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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms among high school students in China in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown

Chengqi Cao; Li Wang; Ruojiao Fang (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms, and associated risk factors among a large-scale sample of adolescents from China after the pandemic and lockdown. A total of 57,948 high school students took part in an online survey from July 13 to 29, 2020. The mental health outcomes included anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms. Risk factors included negative family relationships, COVID-19 related exposure, and a lack of social support.

Mental health and social support of caregivers of children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disorders during COVID-19 pandemic

Chongying Wang

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports

Previous studies showed that caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disorders had higher levels of parenting stress, anxiety and depression. In the present study, the author examined the caregivers’ mental health and investigated the mediating role of social support between symptoms severity and parenting stress during COVID-19. During 20 March to 8 April 2020, 1932 caregivers of children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disorders from China were enrolled to fill in a sociodemographic questionnaire, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and Social Support Rating Scale. The author also collected children's disability severity symptoms and behavioral problems.

Brief report: A cross-sectional study of anxiety levels and concerns of Chinese families of children with special educational needs and disabilities post-first-wave of COVID-19

Xueyun Su; Ru Ying Cai; Mirko Uljarević (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has a multifaceted impact on mental health due to ill health, restrictions and lockdowns, and loss of employment and institutional support. COVID-19 may disproportionally impact families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) due to the already higher prevalence of mental health conditions in children with SEND and their parents. Therefore, it is essential to determine the short-term impact of the pandemic on the mental health of families with SEND in order to identify their ongoing health support needs. The current study aims to examine the anxiety level and concerns of children with SEND and their parents living in China. The sample consisted of 271 parents of children with SEND aged between 6 and 17 years (Mage = 8.37; SDage = 2.76). Parents completed an online survey between 10 April to 8 June 2020. Both child and parental anxiety levels and various concerns increased after the initial wave of COVID-19 when compared with retrospective pre-COVID-19 levels. Parental anxiety and concern levels were significantly higher for those living in rural areas compared to urban areas. In addition, parental and child anxiety and concern levels were significantly correlated with each other. Parental anxiety at the lowest level made a unique and significant statistical contribution to children's anxiety levels. The implications of the study findings are discussed.
Associations of childhood unintentional injuries with maternal emotional status during COVID-19

Xiangrong Guo; Hui Hua; Jian Xu (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMC Pediatrics

This study aims to explore the characteristics of unintentional childhood-injury during the COVID-19 pandemic and assess the association of unintentional-injury with maternal emotional status. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 1300 children under 12-years-old from 21 schools (including nurseries/ kindergartens/ primary schools) in Wuhan and Shanghai during March to April 2020, and the mothers completed questionnaires online. Self-rating Depression/Anxiety Scales were used to evaluate maternal emotional status, questions on child unintentional-injury were based on the International-Statistical-Classification-of-Diseases-and-Related-Health-Problems-version-10 (ICD-10), and a total of 11 kinds of unintentional injuries were inquired. Information on socio-demographic and family-background factors was also collected.

Effect of knowledge acquisition on gravida’s anxiety during COVID-19

Ying Huang; Weiwei Bian; Yingting Han

Published: September 2021   Journal: Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare

Pregnant women in China are among those most affected by COVID-19. This article assesses Chinese pregnant women’s COVID-19 and pregnancy knowledge levels, including the modality through which such knowledge was acquired, the degree of difficulty in acquiring the knowledge, the means of confirming the accuracy of the knowledge, and difficulties in seeking help from people who possess relevant medical knowledge. The Mantel-Haenszel chi-square test was used to assess trends in binomial proportions. Multivariable binary logistic regression was performed to identify the association between knowledge acquisition and anxiety among pregnant women.

Patterns and predictors of adolescent life change during the COVID-19 pandemic: a person-centered approach

Jingyi Shen; Ruixi Sun; Jianjie Xu (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Current Psychology
The present study investigated patterns of adolescent life changes across multiple life domains and utilized a holistic-interactionistic perspective to examine their individual, familial, and societal correlates with a sample of 2544 Chinese parent-adolescent dyads. Adolescents were aged from 10 to 19 years old (50.16% girls). Latent profile analysis revealed five life change profiles, including three improved profiles at various degrees, one unchanged profile, and one worsened profile. The majority of adolescents had an improved or unchanged life. Multinomial logistic regression analyses found that most of the individual, familial, and societal factors predicted the group memberships. Notably, parent-adolescent conflict was a significant factor that predicted memberships of all patterns. These findings show the resilience of adolescents and indicate the need for policies and interventions that consider the holistic nature of adolescents’ person-context system, especially during a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Family functioning as a moderator in the relation between perceived stress and psychotic-like experiences among adolescents during COVID-19

Zhipeng Wua; Zhulin Zou; Feiwen Wang (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Comprehensive Psychiatry

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased psychological stress among adolescents, and the relation between perceived stress (PS) and psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) has been well-established. However, little is known about the role of family functioning (FF) in this relation, especially when adolescents experienced the extended lockdown period with family members. A total of 4807 adolescents completed this retrospective paper-and-pencil survey after school reopening between May 14th and June 6th, 2020 in Hunan Province, China. We measured PS with the Perceived stress scale (PSS-10), PLEs with the eight positive items from Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE-8), and FF with the Family APGAR scale. We conducted subgroup analysis based on three FF levels (good, moderate, and poor) determined by previous studies. Finally, correlation and moderation analysis were performed to detect the effect of FF in the relation between PS and PLEs after adjusting for demographic variables.

