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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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31 - 45 of 146
Navigating play in a pandemic: examining children’s outdoor neighborhood play experiences

Cassie J. Brownell

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Play
Much research about children's play as a tool for navigating social worlds and difficult circumstances describes individuals or small groups of children playing synchronously, frequently in school or lab settings. Fewer studies consider the possibilities of asynchronous outdoor play, the topic of this paper. Drawing from a series of photographs generated in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the author describes children's outdoor play in a Canadian urban neighborhood. Adapting elements of narrative inquiry, she highlights how elements of play lingered on the sidewalk for others not just to see but also to play with. Specifically, she outlines instances of play that occurred with what she terms an ‘anonymous other.’ The author theorizes how‐amidst COVID-19 and sustained social/physical distancing‐play shifted in unexpected ways. Ultimately, she forwards new understandings about the intersection of play with materials, environments, and persons for consideration by scholars, caretakers, urban planners, and policymakers.
Primary school reopenings and parental work

Pierre-Loup Beauregard; Marie Connolly; Catherine Haeck (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Canadian Journal of Economics
This paper exploits the geographical pattern of primary school reopenings during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada to estimate the impact of school reopenings on parental employment and work hours. It uses a triple-difference approach, in which it first compares parents of primary-school children in regions where schools reopened to similar parents in regions where schools remained closed and add parents of older, secondary-school children as an additional control group. This study estimates the impact of school reopenings separately for mothers and fathers, and for single parents and parents living in dual-parent households.
Children's perspectives on friendships and socialization during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative approach

Danaë Larivière-Bastien; Olivier Aubuchon; Aurélie Blondin (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Child

Good quality friendships and relationships are critical to the development of social competence and are associated with quality of life and mental health in childhood and adolescence. Through social distancing and isolation restrictions, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the way in which youth socialize and communicate with friends, peers, teachers and family on a daily basis. In order to understand children's social functioning during the pandemic, it is essential to gather information on their experiences and perceptions concerning the social changes unique to this period. The objective of this study was to document children and adolescents' perspectives regarding their social life and friendships during the COVID-19 pandemic, through qualitative interviews. Participants (N = 67, 5–14 years) were recruited in May and June 2020. Semi-structured interviews were conducted via a videoconferencing platform. A thematic qualitative analysis was conducted based on the transcribed and coded interviews (NVivo).

Whiteness in the COVID-19 pandemic: who is talking about racism with their kids?

Keira B. Leneman; Sydney Levasseur-Puhach; Sarah Gillespie (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
The present study investigated factors associated with parent awareness and socialization surrounding COVID-19-related racial disparities among White parents of children ages 1.5–8 living in Canada and the United States (N = 423, 88% mothers). Participants responded to an online survey about parenting during the pandemic between mid to late-April 2020. Participants reported on their level of awareness of COVID-19-related racial disparities as well as how often they discussed these with their children.
Socioemotional development in infants of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic: the role of prenatal and postnatal maternal distress

Gabrielle Duguay; Julia Garon-Bissonnette; Roxanne Lemieux (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

An upsurge in psychological distress was documented in pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study investigated with a longitudinal design whether prenatal and postnatal maternal distress during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with lower infant socioemotional development. Pregnant women (N = 468, Mage = 30,00, 97.6% White) were recruited during the first COVID-19 mandatory lockdown in Quebec, Canada, from April 2nd to April 13th 2020 and were re-contacted at two months postpartum to complete self-reported measures of general (i.e. not specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic) anxio-depressive symptoms and infant development. Structural equation modeling analyses were performed using maximum likelihood parameter estimation.

Lockdown, bottoms up? Changes in adolescent substance use across the COVID-19 pandemic

Tara M. Dumas; Wendy E. Ellis; Stephen Van Hedger (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Addictive Behaviors

The COVID-19 pandemic notably altered adolescent substance use during the initial stage (Spring 2020) of the pandemic. The purpose of this longitudinal study is to examine trajectories of adolescent substance use across the pandemic and subsequent periods of stay-at-home orders and re-opening efforts. It further examined differences as a function of current high school student versus graduate status. Adolescents (n = 1068, 14–18 years, Mage = 16.95 years and 76.7% female at T1) completed 4 different self-report surveys, starting during the first stay-at-home order and ending approximately 14 months later. Negative binomial hurdle models predicted: (1) the likelihood of no substance use and (2) frequency of days of substance use.

