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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Parental home monitoring and support and students' online learning and socioemotional well-being during COVID-19 school suspension in Hong Kong

Cheng Yong Tan; Qianqian Pan; Yuxiao Zhang (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Contextualized in the prolonged period of COVID-19-related school suspension in Hong Kong, the present study unravels relationships among socioeconomic status (SES), parental involvement, and learning outcomes for a matched sample of 186 primary and 932 secondary school students and their parents who participated in the eCitizen Education 360 survey. Three-step latent profile analysis (LPA) revealed different types of parental involvement at home and in school. For the primary school sample, students’ SES did not predict membership in the parental involvement typology, but students whose parents provided more home monitoring and support had the highest level of online self-efficacy. As for the secondary student sample, students whose parents provided more home monitoring and support tended to have access to more home learning resources. Students whose parents provided home monitoring and support had the highest levels of online self-efficacy, acquisition of digital skills, and cognitive-emotional regulation, and were the least worried about school resumption. The study underscores complex patterns of parental involvement and identifies effective parental involvement practices that contribute to students’ home online learning during the school suspension.
Impact of a focus education in Zoom on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Hong Kong parents of the preschoolers

Wilfred Hing-sang Wong; Hung-kwan So; Jaime S. Rosa Duque (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
Parental vaccine hesitancy is a major barrier to achieving high vaccination uptake among children, particularly in young children during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Developing herd immunity is a critical concept for overcoming the current pandemic. The purpose of this study is to reduce parental vaccine hesitancy through a focused educational seminar in ZOOM and to empower parents who are concerned about vaccinating their children to communicate with medical experts during live seminars. Parents of preschoolers, teachers, and kindergarten principals from three local pre-school education and services associations attended live seminars. After attending seminars, parental willingness to vaccinate their children increased by 65%. The live Zoom seminar led by medical experts resulted in a decrease in vaccine hesitancy. Our findings support the creation of seminars that allow clients and medical specialists to communicate directly with one another. Offering an open and honest forum for people to express their concerns to medical experts could be a useful strategy for dealing with not only vaccination apprehension, but also other health-related emergencies.
When family interrupted work: the implications of gendered role perception in the face of COVID‐19

S. Susie Lee; Melody M. Chao; Hongwei He (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Social Issues
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are confronted with the work-from-home challenge, which often results in work-family interference. Although prior to COVID-19, the influence of traditional gender role expectations was shown to be reduced over time, it is unclear whether and how such traditional worldview might influence judgments towards men and women when family interrupted work under the threat of COVID-19. This study presented and tested competing predictions derived from the gender role theory. An experimental study with 971 adults showed that during (vs. before) COVID-19 pandemic, men were evaluated more negatively when they experienced family interruption to work compared with women. The negative evaluation further led to more punitive reactions and less support at work. The results suggested that gender role expectations reinforced the traditional status quo by punishing status-quo-breakers under the threat of COVID-19.
Intention to vaccinate young children against COVID-19: a large-scale survey of Hong Kong parents

Eva Yi Hung Lau; Jian-Bin Li; Derwin King Chung Chan

Published: April 2022   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
COVID-19 vaccines (Sinovac and Pfizer/BioNTech) have recently been approved for Hong Kong children. Understanding parental intentions to vaccinate children against COVID-19 is important to the development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine campaign. From a large-scale, geographically representative dataset in Hong Kong (N = 11,141), this study examined parents’ intentions to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 under three conditions: (1) no policy restrictions, (2) vaccination rate considered for school resumption, and (3) more choices of vaccine.
Survey data on the attitudes of adolescents in Hong Kong towards the COVID-19 vaccination

