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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Parents, teens and screens during COVID‐19 containment: an exploratory study

Joan-Carles Surís; André Berchtold; Yara Barrense-Dias

Published: December 2022   Journal: Child: Care, Health and Development

One of the main concerns of parents is the amount of screen time of their teenagers, and most of them try to set rules about it. The objective of this exploratory study was to compare whether parents' rules changed during confinement and whether these changes were successful. It studied a group of parents (N = 47) of 13-year-olds in Switzerland surveyed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A population-based serological study of post-COVID syndrome prevalence and risk factors in children and adolescents

Roxane Dumont; Viviane Richard; Elsa Lorthe (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Nature Communications
Post-COVID syndrome remains poorly studied in children and adolescents. Here, we aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of pediatric post-COVID in a population-based sample, stratifying by serological status. Children from the SEROCoV-KIDS cohort study (State of Geneva, Switzerland), aged 6 months to 17 years, were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 N antibodies (December 2021-February 2022) and parents filled in a questionnaire on persistent symptoms in their children (lasting over 12 weeks) compatible with post-COVID. Of 1034 children tested, 570 (55.1%) were seropositive.
Screen time and adolescents' mental health before and after the COVID-19 lockdown in Switzerland: a natural experiment

Laura Marciano; Kasisomayajula Viswanath; Rosalba Morese (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, adolescents' mental health was largely undermined. A general increment in screen time was reported. However, the long-term effects of the latter on adolescents' mental health are still little explored. In the present natural experiment, we investigated these effects using longitudinal data collected before and after the first lockdown in Switzerland. Data come from 674 Swiss adolescents (56.7% females, Mage = 14.45, SDage = 0.50) during Spring 2019 (T1) and Autumn 2020 (T2) as part of the longitudinal MEDIATICINO study. Self-reported mental health measures included somatic symptoms, inattention, anxiety, irritability, anger, sleep problems, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, loneliness, and depression. Measures for screen-media activities included time spent on the Internet, smartphones, social media, video gaming, instant messaging, and television viewing. They were all assessed at T1 and T2.

Mental health in pregnant individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic based on a Swiss online survey

Guillaume Favre; Cléa Kunz; Simone Schwank (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Scientific Reports
The aim of this study was to evaluate the mental health of pregnant individuals during the early COVID-19 pandemic and the potential factors associated. A Swiss online survey was proposed to individuals who gave birth during the pandemic period from March 2020. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 questions (GAD-7), and Impact Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) were evaluated and used to defned mental health impairment as a composite outcome. From October, 2020 to February, 2021, 736 participants responded.
Parents' Working Conditions in the Early COVID-19 pandemic and children's health-related quality of life: the Ciao Corona study

Nevesthika Muralitharan; Gabriela P. Peralta; Sarah R. Haile (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Public Health

This study aimed to assess the associations between parents’ working conditions during the lockdown period (March-May 2020) and children’s health-related quality of life (HRQOL) over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zurich, Switzerland. It included 2211 children (6–16 years) and their parents from the prospective study Ciao Corona. Parents reported their employment status and working conditions during the lockdown. Children’s HRQOL was assessed in June-July 2020, January and March 2021 using the parents-report of the KINDL.

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

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.
Evaluation of the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on BMI in children and adolescents with or without obesity

Albane B. R. Maggio; Claudine Gal-Dudding; Xavier Martin (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Pediatrics volume

In Switzerland, from March 15th to May 11th 2020, schools and most shops were closed nationwide due to the COVID-19-related lockdown. This cessation of activities may have impacted weight gain in children and adolescents. The aims of our study were to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on the BMI of children and adolescents in treatment for obesity, and to compare its evolution to that of the previous year at the same time, as well as to that of normal-weight children. This retrospective study gathered demographic and anthropometric data from subjects aged 6–18 years both with normal weight and with obesity, who attended our hospital clinics at four time points: before and after the lockdown period in 2020, and at the same times of the year in 2019. We used paired t-tests to assess weight, BMI and BMI z-score changes, linear and standard multiple regressions, independent Student’s t-tests or Chi-square tests to compare groups, and Pearson correlation coefficient when appropriate.

Public health communication: Attitudes, experiences, and lessons learned from users of a COVID-19 digital triage tool for children

Janet Michel; Julia Rehsmann; Annette Mettler (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

The pandemic has made public health communication even more daunting because acceptance and implementation of official guidelines and recommendations hinge on this. The situation becomes even more precarious when children are involved. Our child-specific COVID-19 online forward triage tool (OFTT) revealed some of the public health communication challenges. This study aimed to explore attitudes, experiences, and challenges faced by OFTT users and their families, in regard to public health recommendations. It selected key informants (n = 20) from a population of parents, teachers, guardians, as well as doctors who had used the child-specific COVID-19 OFTT and had consented to a further study. Videos rather than face-face interviews were held. Convenience and quota sampling were performed to include a variety of key informants. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for themes.

