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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Eating disorders: the role of the family in development and maintenance of children's problems in the pandemic period

Maria Rosaria Juli; Rebecca Juli; Giada Juli (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Psychiatria Danubina

According to data released by the Ministry of Health in 2021 in Italy about three million young people suffer from eating disorders with onset before the age of 13 and the number tends to be increasing. This work aims to understand if and to what extent the areas of family functioning are related to the way of eating of adolescents in the period of restriction due to COVID-19. In particular, which dimensions of family functioning can be correlated with dysfunctional eating habits. The group that took part in the study was composed of 154 non clinical subjects, of which 124 females, 27 males and 3 non-binary gender subjects. The tests used were the McMaster Family Assessment Device and the Binge Eating Scale, in addition a personal data sheet was used containing the details of the subjects who participated anonymously, recruited at the university of Italy. The data have some limitations, first of all the low number of the sample and the online modality in compiling the tests.

COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and willingness among pregnant women in Italy

Grazia Miraglia del Giudice; Lucio Folcarelli; Annalisa Napoli (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

Pregnant women, especially those with comorbidities, compared to those non-pregnant, have higher risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19. However, COVID-19 vaccine uptake is very low among them. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to randomly selected women 18 years of age that were currently pregnant or had just given birth between September 2021 and May 2022 in the geographic area of Naples. Vaccine hesitancy was assessed using the vaccine hesitancy scale (VHS).

Maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes among pregnant women receiving COVID-19 vaccination: the preg-co-vax study

Annamaria Mascolo; Gabriella Di Mauro; Federica Fraenza (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Immunology

Although the European Medicines Agency (EMA) encourage coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination in pregnant women, the scientific evidence supporting the use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy is still limited. This study aimed to investigate adverse events following immunization (AEFI) with COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy. It retrieved Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs) related to the use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from the EudraVigilance database for the year 2021. It analyzed AEFI related to the mother and fetus/newborn. The reporting odds ratio (ROR) was computed to compare the reporting probability of spontaneous abortion between COVID-19 vaccines.

Perceived Covid-19-crisis intensity and family supportive organizational perceptions as antecedents of parental burnout: A study conducted in Italy in March/April 2021 and 2022

Marta Redaelli; Marloes L. van Engen; Stéfanie André

Published: October 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The purpose of this study is to investigate to what extent perceived Covid-19-crisis intensity (PCCI) leads to the experience of parental burnout (PB), a syndrome characterized by exhaustion, emotional detachment from one’s own children and a sense of inefficacy in the role as parent. Furthermore, the mediating role of work–family conflict (WFC) is examined. The buffering effect of family supportive organizational perceptions during the pandemic (FSOP-p) on the relationship between work–family conflict and parental burnout is also explored. Data were collected in March–April 2021 and March/April 2022. In spring 2021, 222 Italian working parents with at least one minor child living at home filled out the questionnaire.
Pregnancy outcomes in Italy during COVID-19 pandemic: a population-based cohort study

Franca Rusconi; Monia Puglia; Martina Pacifici (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

This study aimed to compare the estimates of preterm birth (PTB; 22–36 weeks' gestational age, GA) and stillbirth rates during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy with those recorded in the three previous years. A population-based cohort study of live- and stillborn infants was conducted using data from Regional Health Systems and comparing the pandemic period (1 March 2020–31 March 2021, n = 362 129) to an historical period (January 2017–February 2020, n = 1 117 172). The cohort covered 84.3% of the births in Italy.

