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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Help-seeking attitudes and behaviours for mental health problems in adolescents before and during the first COVID-19 school closures in Germany

AUTHOR(S)
Sophia Lustig; Julian Koenig; Stephanie Bauer (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Early Intervention in Psychiatry

Comparing measures of psychological wellbeing and help-seeking in youths before and within the first school closures due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic enables a better understanding of the effects the pandemic has for those seeking professional help for mental health problems. Data were obtained from the Germany-based ProHEAD school study. Pre-lockdown and lockdown samples (n = 648) were compared regarding pupils' psychological wellbeing, help-seeking attitudes and help-seeking behaviour.

The iImpact of distance learning on parental sStress during the second COVID-19 lockdown in Germany

AUTHOR(S)
Isabelle May; Lena Hoerl

Published: October 2022   Journal: The Family Journal
Parental stress caused by monthlong school closures was measured as early as spring and summer of 2020. The present study investigated parental resilience during the second lockdown in Germany in January/February 2021 (n = 2,804). Based on an online questionnaire, parental stress, resilience, self-efficacy, children’s school abilities, and the perceived quality of lesson design in distance teaching were queried. Multiple linear regression analysis identified significant relationships between the experienced stress perception and the time spent supporting children in distance learning. We identified parental resilience as a predictor of stress experiences. It was possible to demonstrate the considerable influence of child variables and perceived lesson design on parental stress levels.
Data from the German family panel pairfam: the supplementary COVID-19 survey

AUTHOR(S)
Julia Reim; Svenja Geissler; Philipp Alt (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of Open Psychology Data
The COVID-19 pandemic had major implications for private and family lives. The German Family Panel pairfam conducted an online survey regarding the experiences during the pandemic. The survey was conducted from May to July 2020. It includes instruments introduced in previous pairfam waves as well as new modules on topics that proved particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting dataset encompasses a sample of 3,182 respondents from all German federal states ranging in age from 17–47 years. The data has already been used in a variety of scientific publications and is available for research and teaching purposes.
"I miss my school!": Examining primary and secondary school students' social distancing and emotional experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Verena Letzel-Alt; Marcela Pozas; Christoph Schneider

Published: October 2022   Journal: Prospects
With the rapid spread of Covid-19, countries around the world implemented strict protocols ordering schools to close. As a result, educational institutions were forced to establish a new form of schooling by implementing emergency remote education. Learning from home during the Covid-19 pandemic brought numerous changes, challenges, and stressors to students’ daily lives. In this context, major concerns have been raised based on the reports of students’ negative experiences resulting from social distancing and isolation. Given the impact of Covid-19 on many aspects of students’ lives, in particular their social and school experiences, research that provides insights into the consequences of this health crisis for students’ well-being has become important. This study aims to explore students’ experiences of social distancing and its relation to their negative emotional experiences during Germany’s first Covid-19–related school closure.
Pedagogical practices in ECEC institutions and children's linguistic, motor, and socio-emotional needs during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a longitudinal multi-perspective study in Germany

AUTHOR(S)
S. Diefenbacher; M. Grgic; F. Neuberger (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Early Child Development and Care
During the COVID-19 pandemic, German early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions had to limit their provision of ECEC, implement protective measures, and handle new organizational tasks. Data from two longitudinal surveys (October 2020 to July 2021) among ECEC managers and pedagogical staff were analysed. Limited staff resources, limited access, and high pandemic-related challenges (i.e. difficulties and conflicts related to implementing protective measures), were negatively associated with the frequency of pedagogical practices (Models 1, 2). Manager ratings suggested increased developmental needs for children with low socio-economic status; also higher frequency of pedagogical practices at early stages of the pandemic (T1) was associated with lower increase of developmental needs at a later stage (T2, about 5 months later). In sum, this contribution provides evidence about how the COVID-19 pandemic might have affected quality in ECEC provision on both the structural and interaction level and how this, subsequently, impacted child outcomes.
Child and adolescent mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: results of the three-wave longitudinal COPSY study

AUTHOR(S)
Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer; Michael Erhart; Janine Devine (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
The German population-based longitudinal COVID-19 and Psychological Health study monitors changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and mental health of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies vulnerable groups. A nationwide, population-based survey was conducted in May 2020 to June 2020 (Wave 1), December 2020 to January 2021 (Wave 2), and September 2021 to October 2021 (Wave 3). In total, n = 2,097 children and adolescents aged 7–17 years were investigated using measures to assess HRQoL (KIDSCREEN-10), mental health problems (SDQ), anxiety (SCARED), depressive symptoms(PHQ-2), and psychosomatic complaints(HBSC-SCL).
Children's "best Interest" locked up: on the situation of children's rights during the COVID-19 responses

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Spieker

Published: August 2022   Journal: Jahr : European Journal of Bioethics
The constitution of the WHO as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child both emphasise the unique position of children, the significance of healthy development and the obligation of public and private actors to always consider the best interest of the child. There is – at least in the case of Germany – no evidence that this obligation has been fulfilled in due manner during the COVID-19 reactions. On the other hand, there is clear evidence from different parts of the world that the closure of schools and all places of social encounter has deeply harmed the social, emotional and even intellectual development of many children. The children’s rights therefore have not been safeguarded during the corona-reaction-crisis. The article argues that this disregard of the position of children has its roots in public health’s utilitarian perspective on the health of peoples instead of individuals. In order to safeguard the rights of children in public health operations, the procedures already foreseen by the UN Convention and its implementing regulations to take into account the best interest of the child must be truly implemented in the future.
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