The effect of an after-school physical activity program on children’s cognitive, social, and emotional health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nova Scotia

Hilary A. T. Caldwell; Matthew B. Miller; Constance Tweedie (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
Children’s physical activity participation declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, and these negative changes could lead to longer-term impacts on children’s cognitive, social, and emotional health. Purpose: To determine parent/caregivers’ perceptions of their children’s cognitive function, peer and family relationships, life satisfaction, physical activity, sleep, positive affect, and global health, before and after participating in the Build Our Kids’ Success (BOKS) programming at after-school programs in Fall 2020. Parents of children participating in the BOKS programming at after-school programs in Nova Scotia, Canada, were recruited. At baseline, 159 parents completed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures Information System (PROMIS) parent-proxy questionnaire, and 75 parents completed the measures at follow-up. Independent t-tests were used to determine if there were differences between baseline and follow-up Parent Proxy Questionnaire data.
A qualitative study of adolescents and young adults’ experience and perceived needs during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Maxime Morsa; Samuel Sassine; Xin Yu Yang (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Archives de Pédiatrie

COVID-19 has led to unprecedented public health measures such as school and university closures across the world. While initial surveys show an increase in anxiety, we have little information on the subjective experience of adolescents and young adults (AYAs). The aims of this study were to understand the lived experience and needs of AYAs related to home confinement and preventive measures due to COVID-19. A total of 25 AYAs (13–24 years old) with diverse gender, age, or health conditions, living in Québec (Canada), were interviewed in May 2020, during the COVID-19 home confinement period. Four virtual focus groups were held via a virtual video-conferencing platform (Zoom©). Thematic analysis was conducted.

Supporting survivors of child sexual abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic: an ecosystems approach to mobilizing trauma-informed telemental healthcare

Corry Azzopardi; Cynthia Sing-Yu Shih; Andrea M. Burke (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Canadian Psychology = Psychologie canadienne
The emergence of the COVID-19 global health pandemic and its associated adversities have had cascading and compounding effects on vulnerable children and families impacted by abuse and trauma. Mandated public health physical distancing measures necessitated an abrupt transition from traditional in-person mental healthcare to virtual mental healthcare. While ushering in new and unexpected opportunities, this shift presented significant challenges and unique implications for trauma-focused pediatric interventions. This article (a) proposes an ecological systems framework through which we can better understand the multilevel effects of child sexual abuse in the context of a pandemic; (b) describes our administrative and clinical processes for rapidly mobilizing a trauma-informed model of telemental healthcare for sexually abused children and families in a pediatric hospital setting; and (c) shares our clinical observations and experiences delivering therapy via virtual platforms during the early stage of the pandemic through an ecosystems lens.
Utilization of physician-based mental health care services among children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Canada

Natasha Ruth Saunders; Paul Kurdyak; Therese A. Stukel (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: JAMA Pediatrics

Public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have heightened distress among children and adolescents and contributed to a shift in delivery of mental health care services. This study aims to measure and compare physician-based outpatient mental health care utilization before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and quantify the extent of uptake of virtual care delivery. Population-based repeated cross-sectional study using linked health and administrative databases in Ontario, Canada. All individuals aged 3 to 17 years residing in Ontario from January 1, 2017, to February 28, 2021.

I felt like I was going crazy: understanding mother’s and young children’s educational experiences at home during COVID-19

Samantha Burns; Calpanaa Jegatheeswaran; Michal Perlman

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The COVID-19 disruptions to children’s education have been a major issue for families. This study examined how demographic, family, and mental health characteristics of 375 low-income children and their mothers from the City of Toronto were associated with children’s educational experiences at home during COVID-19. Many mothers (82.3%) reported that they and their children (80.0%) experienced challenges related to children’s education at home during the pandemic. However, a small percentage of mothers (1.1%) reported that this mode of learning was better for them and their children (4.3%).
Examining COVID-19 vaccine uptake and attitudes among 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness

