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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 96
Psychological distress and experiences of adolescents and young adults with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey

Camille Glidden; Kaitlyn Howden; Razvan G. Romanescu (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Psycho-Oncology

This study investigated prevalence of psychological distress, factors associated with distress, and experiences of Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also compared distress in this group to previously surveyed Canadian AYAs with cancer in 2018 by the Young Adults with Cancer in their Prime (YACPRIME) study. A cross-sectional, online, self-administered survey of AYAs diagnosed with cancer between 15 and 39 years of age was conducted. Psychological distress was measured by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). Associations between variables and high psychological distress (K10 ≥ 25), and comparison of prevalence of psychological distress with the YACPRIME study were done using multivariable logistic regression. Summative qualitative content analysis analyzed participant experiences during this pandemic.

Heterogeneity in maternal and child mental health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sumayya Saleem; Samantha Burns; Olesya Falenchuk (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
This study used latent profile analysis on a longitudinal dataset to examine changes in maternal and child mental health during COVID-19 and factors that may protect against declines in mental health. Participants were 183 low-income mothers (M = 36 years) with young children (M = 5.31 years) in the City of Toronto with data collected prior to and during the pandemic in 2020. Mothers reported on their own stress, anxiety and depression and their children's emotional, conduct, hyperactivity, peer, and prosocial problems at both timepoints.
Children and parents’ perspectives of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ontario children’s physical activity, play, and sport behaviours

Monika Szpunar; Leigh M. Vanderloo; Brianne A. Bruijns (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures have resulted in the closure of many physical activity-supporting facilities. This study examined Ontario parents’ and children’s perspectives of COVID-19’s impact on children’s physical activity behaviours, return to play/sport during COVID-19, as well as barriers/facilitators to getting active amid extended closures of physical activity venues. Parents/guardians of children aged 12 years and under living in Ontario, Canada were invited to participate in an interview. 12 parent/guardian and 9 child interviews were conducted via Zoom between December 2020 – January 2021, were audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Thematic content analysis was undertaken to identify pronounced themes.

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on influenza-related hospitalization, intensive care admission and mortality in children in Canada: a population-based study

Helen E. Groves; Jesse Papenburg; Kayur Mehta (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented implementation of wide-ranging public health measures globally. During the pandemic, dramatic decreases in seasonal influenza virus detection have been reported worldwide. Information on the impact on paediatric influenza-related hospitalisations is limited. This study describes influenza-related hospitalisation in children in Canada following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data on influenza-related hospitalisations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and in-hospital deaths in children across Canada were obtained from the Canadian Immunisation Monitoring Program, ACTive (IMPACT). This national active surveillance initiative comprises 90% of all tertiary care paediatric beds in Canada. The study period included eleven influenza seasons, from the 2010/2011 season until the 2020/2021 season inclusive. Time series modelling was used to compare the observed to predicted influenza-related hospitalisations following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cite this research | Vol.: 7 | No. of pages: 8 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, hospitalization, infectious disease, respiratory diseases | Countries: Canada
Mediating mechanisms for maternal mental health from pre- to during the COVID-19 pandemic: mediators of maternal mental illness during COVID-19

Nicole Racine; Sheila McDonald; Suzanne Tough (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports

Mothers have experienced a near doubling of depression and anxiety symptoms pre- to during the COVID-19 pandemic. The identification of mechanisms that account for this increase can help inform specific targets for mental health recovery efforts. The current study examined whether women with higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms pre-pandemic, reported higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms during the pandemic, and whether these increases were mediated by perceived stress, strained relationships, coping attitudes, participation in activities, alcohol use, and financial impact. Mothers (n = 1,333) from an ongoing longitudinal cohort (All Our Families; AOF) from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, completed online questionnaires prior to (2017–2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (May-July 2020). Mothers reported on depressive and anxiety symptoms pre- and during the pandemic, as well as perceived stress, engagement in physical and leisure activities, coping, alcohol use, and financial impact of the pandemic.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families from marginalized groups: a qualitative study in Kingston, Ontario