Wilfred Hing-Sang Wong; Daniel Leung; Gilbert T. Chua (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Data in Brief
This article presents a novel data set on Hong Kong's adolescents’ attitude towards the COVID-19 vaccination, excluding their parental opinions. This research used a cross-sectional questionnaire survey, which collects data from the population at a single point in time. Our questionnaire was designed in both English and Chinese for the adolescents’ convenience, using a self-designed, online questionnaire website, which was sent to 30 secondary schools across Hong Kong at the beginning of June 2021, to be completed by 31st June 2021.
Why do Hong Kong parents have low intention to vaccinate their children against COVID-19? testing health belief model and theory of planned behavior in a large-scale survey

Jian-Bin Li; Eva Yi Hung Lau; Derwin King Chung Chan

Published: April 2022   Journal: Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in children in some societies. Parents’ intention to vaccinate their children is context-specific. Drawing upon health belief model (HBM) and theory of planned behavior (TPB), this study contributed to a timely topic by examining the extent to which parents intended to vaccinate their children and its associated factors in Hong Kong, where the government announced children as young as five could take COVID-19 vaccines starting from 21 January 2022. A large-scale, online survey was conducted among 11,141 Hong Kong parents (86% mothers) of children aged 5–12 (N = 14,468, 49.5% girls).
Primary school students’ online learning during Coronavirus disease 2019: factors associated with satisfaction, perceived effectiveness, and preference

Xiaoxiang Zheng; Dexing Zhang; Elsa Ngar Sze Lau (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Emergency online education has been adopted worldwide due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Prior research regarding online learning predominantly focused on the perception of parents, teachers, and students in tertiary education, while younger children’s perspectives have rarely been examined. This study investigated how family, school, and individual factors would be associated with primary school students’ satisfaction, perceived effectiveness, and preference in online learning during COVID-19. A convenient sample of 781 Hong Kong students completed an anonymous online survey from June to October 2020. Logistic regression was conducted for 13 potential factors.
Virtual care during the pandemic: multi-family group sessions for Hong Kong Chinese families of adolescents with intellectual disabilities

Julia Wing Ka Lo; Joyce Lai Chong Ma; Mooly Mei Ching Wong (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Intellectual Disabilities
The suspension of social services in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic increased the caregiver strain for families of adolescent children with intellectual disabilities, possibly aggravating their family relationships. This article reports on an online Multi-Family Group (MFG) conducted during the pandemic for Hong Kong Chinese families of adolescents affected by mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities. A thematic analysis of the experiences of the participating service users revealed three positive effects of the intervention model: improved family relationships, mutual helpful influences occurring among families, and a new understanding of family members with intellectual disabilities. The therapeutic group process used to promote family development is illustrated by a group vignette. The challenges and the practical considerations for conducting an MFG online are discussed.
Dyadic associations between COVID-19-related stress and mental well-being among parents and children in Hong Kong: An actor–partner interdependence model approach

Randolph C. H. Chan

Published: February 2022   Journal: Family process
The spread of COVID-19 and its subsequent social distancing policies have profoundly impacted the lives of parents and children. Prolonged exposure to parenting-related responsibilities and heightened levels of family conflict under stay-at-home orders coupled with reduced access to support systems and resources have rendered parents and children more prone to stress and mental health difficulties. Drawing on a transactional model of parent–child interactions, the present study applied an actor–partner interdependence model approach to examine the transactional relationship between COVID-19-related stress and mental well-being among parents and children. Data from 109 Chinese parent–child dyads in Hong Kong were included in the study.
Significant increase in astigmatism in children after study at home during the COVID-19 lockdown

Yuanyuan Liang; Tsz-Wing Leung; Jinxiao Tina Lian (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Clinical and Experimental Optometry

Evaluating changes in refractive astigmatism after ‘study at home’ during the COVID pandemic may shed light on the aetiology of refractive errors. This study aims to investigate whether there has been a change in the proportion of astigmatism among primary school children after the school closure period during the COVID-19 pandemic.This observational study compared cross-sectional (2018: n = 112; 2020: n = 173) and longitudinal data (n = 38) collected from two vision screenings, one in 2018 and the other after the school closure period in 2020, in the same primary school for children aged 8–10 years. Non-cycloplegic refraction and axial length were measured using an open‐field auto‐refractometer and IOL Master, respectively. A questionnaire focusing on demographic information, near-work time, and outdoor activities was administered to parents of all participants.