Alex Abramovich; Nelson Pang; Sharumathy Kunasekaran (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. Little is known about vaccine attitudes and uptake among this population. To address this, the objectives of this study were to explore this group’s COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, and facilitators and barriers impacting vaccine uptake. 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area were recruited to participate in online surveys assessing demographic characteristics, mental health, health service use, and COVID-19 vaccine attitudes. Descriptive statistics and statistical tests were used to analyze survey data to explore variables associated with vaccine confidence. Additionally, a select group of youth and frontline workers from youth serving organizations were invited to participate in online one-on-one interviews. An iterative thematic content approach was used to analyze interview data. Quantitative and qualitative data were merged for interpretation by use of a convergent parallel analytical design.

A longitudinal investigation of psychological distress in children during COVID-19: the role of socio-emotional vulnerability

Catherine Raymonda; Jessie Provenchera; Alexe Bilodeau-Houle (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: European Journal of Psychotraumatology
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the incidence of distress in youth, some children show increased resilience, emphasizing the need to better understand the predictors of distress in youth. This longitudinal study aimed to assess the combined impact of known socio-emotional predictors of stress-related psychopathology, namely anxiety sensitivity, anxiety trait, intolerance to uncertainty, and rumination, on COVID-related distress in healthy youth. A total of 92 parent-child dyads that previously participated in a laboratory-based experiment assessing observational fear learning in families between 2017 and 2019 (T0) were recontacted. Of them, 84 children aged between 9 and 14 agreed to participate. They completed online questionnaires in June 2020 (T1), September 2020 (T2), December 2020 (T3), and March 2021 (T4). Participants were free of mental illness at T0 and T1. To create a socio-emotional composite score (SECS), we measured anxiety sensitivity (Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index) at T0, trait anxiety (Trait subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAI-C)), intolerance to uncertainty (Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale for Children), and trait rumination (Children’s Response Style Scale) at T1 and created a weighted z-score. To assess symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTS), and depression in reaction to COVID-19, participants completed the State subscale of the STAI-C, the Children’s Revised Impact of Event Scale, and the Children’s Depression Inventory at T1–T4. Three general linear models were run with sex, age group (9–11 and 12+ years old), and SECS as predictors.
COVID-19 and the impacts on youth mental health: emerging evidence from longitudinal studies

Nicholas Chadi; Natalie Castellanos Ryan; Marie-Claude Geoffroy

Published: January 2022   Journal: Canadian Journal of Public Health volume
Several experts have warned that the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and associated confinement measures may have taken a devastating toll on youth mental health. While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly created important challenges for children and youth, these claims vastly rely on cross-sectional data collected during the pandemic, from which it is difficult to draw firm conclusions. This commentary offers a critical appraisal of the evidence from emerging longitudinal studies spanning the pre- and intra-pandemic period with a focus on internalizing and externalizing disorders, suicidality, eating disorders and substance use. It also discusses important research considerations in the monitoring of the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth mental health as well as promising interventions to help mitigate potential long-lasting consequences of this unprecedented public health crisis.
Super-spreaders or victims of circumstance? Childhood in Canadian media reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic: a critical content analysis

Sarah Ciotti; Shannon A. Moore; Maureen Connolly (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Healthcare
This qualitative research study, a critical content analysis, explores Canadian media reporting of childhood in Canada during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Popular media plays an important role in representing and perpetuating the dominant social discourse in highly literate societies. In Canadian media, the effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents’ health and wellbeing are overshadowed by discussions of the potential risk they pose to adults. The results of this empirical research highlight how young people in Canada have been uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Two dominant narratives emerged from the data: children were presented “as a risk” to vulnerable persons and older adults and “at risk” of adverse health outcomes from contracting COVID-19 and from pandemic lockdown restrictions. This reflects how childhood was constructed in Canadian society during the pandemic, particularly how children’s experiences are described in relation to adults. Throughout the pandemic, media reports emphasized the role of young people’s compliance with public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of older persons.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 10 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, communication, COVID-19 response, disease control, information, lockdown, media, social distance | Countries: Canada
31 - 45 of 146

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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