Overwhelmed by learning in lockdown: effects of Covid-19-enforced homeschooling on parents' wellbeing

Marieke Heers; Oliver Lipps

Published: June 2022   Journal: Social Indicators Research
With the closure of schools due to the Covid-19-pandemic, parents of schoolchildren had to quickly adapt their daily schedules by taking over responsibilities of homeschooling for their children, while arranging their own schedule. This study first identifies the parents who are most challenged by having to ensure homeschooling responsibilities and then assesses how homeschooling affects different dimensions of parents’ wellbeing. Analyzing data from a large general population-representative panel survey in Switzerland, it compare subjective wellbeing before the Covid-19-outbreak to wellbeing at the end of the semi-lockdown.
Resilience patterns of Swiss adolescents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a latent transition analysis

Clarissa Janousch; Frederick Anyan; Roxanna Morote (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: International Journal of Adolescence and Youth
This study investigated resilience patterns and predictors of these patterns (i.e. gender and migration background) among Swiss early adolescents in times of COVID-19. A total of 317 pupils participated at two time points. Two separate latent class analyses and a latent transition analysis using mental health issues and protective factors as indicators were conducted.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and family situation of clinically referred children and adolescents in Switzerland: results of a survey among mental health care professionals after 1 year of COVID-19.

Anna Maria Werling; Susanne Walitza; Stephan Eliez (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Neural Transmission
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental well-being of clinically referred children and adolescents and on their families from the perspective of mental health care professionals in Switzerland during the first year of the pandemic. Psychiatrists and psychologists for children and adolescents participated in an anonymous survey conducted online in April/May 2021. The survey was completed by 454 mental health care professionals, most of them working in outpatient clinics for child and adolescent psychiatry or in independent practices.
The impact of screen time and green time on mental health in children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anne-Linda Camerini; Emiliano Albanese; Laura Marciano (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Computers in human behavior reports
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the life of children and adolescents in an unprecedented way. The present study focused on two activities that have been likely affected by mitigation measures: screen time and green time. It investigated how both influenced each other during the pandemic, how they affected children’s and adolescents' mental health, and which role socio-demographic characteristics have in predicting screen time, green time, and mental health. It used data collected between autumn 2020 and spring 2021 from 844 participants aged 5 to 19 of a population-based, prospective cohort study in Canton Ticino, Italian-speaking Switzerland.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health care of children and ddolescents in Switzerland: Results of a survey among mental health care professionals after one year of COVID-19

Anna Maria Werling; Susanne Walitza; Stephan Eliez (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
This study aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on treatment demand and supply in children and adolescents with mental disorders during the first year of the pandemic from the perspective of child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists in Switzerland. The survey was conducted anonymously, in German or French and online in April/May 2021. Mental health professionals working in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapy services or independent practices were contacted by email. Results: N = 454 professionals completed the survey (176 child and adolescent psychiatrists and 276 psychologists).
COVID-19: physical activity and quality of life in a sample of Swiss school children during and after the first stay-at-home

Valentin Benzing; Patrice Gaillard; David Scheidegger (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
COVID-19 restrictions and the instructions to stay at home (SaH) may have had an impact on child behavior including physical activity (PA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Switzerland. Therefore, we investigated PA and HRQoL during and after the SaH in 57 Swiss school children aged 7 to 12 years (M = 10.44; SD = 1.34). PA was measured using accelerometry (Actigraph GT3X) and HRQoL using the Kid-KINDLR questionnaire. During and post data was compared using paired sample t-tests. Independent t-tests were used to compare the HRQoL of physically active children with non-physically active children. PA in light (d = −0.56), moderate (d = −0.44), moderate-to-vigorous (d = −0.28) as well as overall HRQoL (d = −0.66), psychological well-being (d = −0.48), self-esteem (d = −0.39), friends (d = −0.70) and everyday functioning (d = −0.44), were significantly lower during SaH than afterwards.
Media use and emotional distress under COVID-19 lockdown in a clinical sample referred for internalizing disorders: a Swiss adolescents' perspective

Anna Maria Werling; Susanne Walitza; Miriam Gerstenberg (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Psychiatric Research
The COVID-19 outbreak has profoundly affected adolescents' life. Adolescents with pre-existing psychiatric disorders have been at particular risk of increased mental health problems and problematic media use. 178 patients, aged 12–18 years, referred before the COVID-19 outbreak to child and adolescent psychiatry, participated in an anonymous online survey on the impact of the lockdown on media use and mental well-being. The survey was conducted approximately one month after the first easing of restrictions following a six-week lockdown in Switzerland. Based on self-report, half of the patients had been diagnosed with internalizing disorders (ID; depression or anxiety disorder) and the other half with other disorders (non-ID, e.g. ADHD, autistic spectrum disorder).
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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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