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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Increasing trend in violence-related trauma and suicide attempts among pediatric trauma patients: a 6-year analysis of trauma mechanisms and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Cecilia Maina; Stefano Piero Bernardo Cioffi; Michele Altomare (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Journal of Personalized Medicine
Trauma is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. During the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19), different trends for pediatric trauma (PT) were described. This study aims to explore the trend over time of PT in our center, also considering the effects of COVID-19, focusing on trauma mechanisms, violence-related trauma (VRT) and intentionality, especially suicide attempts (SAs). All PT patients accepted at Niguarda Trauma Center (NTC) in Milan from January 2015 to December 2020 were retrospectively analyzed.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 13 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 11 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19 response, hospitalization, lockdown, social distance, traumatized children | Countries: Italy
Italian children's accounts of the lockdown: insights and perspectives

Michele Capurso; Tiziana Pedale; Valerio Santangelo (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies volume
COVID-19 lockdown-imposed restrictions emerged as a risk to children’s well-being. However, the extant literature often ignored children’s experiences, emotions, struggles, hopes, and expectations. Based on a large sample of Italian students (N = 906; mean age = 9.4 years, 48.8% female), this study drews data from a post-lockdown school re-entry program where students completed narrative activities in 2020. These narratives underwent quantitative content analysis according to gender and school level.
Analysis of the digital educational scenario in Italian high schools during the pandemic: challenges and emerging tools

Tiziana Guzzo; Maria Chiara Caschera; Fernando Ferri (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Sustainability
During the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions around the world were forced to move from face-to-face lessons to distance learning. The application of distance learning fostered the use of new tools and applications that impacted the school system and produced several challenges to be addressed. This paper provides an analysis of distance learning tools that have been used during COVID-19 in Italian schools and the related emerging needs and challenges. A quantitative survey was carried out by using a standardized online questionnaire that involved 420 Italian teachers of different ages, gender, and teaching areas. This survey collected information about experiences, opportunities, and challenges of distance learning, used tools, and students’ inclusion and involvement. In addition, this work analyses emerging technologies and how they can be integrated into distance learning tools to overcome the identified challenges.
A mixed-method study on adolescents' well-being during the COVID-19 syndemic emergency

Alessandro Pepe; Eleonora Farina

Published: January 2023   Journal: Scientific Reports volume
This study set out to investigate adolescents’ levels of perceived well-being and to map how they went about caring for their well-being during the COVID-19 syndemic. Participants were 229 Italian adolescent high school students (48.9% males, mean age = 16.64). The research design was based on an exploratory, parallel, mixed-method approach. A multi-method, student-centered, computer-assisted, semi-structured online interview was used as the data gathering tool, including both a standardized quantitative questionnaire on perceived well-being and an open-ended question about how adolescents were taking charge of their well-being during the COVID-19 health emergency.
Onset risk factors for youth involvement in cyberbullying and cybervictimization: a longitudinal study

Anna Sorrentino; Alessia Esposito; Debora Acunzo (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

Cyberbullying and cybervictimization are spread worldwide, and due to COVID-19, an increasing number of children and adolescents have been impacted. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, research has investigated and highlighted the key risk factors for cyberbullying and cybervictimization, and numerous anti-cyberbullying prevention and intervention programs have been developed and assessed for their efficacy. Despite this, no studies have specifically focused on the individual, relational, and contextual risk factors associated with the onset of youth involvement in cyberbullying and cybervictimization.  To address this lacuna, 333 Italian students aged 10–16 years (M = 12.16, SD = 1.35) were involved in a year-long longitudinal study and filled in the anonymous online actuarial Tabby Improved Checklist two times with a 6-month interval. Onset risk factors for cyberbullying and cybervictimization have been separately analyzed by excluding all students involved in cyberbullying from the original sample or in the cybervictimization baseline (T1).