Childcare providers and COVID-19: the role of regulatory emotional self-efficacy in sustaining subjective well-being

Giovanni Maria Vecchio; Federica Zava; Maria Gerbino (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Early Education and Development
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the education system faced unprecedented challenges, including global school closures, the cancellation of face-to-face teaching, and ultimately school step-wise or partial reopening. Childcare providers have faced additional significant stressors from the beginning of the outbreak. The present study aimed at investigating the effect of childcare providers’ regulatory emotional self-efficacy on their subjective well-being (i.e. positive and negative affect), including indirectly through a reduction in stress during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Three hundred and sixty-four childcare providers at daycares and preschools in Italy participated in the study by completing an online survey. A structural equation model revealed an indirect effect between self-efficacy beliefs in the management of negative emotions and negative affect, via stress. More specifically, childcare providers with high self-efficacy beliefs in the management of negative emotions experienced less negative affect, alongside lower levels of stress.
Taking the rights of children with complex conditions seriously: new ethics challenges arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anna Zanin; Anna Santini; Enrico Furlan (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics

Children with complex care conditions (CCCs) and their families have always been a fragile population, at high risk of marginalisation and social exclusion, even prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Few studies have explored in detail the impact of the pandemic on CCCs, and there are no shared guidelines on how to tackle the specific ethical dilemmas posed by the COVID-19 predicament. Both healthcare professionals and families improvised novel strategies to overcome the current crisis, but these tentative answers cannot be the solution in the long run. In this article, we set out to highlight some new ethics challenges regarding CCCs arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic, referring on the one hand to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)1 and on the other hand to the experience of a Paediatric Palliative Care Service of the Veneto Region (Italy), presenting and discussing three real-life cases.

Loot boxes use, video gaming, and gambling in adolescents: Results from a path analysis before and during COVID-19-pandemic-related lockdown in Italy

Caterina Primi; Francesco Sanson; Marta Vecchiato (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Loot Boxes (LBs), i.e., virtual items embedded within video games with numerous features reminiscent of gambling, are increasingly widespread among adolescents. LB use is associated with problem gambling in youth, but few studies have been conducted on the association between LB use and gambling behavior considering adolescents. Thus, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are not clear. As LB use is a significant and positive risk factor for video gaming severity, and video gaming is associated with problem gambling, we hypothesized that LB use would be related to gambling frequency and problem gambling through the intermediary role of video gaming frequency and problem video gaming.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood obesity and lifestyle: a report from Italy

Stefano Palermi; Marco Vecchiato; Sonia Pennella (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Pediatric Reports
During the COVID-19 lockdown, especially in the first wave of pandemic (March 2020), sedentary lifestyle and calorie intake increase in children became considerably more prevalent. The aim of the present paper was to evaluate changes in children’s weights and nutritional habits during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. In this cross-sectional observational study, for 3 years, as part of the corporate wellness program (2019–2021) in Emilia Romagna region of Italy, anthropometric data of Ferrari car company employers’ children were collected, analyzed, and compared. Moreover, at the visit of November 2020, performed after the first wave of the pandemic with the most rigorous lockdown rules in Italy, a questionnaire on nutritional and lifestyle habits was administered
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 14 | Issue: 4 | No. of pages: 9 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, obesity, physical activity, social distance | Countries: Italy
Children's representations of the COVID-19 lockdown and pandemic through drawings

Alessia Cornaggia; Federica Bianco; Gabriella Gilli (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to face it have placed children and their caregivers in front of many challenges that could represent sources of stress. This work aims to explore the point of view of children through drawing, as a spontaneous means of expression, relating it to parents’ perceptions of children’s difficulties, strengths, and mentalization skills. The sample consists of 18 children (mean age = 8.22, SD = 1.79). Parents were asked to complete: a socio-demographic questionnaire with information on the impact of COVID-19 on the family, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Everyday Mindreading Scale. Children were asked to draw three moments: “Before” the pandemic, “During” the lockdown, and “After,” when the COVID-19 will be passed. The drawings were coded by constructing a content and expressive analysis grid, adapting coding systems found in the literature. Data were collected at the beginning of the summer of 2020, just after the first lockdown period (from March to May 2020 in Italy).
Effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in adolescents over 6 months

Emanuele Amodio; Dario Genovese; Luca Mazzeo (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Pediatrics