Hannah Lee; Imaan Bayoumi; Autumn Watson (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with unprecedented changes to societal structure. School closures, unstable employment, and inaccessible health services have caused enormous disruptions to child and family wellbeing. This study identifies major themes illustrating how child and family wellness were impacted by COVID-19, including unique effects experienced by Indigenous families. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants (n = 31) recruited from organizations providing healthcare and social services in Kingston, Ontario. Interview transcripts and written survey responses were analyzed using a phenomenological approach to explore themes related to child and family wellbeing.
National COVID-19 vaccine program progress and parents’ willingness to vaccinate their children

Ran D. Goldman; Jeffrey N. Bone; Renana Gelernterd (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
Vaccinating children against COVID-19 is critical as a public health strategy in order to reach herd immunity and prevent illness among children and adults. The aim of the study was to identify correlation between willingness to vaccinate children under 12 years old, and vaccination rate for adult population in Canada, the United States, and Israel. This was a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey study (COVID-19 Parental Attitude Study) of parents of children 12 years and younger presenting to 12 pediatric emergency departments (EDs). Parental reports of willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 when vaccines for children will be approved was correlated to country-specific rate of vaccination during December 2020–March 2021, obtained from Logistic regression models were fit with covariates for week and the corresponding vaccine rate. A total of 720 surveys were analyzed. In Canada, administering mostly first dose to the adult population, willingness to vaccinate children was trending downward (correlation = −0.28), in the United States, it was trending upwards (correlation = 0.21) and in Israel, initially significant increase with decline shortly thereafter (correlation = 0.06).
The mental well-being and coping strategies of Canadian adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative, cross-sectional study

Kendra Nelson Ferguson; Stephanie E. Coen; Danielle Tobin (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Cmaj Open

Qualitative research is lacking on the mental well-being of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to explore the feelings and emotions adolescents experienced during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the coping strategies they identified and employed to manage those emotions. Participants living in Canada aged 13–19 years were recruited through social media platforms and youth-serving organizations. Qualitative data were gathered from 2 open-ended questions included in a youth-informed cross-sectional online survey: “What feelings and emotions have you experienced around the pandemic?” and “What coping strategies have you used during the pandemic?” Data were collected from June 2020 to September 2020. A summative content analysis was undertaken to analyze survey responses inductively.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on family mental health in Canada: findings from a multi-round cross-sectional study

Kimberly C. Thomson; Emily Jenkins; Randip Gill (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Pandemic-related disruptions, including school, child care, and workplace closures, financial stressors, and relationship challenges, present unique risks to families’ mental health. We examined the mental health impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among parents with children <18 years old living at home over three study rounds in May 2020 (n = 618), September 2020 (n = 804), and January 2021 (n = 602). Data were collected using a cross-sectional online survey of adults living in Canada, nationally representative by age, gender, household income, and region. Chi-square tests and logistic regression compared outcomes between parents and the rest of the sample, among parent subgroups, and over time. Parents reported worsened mental health compared with before the pandemic, as well as not coping well, increased alcohol use, increased suicidal thoughts/feelings, worsened mental health among their children, and increases in both negative and positive parent–child interactions. Mental health challenges were more frequently reported among parents with pre-existing mental health conditions, disabilities, and financial/relationship stressors. Increased alcohol use was more frequently reported among younger parents and men. Sustained mental health challenges of parents throughout nearly a year of the pandemic suggest that intervention efforts to support family mental health may not be adequately meeting families’ needs.
Following the epidemic waves: child and youth mental health assessments in Ontario through multiple pandemic waves

Shannon L. Stewart; Aadhiya S. Vasudeva; Jocelyn N. Van Dyke (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Emerging studies across the globe are reporting the impact of COVID-19 and its related virus containment measures, such as school closures and social distancing, on the mental health presentations and service utilization of children and youth during the early stages of lockdowns in their respective countries. However, there remains a need for studies which examine the impact of COVID-19 on children and youth's mental health needs and service utilization across multiple waves of the pandemic. The present study used data from 35,162 interRAI Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH) assessments across 53 participating mental health agencies in Ontario, Canada, to assess the mental health presentations and referral trends of children and youth across the first two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in the province.
Vulnerability pathways to mental health outcomes in children and parents during COVID-19