Persistence of lockdown consequences on children: a cross-sectional comparative study

Marina Picca; Paola Manzoni; Antonio Corsello (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
Lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant psychological impact on children and adolescents. This study compared lockdown effects on children aged 1–10 years in 2020 and 2021. Two structured questionnaires were administered to 3392 parents in 2020, and 3203 in 2021. Outcomes considered for the data analysis included sleep changes, episodes of irritability, attention disturbances, distance learning and number of siblings. For data analysis, children were divided into two groups: pre-scholar (1–5 years old) and older ones. The lockdown was associated with a significant increase in sleep disturbances in 2020 and persisted after a year. The high prevalence of mood changes persisted unchanged in children under the age of 10 in 2020 and in 2021. Even if strengthened family ties seemed to mitigate the negative impact of lockdowns in 2020, this effect appeared absent or at least reduced in 2021. Irritability and rage in children were perceived to have increased in 2021 compared to 2020. A significant reduction in digital device use was observed in 2021 compared to 2020. Overall, the most harmful consequences of the lockdown in 2020 were still observed in 2021.
Children's services and the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: a study with educators and parents

Maria Letizia Bosoni

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children & Society
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptive changes across different life experiences essential to children's growth and development, including early childcare services and schools, thus threatening precious opportunities for children in early childhood to learn. The pandemic has also undermined the collaborative and alliance relationship between childcare services and families which has been widely considered an important aspect of modern services. This paper presents and discusses results from a mixed-method exploratory study with early childcare services for children between 0 and 6 years in Italy in 2021, involving both teachers and parents, to understand experiences, educational practices put in place in childcare services, feelings, resources and risks perceived by families and teachers.
Physical well-being of children and adolescents during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: findings from the "Come te la passi?" cross sectional survey in Bologna, Italy

Aurelia Salussolia; Jacopo Lenzi; Marco Montalti (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 had a strong impact on the physical and general well-being of the youngest. In Italy, citizens were forced to change their habits, especially during the national lockdown, causing increased levels of sedentary and unhealthy behaviors. “Come te la passi?” was a cross-sectional study aimed at investigating changes in the physical activity levels (PA) and well-being of children and adolescents in the City of Bologna. An anonymous survey was administered to parents/guardians of children and adolescents aged 6–18 years. Results: 1134 questionnaires were collected during June 2021; 457 (40.3%) were females, and the mean age was 13.0 ± 3.4 years. Regarding the general well-being perception, 61.3% of the participants reported concerns about the future, 46.3% reported sleep difficulties, and 72.8% reported experiencing attention difficulty, with higher percentages among adolescents. Considering the PA frequency, an overall reduction was found, with the percentage of those who rarely did PA and those who frequently did PA both increasing. No gender differences were found.
Inequalities in the challenges affecting children and their families during COVID-19 with school closures and reopenings: a qualitative study

Ilaria Galasso; Gemma Watts

Published: December 2022   Journal: Public Health Ethics
School closure is one of the most debated measures undertaken to contain the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic has devastating health and socio-economic effects and must be contained, but schools play a vital role in present and future well-being, capabilities and health of children. This study examines the detrimental consequences of both the closure and reopening of schools, by focusing on inequalities in the challenges affecting children and their families. This paper is grounded on Irish and Italian data from a multi-national longitudinal qualitative interview study. Research participants articulated a variety of issues and challenges that highlight inequalities in access to education during school closures, in the supportiveness of home setting, and in school preparedness to reopen, often mirroring or exacerbating pre-existing inequalities.
Adaptability favors positive academic responses and posttraumatic growth under COVID-19: a longitudinal study with adolescents

Tommaso Feraco; Nicole Casali; Chiara Meneghetti

Published: December 2022   Journal: European Journal of Psychology of Education
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted an abrupt adoption of online learning worldwide challenging students’ scholastic engagement and their ability to self-regulate their learning. Under these unexpected conditions, adaptability (one’s capacity to adjust thoughts, behaviors, and emotions in new and uncertain situations) might have sustained students to maintain high engagement and find new learning solutions. Students with high adaptability might also interpret COVID-19-related novelty as an opportunity and show higher posttraumatic growth levels. A longitudinal path analysis showed that in a sample of 435 Italian students (11–18 years old), adaptability at Time 1 positively related to engagement, self-regulated learning, and posttraumatic growth at the end of the school year, indirectly favoring academic achievement, through the mediation of engagement and self-regulated learning.
Psychiatric symptoms and emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Italian adolescents during the third lockdown: a cross-sectional cohort study