On June 4, 2021, Italy launched the COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents to pace down the COVID-19 spread. Although clinical trials have evaluated mRNA vaccine effectiveness in adolescents, there is limited literature on its real-world effectiveness. Accordingly, this study aimed to estimate the effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection and mild or severe COVID-19 in a cohort of Sicilian adolescents within a six-month observation period. A retrospective cohort study was conducted with adolescents aged 12–18, residents of Sicily, that were followed from July 15 to December 31, 2021. SARS-CoV-2 infections, mild and severe COVID-19, and COVID-19-related intubation or deaths during the study period were compared between subjects vaccinated with two doses of mRNA vaccines and unvaccinated individuals. The Cox regression analysis, adjusted for age and sex, was performed to compare the two groups.

Depressive anxiety symptoms in hospitalized children with chronic illness during the first Italian COVID-19 lockdown

Cinzia Correale; Chiara Falamesca; Ilaria Tondo (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Children
COVID-19 is continuing to spread around the world, having a direct impact on people’s daily lives and health. Although the knowledge of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population is now well established, there is less information on its effect on specific and vulnerable populations, such as children with chronic illness (CI). This is a multi-centered cross-sectional study among pediatric patients in six public children’s hospitals in Italy during the first lockdown, with the aim of assessing the proportion of children with CI presenting anxiety and depressive symptoms, and the clinical and demographic characteristics affecting such symptomatology. It included children with at least one chronic condition, with no cognitive delay, aged between 11 and 18 years. Brief standardized questionnaires were administered during medical scheduled visits to screen anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Investigating children's ability to express internal states through narratives and drawings: two longitudinal studies during pandemic

Giulia Vettori; Costanza Ruffini; Martina Andreini (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 pandemic emergency has challenged children’s socio-affective and cognitive development. It is essential to capture the modulation of their emotional experience through ecological and children-friendly tasks, such as written narratives and drawings. This contribution investigates the impact of pandemic experience (2020–2021 waves) on the internal states and emotions of the primary school age children, according to a longitudinal research approach through narratives (study 1 n = 21) and drawing tasks (study 2 n = 117). 138 Italian children were examined during COVID-19 three (study 1) or two waves (study 2). Children’s written narratives were codified on the basis of narrative competence and psychological lexicon. Children’s drawings were codified based on social/emotional, physical, and environmental elements.
Educational television goes digital. Children's television and Italian public service broadcasting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Paolo Carelli; Sfardini Anna

Published: August 2022   Journal: VIEW Journal

Since its origins in the Fifties, Rai has always paid attention to pedagogical aspects of its offer, consistent with its Catholic inspiration, combining different genres and divulgation approaches. In the first years of its history, Italian public television represented a “second school” for different targets, producing iconic titles in learning and training. A particular branch of educational approach to television content has often been represented by the direct involvement of school groups within the programs, in the logic of game and soft competition oriented to the transmission of knowledge. During the Covid-19 pandemic, with the closure of schools and the deployment of distance teaching, Rai recovered its pivotal role in learning practices through TV programs; in a period marked by an increase of television and audiovisual consumption, Italian public service broadcasting played a distinctive role in diversifying learning opportunities of Italian students and adults.

Effect of COVID-19 lockdown on children's eating behaviours: a longitudinal study

Giuseppina Rosaria Umano; Giulia Rondinelli; Giulio Rivetti (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on children’s lifestyle and eating behaviour, resulting in an increase of obesity prevalence. The CEBQ (Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire) is a validate questionnaire that investigates children’s eating behaviour. Knowing the psychological consequences of daily routine disruption during lockdown, we evaluated the changes in eating behaviours in a paediatric cohort before and during the lockdown period through the evaluation of the Italian version of the CEBQ. Children attending the pediatric clinic of the University of Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’ were prospectively enrolled.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 9 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 7 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, obesity, social distance | Countries: Italy
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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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