. The height and weight of 738 children aged 7 to 10 years were measured and age- and sex-specific national and international standardized values were calculated. Changes over time were analysed by analysis of variance.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 17 | Issue: 3 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, food, lockdown, obesity, physical activity | Countries: Austria
The Impact of Migration Status on Adolescents’ Mental Health during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Christoph Pieh; Rachel Dale; Andrea Jesser (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Healthcare
The purpose of this study was to compare mental health in adolescents with and without migration background after a semester of remote schooling and almost a year of social distancing in Austria. An online survey, supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, was conducted from 3rd February to 28th February 2021 measuring well-being (WHO-5), depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), sleep quality (ISI), stress (PSS-10), and disordered eating (EAT-8). A matched-pairs analysis with and without migration background was conducted and was checked with whole sample analysis. From a total of 3052 participants, N = 508 had a migration background (first or second generation) and N = 479 could be matched according to age, gender, region, and education with adolescents without migration background.
Does the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic have an influence on the mental health and well-being of young people? A cross-sectional multicenter study

AUTHOR(S)
Zeliha Özlü-Erkilic; Oswald D. Kothgassner; Thomas Wenzel (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public
The COVID-19 pandemic has been shown to have impaired the mental health and well-being of young people. This study, for the first time, explores these aspects in young people with and without a migratory background during the extended course of the pandemic and restrictive measures, comparing two countries with a high COVID-19 prevalence: Austria and Turkey. Methods: The authors used the “Psychological General Well-being” index as part of an anonymous online survey with 3665 participants (ages 15–25), recruited from both countries during the first and the second waves of the pandemic, collecting data on individual experiences and problems encountered during the pandemic
Respiratory infections in children during a Covid-19 pandemic winter

AUTHOR(S)
Susanne C. Diesner-Treiber; Peter Voitl; Julian J. M. Voitl (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics
The Covid-19 pandemic compelled the implementation of measures to curb the SARS CoV-2 spread, such as social distancing, wearing FFP2 masks, and frequent hand hygiene. One anticipated ramification of these measures was the containment of other pathogens. This prospective, longitudinal study aimed to investigate the spread of 22 common seasonal non-SARS-CoV-2 pathogens, such as RSV and influenza, among children with an acute respiratory infection during a pandemic.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.