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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Impact of distance learning in an online environment on physical performance in high school boys

Daniela Simeonova; Andrey Shalev

Published: December 2022   Journal: International Scientific Congress Applied Sports Sciences
One of the tasks of physical education in the different grades of the Bulgarian school is the purposeful development of motor skills and achieving an optimal level of physical activity for every age group. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a change in the way students are taught and the conduct of their physical education classes. In this regard, the aim of this research is to reveal the impact of one year of training in an online environment on the physical fitness of high school students. To achieve this goal, this research was conducted twice (at the beginning and end of the 2021/2022 school year) and tested 39 students (boys) from the “Peter Beron” high school for foreign language teaching - the city of Montana. It conducted the research through the national system for evaluating the physical fitness of students, which includes the tests of running 30 meters, long jump from a place with both feet, throwing a solid ball, running 200 meters shuttle run, and T-test. It applied a variation and comparative analysis to the data from the two tests.
Family well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bulgaria

Mila Maeva

Published: September 2022   Journal: Psychological Research (in the Balkans)
The COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years has affected various aspects of life – political, economic, social and cultural. Their management and overcoming are crucial for the survival of our post-global society. The present study is complemented by disaster anthropology, and the goal is to track the pandemic and its impact on family well-being. The paper is based on the conducted field ethnographic research. Its aim is to describe and analyze three models of coping mechanisms for the crisis – in the capital, the small town and villages. The interlocutor's individual stories present changes in the economic situation, social relations, cultural transformations and the psychological consequences of the pandemic (insecurity, stress, negative emotions, etc.). The research is following the construction of various mechanisms to overcome the consequences of the pandemic, often adapting to the old ones, which are from the previous crisis periods, as a way to ensure family survival in the new disaster.
Perceived threats and difficulties of mothers of young children after 9 months in a COVID-19 pandemic

Emanuela Paunova-Markova

Published: September 2022   Journal: Psychological Research (in the Balkans)
The current coronavirus pandemic poses challenges to psychological well-being. Children and mothers of young children are especially vulnerable. The present qualitative study further extends and deepens the understanding of psychological response to COVID-19 pandemic of mothers of young children and their children (0-4 years of age). The aim of the present study is to outline perceived threats and difficulties 9 months after the COVID-19 outbreak in Bulgaria in a period of high infection rate and childcare closures. Using conceptual cluster analysis, the free text answers of 77 mothers were grouped into clusters and subclusters.
Essential elements of a care delivery model for children with neurological impairments during the COVID-19 pandemic: notes from Bulgaria

Silviya Pavlova Nikolova; Ruzha Zlatanova Pancheva-Dimitrova; Nikoleta Yoncheva (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health
Children with neurological impairments [NI] and their parents are dealing with extreme challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies report high mental distress related to restrictions, self-isolation, and quarantines. In particular, schools and therapeutic centers' closures have placed an excessive burden on families with children with disabilities as home programs for schooling and rehabilitation have not always been accessible in different geographic settings. This has forced parents of children with disabilities to juggle multiple roles as teachers, therapists, and caregivers. Notably, in the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to adopt a model of care, strengthening the role of the family.
Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction
Published: July 2020   Journal: The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Evidence on whether the amount of time children spend online affects their mental health is mixed. There may be both benefits and risks. Yet, almost all published research on this topic is from high‐income countries. This paper presents new findings across four countries of varying wealth.

We analyse data gathered through the Global Kids Online project from nationally representative samples of Internet‐using children aged 9 to 17 years in Bulgaria (n  = 1,000), Chile (n  = 1,000), Ghana (n  = 2,060) and the Philippines (n  = 1,873). Data was gathered on Internet usage on week and weekend days. Measures of absolute (comparable across countries) and relative (compared to other children within countries) time use were constructed. Mental health was measured by Cantril’s ladder (life satisfaction). The analysis also considers the relative explanatory power on variations in mental health of children’s relationships with family and friends. Analysis controlled for age, gender and family socioeconomic status.

In Bulgaria and Chile, higher‐frequency Internet use is weakly associated with lower life satisfaction. In Ghana and the Philippines, no such pattern was observed. There was no evidence that the relationship between frequency of Internet use and life satisfaction differed by gender. In all four countries, the quality of children’s close relationships showed a much stronger relationship with their life satisfaction than did time spent on the Internet.

Time spent on the Internet does not appear to be strongly linked to children’s life satisfaction, and results from one country should not be assumed to transfer to another. Improving the quality of children’s close relationships offers a more fruitful area for intervention than restricting their time online. Future research could consider a wider range of countries and links between the nature, rather than quantity, of Internet usage and mental health.

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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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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.