AUTHOR(S)
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.
Sleep behavior and training load in adolescent elite basketball players during COVID-19 pandemic development

AUTHOR(S)
Lisa Kullik; Michael Kellmann; Christian Puta (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Chronobiology International
The COVID-19 pandemic caused strong restrictions in organized sports. Specifically, adolescent athletes, whose daily routine is usually determined by school and practice schedules, experienced a sudden lifestyle change. The aim of this study was to examine sleep and training patterns of German elite adolescent basketball players (N = 115, 15.70 ± 1.22 years, female = 32.17%) during different phases of the 2021 lockdown. Sleep and training behavior were documented by a subjective monitoring over 10 days at three different lockdown phases in February, April, and June/July. A linear mixed model approach was conducted for the statistical analyses. Sleep duration and time in bed decreased between phase 1 (prohibition of organized sports) and phase 3 (normal training conditions), while sleep efficiency and quality increased. There was no change in training duration over time, but in training intensity, which peaked in the third phase. This study contains meaningful evidence to analyze the lockdown-related return to practice process.
COVID-19 school closures and chemistry-related competencies: a study of German students transitioning from primary to secondary school

AUTHOR(S)
Alina Behrendt; Vanessa Fischer; Maik Walpuski

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Education
The COVID-19 pandemic led to temporary closures of schools around the world, resulting in a change from face-to-face teaching to distance teaching, which had been practiced minimally until then. This study investigated the effects of pandemic-related school closures on students’ chemistry-related competencies, at the transition from primary to secondary school. It also explored the extent to which at-home or in-school data collection influenced the results. It measured the competencies of 2,262 students from grades 5 to 9 in Germany. Data collection took place before, during, and after the pandemic-related school closures, based on test booklets completed by students.
Exploring pandemic-related health literacy among adolescents in Germany: a focus group study

AUTHOR(S)
Anne-Kathrin Mareike Loer; Olga Maria Domanska; Christiane Stock (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Archives of Public Health

Health literacy enables people to cope efficiently with health threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, little is known about health literacy among adolescents in general and especially in the context of pandemics. This study aimed to explore pandemic-related health literacy among adolescents by addressing cognitive, behavioral, conative, and affective components of the multidimensional health literacy construct. Four online focus groups with 24 adolescents aged 13-17 years from four German federal states were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in May and June 2021. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Problems or prospects? Being a parent in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany

AUTHOR(S)
Angelika Ecker; Irina Jarvers; Daniel Schleicher (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

In the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many restrictions hit people in ways never seen before. Mental wellbeing was affected and burden was high, especially for high-risk groups such as parents. However, to our knowledge no research has yet examined whether being a parent was not only a risk for psychological burden but also a way to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey was used to collect data from 1,121 participants from April to June 2020. In addition to demographic variables, risk factors (financial burden, problems complying with COVID-19 restrictions, and pre-treatment due to mental health problems) and protective factors (emotion regulation, humor, and crisis self-efficacy) were collected. The dataset was divided into three groups: parents whose children lived at home (n = 395), parents whose children did not (no longer) live at home (n = 165), and people who were not parents (n = 561).

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on families living with autism: an online survey

AUTHOR(S)
Corinna Isensee; Benjamin Schmid; Peter B. Marschik (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

The current SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic presents a great challenge for governments, health care professionals and the general population. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might be especially vulnerable to restrictions imposed by the crisis. The objective of the study was to examine the impact of the SARSCoV- 2 pandemic on children with ASD and their families. It conducted an online survey two months after the beginning of lock-down (18th of May to 5th of July 2020) in Germany and Austria. It investigated behavioral and emotional changes of children related to the lock-down alongside parental stress and intrafamilial burden

Pediatric ICU admissions after adolescent suicide attempts during the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nora Bruns; Lea Willemsen; Andreas Stang (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Pediatrics

he worldwide severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic challenges adolescents’ mental health. This study aims to compare the number of pediatric ICU (PICU) admissions after suicide attempts during the first German lockdown and one year later during a second, prolonged lockdown with prepandemic years. A retrospective multicenter study was conducted among 27 German PICUs. Cases <18 years admitted to the PICU because of accidents or injuries between March 16 and May 31 of 2017 to 2021 were identified based on International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision codes (German modification) and patient data entered into a database. This study is a subset analysis on suicide attempts in adolescents aged 12 to 17.9 years. The Federal Statistics Office was queried for data on fatal suicides, which were available only for 2020 in adolescents aged 10 to 17.9 years.

Identifying potential mechanisms between childhood trauma and the psychological response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany: a longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie V. Rek; Matthias A. Reinhard; Markus Bühner (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Scientific Reports

Childhood maltreatment (CM) has been associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes during the pandemic, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. In a prospective online study using baseline and 10-week follow-up data of 391 German participants, multiple mediation analyses was applied to test to what extent COVID-19 perceived stressors mediate the association between CM and later adverse psychosocial outcomes compared to established mediators of rumination and insecure attachment. This study also explored the relative importance of different COVID-19 related stressors in predicting adverse psychological trajectories using elastic net regression.

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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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Check our quarterly thematic digests on children and COVID-19

Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.