Martina Maria Mensi; Marta Iacopelli; Marika Orlandi (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Scientific Reports
A previous study showed that about 80% of Italian adolescents reported isolated symptoms of acute or post-traumatic stress during the frst lockdown in Italy. This study proposed a new questionnaire to investigate the presence of symptoms related to anxiety, panic, depression, eating disorders, sleep disorders, social withdrawal, stress disorders, psychotic symptoms, anti-conservative thoughts, and self-harming acts aggravated by COVID-19 restrictions and possible diferences between males and females. 500 adolescents (12–18 years) completed an online survey created using validated scales. 41% of the respondents felt more stress than during the frst lockdown. 1.85% showed suprathreshold symptoms for post-traumatic stress disorder and 21% showed isolated symptoms of acute or posttraumatic stress due to the pandemic. In addition, it found psychotic symptoms (16%), panic (25% suprathreshold), anxiety (46.8% suprathreshold), depression (18.7% suprathreshold), eating-related symptoms (51%), sleep difculties (57%), a tendency to social withdrawal after the pandemic (15%), suicidal ideation (30%), and self-harming behavior (9%). Furthermore, girls showed a more severe level of distress.
The role of child protection managers during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Challenges, priorities, new knowledge and skills

Camilla Landi; Paola Limongelli

Published: December 2022   Journal: European Journal of Social Work
This paper focuses on the role of the managers of child protection services in a region of Northern Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic. In most child protection services, there is a manager who is responsible for supporting social workers and collaborating with directors and policymakers. The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted welfare organisations, professionals, service users, and families. Given the exceptional situation, an online survey was conducted on child protection services and the functions performed by managers during the first phase of the pandemic (March-May 2020). This paper presents the findings of a research survey involving 85 child protection managers.
Italian adolescents' perception of tele-psychodrama treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Gianmarco Biancalani; Hod Orkibi; Shoshi Keisari (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Arts & Health

Psychodrama is an experiential group psychotherapy that is used to enhance adolescents’ wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the adaptation of this method to an online setting This qualitative study investigated whether and how tele-psychodrama provides psychological support to adolescents, in order to better understand its strengths and weaknesses. 14 adolescents from Northern and Central Italy. 14 interviews were conducted at the end of group tele-psychodrama treatment and were analysed with qualitative thematic analysis

How COVID-19 phases have impacted psychiatric risk: a retrospective study in an emergency care unit for adolescents

Maria Mucci; Francesca Lenzi; Giulia Maria D’Acunto (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
Dramatic events during the COVID-19 pandemic have acutely impacted the psychosocial environment worldwide, with negative implications for mental health, particularly for more vulnerable children and adolescents with severe psychiatric illnesses. Some data suggest that the pandemic waves may have produced different psychopathological consequences, further worsening in the second phase of the pandemic, compared to those in the first lockdown, soon after March 2020. To test the hypothesis of a further worsening of psychiatric consequences of COVID-19 in the second lockdown compared to the first lockdown, we focused our analysis on a consecutive sample of youth referred to a psychiatric emergency unit for acute mental disorders in the time period between March 2019–March 2021. The sample, consisting of 241 subjects (123 males and 118 females, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years), was divided into three groups: Pre-Lockdown Group (PLG, 115 patients); First Lockdown Group (FLG, 65 patients); and Second Lockdown Group (SLG, 61 patients).
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on food habits and neophobia in children in the framework of the family context and parents' behaviors: a study in an Italian central region

Annalisa Di Nucci; Umberto Scognamiglio; Federica Grant (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Nutrition

This paper aims to evaluate whether changes in lifestyle and eating habits resulting from the Covid-19 emergency have influenced the post-pandemic level of food neophobia and in children living in an Italian central region.  A sample of 99 children took part in a retrospective assessment carried out with a self-administrated questionnaire. Pre and post-pandemic evaluation of eating habits, physical activity, and lifestyle indicators was carried out. Food neophobia was evaluated following the Child Food Neophobia Scale (CFNS). Descriptive statistics were produced. A contingency analysis was performed to check associations between variables.

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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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