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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Nutritional status of younger primary school children in urban and rural areas of Montenegro in relation to sex and age during COVID-19 pandemic: a national study

Dragan Bacovic; Pavle Malovic; Erol Vrevic (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: International Journal of Morphology
Prevention and correction of overweight in children and adolescents is also very important for many reasons. According to previous research, the problem tends to vary according to sex, and different ages and the lifestyle in rural and urban areas has changed drastically in recent years and decades. Regarding the above-mentioned, the main goal of this research was to determine the nutritional status of young school children in urban and rural areas of Montenegro in relation to sex and age. The sample in this research has consisted of children aged 6 and 9 (younger school age). The total sample in this research is 800 male and female children who belong to the urban and rural areas of Montenegro. The sample of variables used in this study was: body mass index-percentile values (BMI), and waist circumference and body height ratio (WHtR) which were used as indicators to assess nutritional status.
COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among marginalized populations in Kosovo: insight from a qualitative study

Ha Thi Hong Nguyen; Mrike Aliu; Kimberly Ann Ashburn (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: October 2022
Kosovo has fully vaccinated 45.5 percent of the population, below what is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, as marginalized ethnic groups, have been identified as high risk for acquiring COVID-19 and for lower acceptance of vaccines. Factors associated with vaccine acceptance are examined in this qualitative study among Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian community members and representatives from civil society, community leaders, health care providers, and government working directly within these communities. Using a social-ecological model, intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and structural factors influencing vaccine acceptance were identified. Intrapersonal-level factors centered on fear of side effects and doubt about vaccine safety and effectiveness, and lack of trust of health care providers; at the interpersonal level, male head of households decided for the entire family whether to receive the vaccine; in the social context at the community level, exposure to prolific misinformation on social media, television news, and paper pamphlets distributed in study communities created fear, doubt, and anxiety about vaccines, and stereotypes about the strong immune systems of ethnic minority groups reinforced beliefs about the communities low susceptibility to COVID-19; and structural-level barriers included the requirement for identification documents, and a buildup of doubt about motivations of the vaccinators created by massive vaccine-promotion efforts and police harassment in implementing curfew, and other protective measures targeting ethnic minority communities. Implications of these findings highlight a need for a segmented approach in designing subgroup-specific and multicomponent interventions to promote vaccine acceptance. Strategies include training local opinion leaders in door-to-door awareness raising, directly addressing misinformation, and distributing vouchers to be exchanged for incentives after vaccination; using social media where respected health care providers and community members post videos promoting vaccination; and removing or providing an alternative to identification requirements.
The impact of the corona virus 2019 on education: Challenges related to distance learning for children of the preparatory classes (5–6 year-olds)

Gentiana Shahini; Tringa Azizi

Published: May 2022   Journal: Policy Futures in Education
The implementation of preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 in Kosovo resulted in the closure of educational institutions for all levels of education. The transitioning process from face-to-face to virtual or online classes’ format was also coordinated for pre-school children, enabling their development at home. The research aims to shed light on the problems, needs, and difficulties the children of preparatory classes, their parents, and teachers face since the implementation of distance learning measures. For completing this survey, a qualitative research design was used. The empirical research was carried out through discussion in focus groups and semi-structured interviews.
Physical activity, eating habits and mental health during COVID-19 lockdown period in Serbian adolescents

Višnja Đorđić; Milan Cvetković; Boris Popović

Published: April 2022   Journal: Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of life, especially daily physical activity and healthy eating habits but also mental health. Our study aimed to examine the relationship between the physical activity level, eating habits and mental health of Serbian adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 3506 students from the territory of the Republic of Serbia participated in this study. IPAQ-short version and HBSC-FFQ were used to assess physical activity level and eating habits, along with self-rated health.
Parental stress of children with autism spectrum disorder during the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): experience from Serbia.

Aleksandra Djuric-Zdravkovic; Mirjana Japundza-Milisavljevic; Dijana Perovic (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Fortschritte der Neurologie · Psychiatrie
Taking care of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as of children with other developmental disorders, is associated with greater parental stress. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and impact of integrative and co-morbid ASD-related symptoms on parental stress levels during the COVID-19 pandemic at four time points. Testing was performed during significant changes related to the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia.
The impact of maternal anxiety on early child development during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ljiljana Jeličić; Mirjana Sovilj; Ivana Bogavac (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

Maternal prenatal anxiety is among important public health issues as it may affect child development. However, there are not enough studies to examine the impact of a mother's anxiety on the child's early development, especially up to 1 year. The present prospective cohort study aimed to examine whether maternal trait anxiety, perceived social support, and COVID-19 related fear impacted speech-language, sensory-motor, and socio-emotional development in 12 months old Serbian infants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follow-up study included 142 pregnant women (Time 1) and their children at 12 months (Time 2). Antenatal maternal anxiety and children's development were examined. Maternal anxiety was assessed using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Child speech-language, sensory-motor, and socio-emotional development were assessed using the developmental scale in the form of an online questionnaire that examined the early psychophysiological child development. Information on socioeconomic factors, child and maternal demographics, clinical factors, and perceived fear of COVID-19 viral infection were collected. Multivariable General Linear Model analysis was conducted, adjusted for demographic, clinical, and coronavirus prenatal experiences, maternal prenatal anxiety levels, perceived social support, speech-language, motor skills, and cognitive and socio-emotional development at the infants' age of 12 months.

Serbian teachers’ perceptions of online assessment during COVID-19 school closure: the role of teachers’ self-efficacy

Stefan Ninković; Stanislava Olić Ninković; Tihomir Lazarević (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Educational Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the temporary closure of schools around the world. Due to the sudden and complete transition to online instruction, teachers were faced with various challenges. The assessment of student performance is one of the integrative segments of remote teaching. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the relationship between teachers’ perceptions of online assessment and different facets of self-efficacy. The study involved 147 primary and secondary school teachers who completed an online survey.
Covid-19 and the world of work: Rapid assessment of the employment impacts and policy responses Serbia
Institution: International Labour Organisation
Published: September 2020
This rapid country assessments launched by the Employment, LabourMarkets and Youth Branch (EMPLAB) of the ILO in around 14 countries aims to provide constituents and other policy-makers with a practical tool for the real-time diagnosis of the employment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to inform policy responses. Serbia adopted the most generous and comprehensive economic package among the Western Balkan economies, providing near universal support to both firms and citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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.