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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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).
Association between homeschooling and adolescent sleep duration and health during COVID-19 pandemic high school closures

AUTHOR(S)
Joëlle N. Albrecht; Helene Werner; Noa Rieger (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: JAMA Network Open

Although negative associations of COVID-19 pandemic high school closures with adolescents’ health have been demonstrated repeatedly, some research has reported a beneficial association of these closures with adolescents’ sleep. The present study was, to our knowledge, the first to combine both perspectives. This study aimed to investigate associations between adolescents’ sleep and health-related characteristics during COVID-19 pandemic school closures in Switzerland. This survey study used cross-sectional online surveys circulated among the students of 21 public high schools in Zurich, Switzerland. The control sample completed the survey under regular, prepandemic conditions (May to July 2017) and the lockdown sample during school closures (May to June 2020). Survey respondents were included in the study if they provided their sex, age, and school.

Longitudinal changes in Swiss adolescent’s mental health outcomes from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Beyhan Ertanir; Wassilis Kassis; Ariana Garrote

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This study aimed to explore changes in mental health outcomes (depression, anxiety, home, and school stress) from before the first COVID-19 wave (autumn 2019) to the later stages of the same wave (autumn 2020) in a sample of N = 377 Swiss adolescents (Mage = 12.67; 47% female). It also examined whether students’ background characteristics (gender, immigrant status, and socio-economic status) and reported COVID-19 burden predicted students’ outcomes and their intra-individual changes. Student’s mental health, background characteristics, and reported COVID-19 burden were assessed by a self-report questionnaire. The intra-individual changes in students’ scores were estimated using random coefficients regression analyses, with time points nested in individuals.
The interaction between lockdown-specific conditions and family-specific variables explains the presence of child insomnia during COVID-19: a key response to the current debate

AUTHOR(S)
Royce Anders; Florian Lecuelle; Clément Perrin (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
It is still debated whether lockdown conditions in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis seriously affected children’s sleep. For young children, some studies identified more insomnia, while others only transient disturbances, or even no effect. Based on the premise of mother–child synchrony, a well-known dynamic established in child development research, this study hypothesized that principally, the children whose mothers perceived the lockdown as stressful and/or responded maladaptively, suffered sleep disturbances. The main objective of this study was to identify the family profiles, variables, and lockdown responses most linked to insomnia in young children. The sample consisted of 165 mothers, French vs. Swiss origin (accounting for different lockdown severities), of children 6 months to 5 years old. Validated sleep, stress, and behavior scales were used.
Teacher well-being and perceived school climate during COVID-19 school closure: the case of physical education in Switzerland

AUTHOR(S)
Valérian Cece; Emma Guillet-Descas; Vanessa Lentillon-Kaestner

Published: October 2021   Journal: The Teacher Educator
School closure and distance learning during the COVID-19 lockdown had the potential to affect teachers’ perception of their well-being and of the school climate. Within the teaching community, physical education (PE) teachers particularly redesigned their activities during school closures, posing both opportunities and threats. The study aim was to contribute to the understanding of the teachers’ well-being experiences (burnout and engagement) and school climate perceptions during the lockdown for PE teachers in comparison with those of teachers of other subjects.
Teacher expectations and parental stress during emergency distance learning and their relationship to students’ perception

AUTHOR(S)
Ariana Garrote; Edith Niederbacher; Jan Hofmann (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
School closures in spring 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were an unprecedented and drastic event for students, parents, and teachers. The unplanned adaptation of classroom instruction to emergency distance learning was necessary to ensure continued education. In this new learning environment, teachers formed expectations for student academic achievement gains, which in turn affected the opportunities for students to learn. Parents faced new challenges in supporting their children’s learning. According to parenting stress models, such drastic events can be a stress factor for parents, which in turn affects their children’s adjustment. This study analyzed the extent to which parents and teachers affected the perceptions of students in compulsory school toward distance learning through processes at home (individual level) and at the class level with data from multiple informants. On an individual level, the relationship between parents’ perceived threat of COVID-19 and their stress due to distance learning and students’ perceived threat of COVID-19 and their perception of distance learning were examined. Students’ learning behavior was accounted for as a variable related to their perception of distance learning. At the class level, the explanatory character of teacher expectations and class-aggregated achievement gains were examined. Data on students in grades 4 to 8, parents, and teachers in Switzerland were collected with standardized online questionnaires after the period of school closures.
Long-term symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Thomas Radtke; Agne Ulyte; Milo A. Puhan (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: JAMA

Children can experience SARS-CoV-2 postviral syndromes, but it is unclear to what extent these individuals are affected by long COVID. Evidence is predominantly limited to select populations without control groups,1-4 which does not allow estimating the overall prevalence and burden in a general pediatric population. This study compared symptoms compatible with long COVID in children and adolescents (hereafter “children”) reported within 6 months after SARS-CoV-2 serologic testing. Ciao Corona is a longitudinal cohort study investigating SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in 55 randomly selected schools in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland,5,6 which has a linguistically and ethnically diverse population of 1.5 million residents in urban and rural settings. Schools were selected randomly from the 12 cantonal districts, with number of schools proportional to population size. In Switzerland, children attended schools in person (with protective measures) in 2020-2021, except during a 6-week nationwide lockdown (March 16 to May 10, 2020).

Media use before, during and after COVID-19 lockdown according to parents in a clinically referred sample in child and adolescent psychiatry: results of an online survey in Switzerland

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Maria Werling; Susanne Walitza; Edna Grünblatt (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Comprehensive Psychiatry

To investigate the consequences of COVID-19 lockdown on screen media use in children and adolescents with mental health problems, an online survey was conducted on leisure media use before, during and after the lockdown of spring 2020. Parents of patients (10-18 yrs) referred to child and adolescent psychiatry participated in an anonymous online survey, approximately six weeks after the first easing of lockdown measures. Parents rated the amount, the content and the psychological impact of their children's media use before, during and after the lockdown.

A tale of two parts of Switzerland: regional differences in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parents

AUTHOR(S)
Michelle Seiler; Georg Staubli; Julia Hoeffe (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health

This study aimed to document the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on regions within a European country. Parents arriving at two pediatric emergency departments (EDs) in North of Switzerland and two in South of Switzerland completed an online survey during the first peak of the pandemic (April–June 2020). They were asked to rate their concern about their children or themselves having COVID-19.

Stress and mental health among children/adolescents, their parents, and young adults during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Switzerland

AUTHOR(S)
Meichun Mohler-Kuo; Shota Dzemaili; Simon Foster (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The present study aimed to assess various stressful situations and the psychological impact of the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown among youths in Switzerland. It included samples of 1627 young adults aged 19–24 from the Swiss Youth Epidemiological Study on Mental Health and 1146 children and adolescents aged 12–17 years and their parents. The study assessed symptoms of various mental health problems, internet use, and perceived stress during the first COVID-19 lockdown. In the analyses, data were weighted to be representative of the Swiss population.
Clustering and longitudinal change in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in school children in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland: prospective cohort study of 55 schools

AUTHOR(S)
Agne Ulyte; Thomas Radtke; Irene A. Abela

Published: March 2021   Journal: BMJ
This prospective cohort study aims to examine longitudinal changes in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence and to determine the clustering of children who were seropositive within school classes in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland from June to November 2020.
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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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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.