Jala Rizeq; Daphne J. Korczak; Katherine Tombeau Cost (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Current Psychology
This study examined pathways from pre-existing psychosocial and economic vulnerability to mental health difficulties and stress in families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from two time points from a multi-cohort study initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic were used. Parents of children 6–18 years completed questionnaires on pre-COVID-19 socioeconomic and demographic factors in addition to material deprivation and stress due to COVID-19 restrictions, mental health, and family functioning. Youth 10 years and older also completed their own measures of mental health and stress. Using structural equation modelling, pathways from pre-existing vulnerability to material deprivation and stress due to COVID-19 restrictions, mental health, and family functioning, including reciprocal pathways, were estimated. Pre-existing psychosocial and economic vulnerability predicted higher material deprivation due to COVID-19 restrictions which in turn was associated with parent and child stress due to restrictions and mental health difficulties. The reciprocal effects between increased child and parent stress and greater mental health difficulties at Time 1 and 2 were significant. Reciprocal effects between parent and child mental health were also significant. Finally, family functioning at Time 2 was negatively impacted by child and parent mental health and stress due to COVID-19 restrictions at Time 1.
Social inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake for children and adolescents in Montreal, Canada

Britt McKinnon; Caroline Quach; Ève Dubé (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Vaccine

The success of current and prospective COVID-19 vaccine campaigns for children and adolescents will in part depend on the willingness of parents to accept vaccination. This study examined social determinants of parental COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake for children and adolescents. We used cross-sectional data from an ongoing COVID-19 cohort study in Montreal, Canada and included all parents of 2 to 18-year-olds who completed an online questionnaire between May 18 and June 26, 2021 (n = 809). We calculated child age-adjusted prevalence estimates of vaccine acceptance by parental education, race/ethnicity, birthplace, household income, and neighbourhood, and used multinomial logistic regression to estimate adjusted prevalence differences (aPD) and ratios (aPR). Social determinants of vaccine uptake were examined for the vaccine-eligible sample of 12 to 18 year-olds (n = 306).

Family relationship quality during the COVID-19 pandemic: the value of adolescent perceptions of change

Alexa Martin-Storey; Melanie Dirks; Brett Holfeld (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescence

Adolescents typically spend decreasing amounts of time with family members, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed this pattern for many youth. The objective of the current study was to better understand adolescents' perceived change in family relationship quality, and how these perceptions were related to psychosocial functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for more traditional measures of family relationship quality. Understanding how adolescents perceived change in relationship quality with family members during the pandemic offers novel insight into adolescents’ relationships with their families and psychosocial functioning during this period. A sample of Canadian adolescents (N = 605, ages 14 to 18, 53% girls), was employed to examine patterns of adolescents’ perceived change in relationship quality with parents and siblings since the start of the pandemic, accounting for relationship quality, pandemic-related characteristics, and demographic variables.

Substance-related coping behaviours among youth during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic

Isabella Romano; Karen A. Patte; Margaret de Groh (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Addictive Behaviors Reports
As impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to unfold, research is needed to understand how school-aged youth are coping with COVID-19-related changes and disruptions to daily life. Among a sample of Canadian youth, our objective was to examine the mental health factors associated with using substances to cope with COVID-19-related changes, taking account of expected sex differences.
From “nobody's clapping for us” to “bad moms”: COVID-19 and the circle of childcare in Canada

Julia Smith

Published: October 2021   Journal: Gender, Work & Organization
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of childcare to national economies in general and women's economic participation in particular, spurring renewed interest in childcare policy in many countries that have implemented lockdowns. This paper adopts a circle of care framework to analyzes how COVID-19 has affected paid childcare, unpaid childcare and other paid work, and the relationship between these sectors. Analysis is grounded in the lived experiences of parents and childcare educators, documented through 16 semi-structured interviews during the initial lockdown (March–June 2020) in British Columbia, Canada. Experiences from educators suggest their safety was not prioritized, and that their contributions were undervalued and went unrecognized. Mothers, who provided the majority of unpaid care, not only lost income due to care demands, but struggled to access necessities, with some reporting increased personal insecurity. Those attempting to work from home also experienced feelings of guilt and distress as they tried to manage the triple burden. Similarities of experiences across the circle of care suggest the COVID-19 childcare policy response in BC Canada downloaded care responsibilities on to women without corresponding recognition or support, causing women to absorb the costs of care work, with potential long-term negative effects on women's careers and well-being, as well as on the resilience of the circle of care.
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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.