Linking maternal involvement in child online learning to child adjustment during the COVID-19 pandemic: the moderating role of maternal mindfulness

Chun Bun Lam; Chung Sze Lam; Kevin Kien Hoa Chung

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
In the face of COVID-19, many schools have to educate their students using online activities. During this time, whether and how parents are involved may be of particular importance for young children—who are less able to learn independently via the Internet due to their developmental immaturity. Therefore, this study examined the cross-sectional association of maternal involvement in child online learning with child adjustment during the COVID-19 pandemic and tested maternal mindfulness as a moderator. Data were collected from 236 mothers of kindergarten-aged children (mean age = 55.91 months; 75% of them were girls) during the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong, China. Using paper-and-pencil questionnaires, mothers rated their involvement and mindfulness and their children’s pre-academic ability and internalizing and externalizing behaviors and provide demographic information.
Adolescents’ attitudes to the COVID-19 vaccination

W. H. S. Wong; D. Leung; G. T. Chua (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Vaccine
Vaccines against COVID-19 are now available for adolescents in Hong Kong but vaccine hesitancy is a major barrier to herd immunity. This survey study explores Hong Kong adolescents’ attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccination. 2609 adolescents from across Hong Kong completed an online survey focused on the intent to vaccinate and the reasons for their choice. 39% of adolescents intended to take the COVID-19 vaccination and significant factors for this decision include: having at least one parent vaccinated, knowing somebody diagnosed with COVID-19 and receiving the influenza vaccine. Adolescents’ major concerns were either the safety and efficacy of the vaccine or the risk of infection. This study has proved that even in adolescents the vaccine hesitancy model is prominent with adolescents’ intentions highly related to confidence in the vaccine and perception of disease risk. Future interventions should target these specific concerns to ensure adolescents are well educated to overcome vaccine hesitancy.
Mental health & maltreatment risk of children with special educational needs during COVID-19

Winnie W. Y. Tso; Ko Ling Chan; Tatia M. C. Lee (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Children with special educational needs (SEN) are more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic with risk of poor mental wellbeing and child maltreatment. To examine the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of children with SEN and their maltreatment risk. 417 children with SEN studying at special schools and 25,427 children with typical development (TD) studying at mainstream schools completed an online survey in April 2020 in Hong Kong during school closures due to COVID-19.

Hong Kong children’s school readiness in times of COVID-19: the contributions of parent perceived social support, parent competency, and time spent with children

Eva Yi Hung Lau; Jian-Bin Li

Published: December 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
School readiness is an important but challenging issue of child development, especially during COVID-19 when most of the traditional offline activities that could promote school readiness (e.g., on-site visit) have been canceled. There is a gap between the knowledge needed to promote children’s school readiness in times of pandemic and the limited understanding of this topic so far. This gap could be particularly concerning in the social contexts where examinations are stressed and educational competition is high (e.g., Hong Kong). This study examined how well children were ready for primary school, the extent to which parent perceived social support was related to children’s school readiness, and whether parent competence and their time spent with children would moderate the said link. A cross-sectional design survey with total population sampling (supplemented with convenience sampling) was conducted.
Counselling support for the mental health of children in Hong Kong’s international schools during the COVID-19 pandemic: parents’ perspectives

Mark G. Harrison; Chloe Ka Yi Tam; Susanna Siu-sze Yeung

Published: November 2021   Journal: Educational and Developmental Psychologist

This study investigated how school counsellors in international schools in Hong Kong supported the wellbeing of students and families during the period of school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of parents.Sixteen parents with children in eleven different international schools in Hong Kong were interviewed and the data were analysed thematically.

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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.