Barriers and benefits of caregivers' involvement in children's education during COVID-19 school closures

Xiao Zhang

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many children around the world to spend unprecedented amounts of time at home, and the responsibility for educating children, especially young ones, has largely fallen to parents and caregivers. Using a sample of 764 households with preschool children in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic originated, this study examined the impact of the pandemic on primary caregivers' involvement in their children's education at home, and the barriers and benefits of such involvement for preschool children's learning and well-being.
Rates of myopia development in young Chinese schoolchildren during the outbreak of COVID-19

Yin Hu; Feng Zhao; Xiaohu Ding (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: JAMA Ophthalmology

Were environmental changes during the outbreak of COVID-19 associated with increased development of myopia in young schoolchildren in China?  In this observational study longitudinally monitoring 2114 students from grade 2 to grade 3, myopia incidence doubled from November and December 2019 to November and December 2020 compared with the same period from 2018 to 2019. The proportion of children without myopia and with spherical equivalent refraction greater than −0.50 D and less than or equal to +0.50 D in grade 3 had increased by 18% by November and December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. These data suggest that development of myopia in young Chinese schoolchildren may have increased during the COVID-19 outbreak; the long-term impact of environmental changes during the COVID-19 outbreak period on the development of myopia in children needs further investigation.

Dispositional mindfulness mediates the relationship between conscientiousness and mental health-related issues in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tiantian Liu; Zhenliang Liu; Lijia Zhang (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Personality and Individual Differences
The COVID-19 pandemic is seriously affecting the mental health of adolescents and triggering a series of mental health-related issues. The present study investigates the relationships between conscientiousness, dispositional mindfulness (DM), and adolescents' mental health-related issues including anxiety, depression, and perceived stress during this time. In this study, after obtaining informed consent from participants' parents, 5994 Chinese adolescents voluntarily and anonymously completed an online survey.
Changes of psychotic-like experiences and their association with anxiety/depression among young adolescents before COVID-19 and after the lockdown in China

Zhipeng Wu; Zhening Liu; Zhulin Zou (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Schizophrenia Research

Lockdown policies during COVID-19 pandemic have potential adverse psychological impacts on youth. However, little is known about their influence on the changes of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) among adolescents, nor about the possible association between changes in PLEs and changes in anxiety/depression symptoms. This study investigated these two questions through a longitudinal comparative study. In total, 1825 adolescents were surveyed before COVID-19 and after the lockdown in China (T0, October 20th, 2019 and T1, May 18th, 2020). PLEs, anxiety, and depression were measured with paranoia, anxiety and depression subscales of the Mental Health Inventory of Middle school students (MMHI-60). Within-subjects Wilcoxon test, Spearman correlation test, and Kruskal-Wallis test were adopted.

Chinese adolescents’ coping with COVID-19: relationships with emotional maladjustment and parental reactions to negative emotions

Zeyi Shi; Qian Wang

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
Two hundred and thirteen Chinese adolescents (103 females; mean age = 12.18 years) completed a survey one year before (Wave 1) and five months after the COVID-19 outbreak (Wave 2). Path analysis revealed that after controlling for adolescents’ emotional maladjustment at Wave 1, perceived parental supportive reactions to adolescents’ negative emotions at Wave 1 predicted adolescents’ greater use of approach coping and less use of avoidance coping at Wave 2, which in turn, was associated with less emotional maladjustment at Wave 2; conversely, perceived parental nonsupportive reactions at Wave 1 predicted adolescents’ greater use of avoidance coping at Wave 2, which in turn, was associated with greater emotional maladjustment at Wave 2. The findings were similar for mothers and fathers.
Students’ affective engagement, parental involvement, and teacher support in emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from a cross-sectional survey in China

Yang Yang; Keqiao Liu; Miao Li (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Technology in Education
Emergency remote teaching has been widely implemented in the education system worldwide to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing upon data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in eight middle schools in eastern China (a sample size of 1,550 students and 1,550 parents), we employed multiple linear regressions with school fixed effects to examine the associations among student affective engagement, parental involvement, and teacher support in an emergency remote teaching environment. Our results show that higher levels of parental involvement and teacher support are associated with higher levels of student affective engagement with teacher support presenting the strongest relationship with student engagement. These findings contribute to the understanding of emergency remote teaching in different countries where schools and individual households devise varying strategies and solutions.
Parental self-efficacy and behavioral problems in children with autism during COVID-19: a moderated mediation model of parenting stress and perceived social support

Shu Dan Chen; Yun Yu; Xing Kai Li (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management
COVID-19 pandemic has been verified as a public health emergency of international concern. During the special period, the health of vulnerable groups, such as children with autism, should be concerned. Some studies have been carried out to investigate the behavioral problems of children with autism during the COVID-19, but underlying mechanisms behind it is not clear. This study examines the role of parenting stress as a mediator in the relationship between parental self-efficacy and behavioral problems in Chinese children as well as the role of perceived social support as a moderator for this mediation effect. A total of 439 parents of children with autism (mean age=40.17, SD=5.26) were surveyed and completed five questionnaires (Conners Parent Symptom Questionnaire, Parental Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, Parenting Stress Index-Short Form 15, Perceived Social Support Questionnaire, and Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Five Factor Inventory). The statistical analyses were conducted by SPSS 26.0 and SPSS PROCESS macro.
Willingness and influential factors of parents of 3-6-year-old children to vaccinate their children with the COVID-19 vaccine in China

Xiao Wan; Haitao Huang; Jia Shang (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
The impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on children aged 3–6 can be severe. Vaccination for COVID-19 is one of the most important primary preventative measures to reduce disease transmission. Parents are hesitant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 because it was reported in the news that some adults have had adverse reactions to the vaccine. This study aims to investigate the willingness of Chinese parents of 3–6 year old children to vaccinate them with the COVID-19 vaccine and identify what factors influence their decisions. A survey was conducted using a two-stage stratified random sampling method from December 2020 to February 2021. We used univariate analysis and multivariate binary logistic analysis to explore potential factors that may determine the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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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.