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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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31 - 45 of 160
COVID-19-related fears, stress and depression in adolescents: the role of loneliness and relational closeness to online friends

Valentina Boursier; Francesca Gioia; Alessandro Musetti (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Research shows that the various waves of COVID-19 have generated increased fears, loneliness, and negative feelings in many adolescents. In this context, social media use may fulfill the pivotal function of connection, thereby supporting a sense of relational and emotional closeness to others via online interactions. However, there is no agreement as to the risks or buffering effects of social media usage among adolescents during the pandemic. The current study aims to explore the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19-related fears on adolescents’ perceived stress and depression, evaluating the mediating effect of their sense of loneliness and the moderating effect of relational closeness to online friends. A sample of 544 Italian adolescents participated in an online survey during the third wave of COVID-19 (71.9% females; mean age = 16.22 years).
Child development and distance learning in the age of COVID-19

Hugues Champeaux; Lucia Mangiavacchi; Francesca Marchetta (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Review of Economics of the Household
School closures, forcibly brought about by the COVID-19 crisis in many countries, have impacted children’s lives and their learning processes. The heterogeneous implementation of distance learning solutions is likely to bring a substantial increase in education inequality, with long term consequences. The present study uses data from a survey collected during Spring 2020 lockdown in France and Italy to analyze parents’ evaluations of their children’s home schooling process and emotional well-being at time of school closure, and the role played by different distance learning methods in shaping these perceptions.
Protective and risk activities for emotional and behavioural well-being of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 lockdown

Ilaria Nicolì; Maria Spinelli; Francesca Lionetti

Published: March 2022   Journal: Child

The lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic brought deep changes in the daily life of Italian children and adolescents, increasing the time spent at home. This study aims to explore how activities that children and adolescents carried out at home during the lockdown were related to their emotional and behavioural well-being. Parents completed an anonymous online survey on how much time their children and adolescents dedicated to social networks, solitary screen time, play time and to a series of parent–child dyadic activities. They also reported on their offspring's emotional difficulties and behavioural problems.

Physical education on the beach: an alternative way to improve primary school children’s skill- and health-related outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Maria Chiara Gallotta; Giovanna Zimatore; Ludovica Cardinali (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 restrictions could preclude children from participating in physical education (PE) interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a PE intervention conducted on the beach on children’s skill- and health-related outcomes, as a possible alternative PE intervention that could be also applied during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study involved 106 primary school children, randomly assigned to the traditional indoor (TI) intervention or to the experimental outdoor (EO) intervention. The intervention period lasted 4 months and consisted of two 1-h sessions per week. Intervention was conducted just before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was not safe in his house: The COVID-19 pandemic and violence against refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy
Institution: *UNICEF, Washington University in St. Louis
Published: March 2022

This research explored the specific impacts of the pandemic on exposure to gender based violence risks among refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy. The research focused on refugee and migrant girls and women because of the intersectionality of vulnerabilities related to their gender and their migration status. It examined the availability and accessibility of gender based violence service provision over the course of the pandemic, and explored how services adapted in the face of this health emergency.

Parental mediation of COVID-19 news and children’s emotion regulation during lockdown

Mara Morelli; Federica Graziano; Antonio Chirumbolo (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a large amount of emotionally charged messaging that is believed to have a tremendous psychological impact, particularly on children and early adolescents. The present study examined the relationships between children’s exposure to COVID-19 news, children’s emotional responses to the news, parental styles of mediating COVID-19 news, and children’s emotional functioning during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy in April 2020. An online survey was completed by 277 parents (Mage = 43.36; SDage = 4.76; mothers = 89.5%) with children aged 6 to 13 years.
Non-suicidal self-injury: a school-based peer education program for adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic

Annarosa Cipriano; Cristina Aprea; Ludovica Bellone (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) constitutes a major health concern among youth. However, less is known about the useful ways to prevent NSSI. As such, the NSSI- Peer Education Program (NSSI-PEP) aims to intervene on the vulnerability factors that predispose to NSSI by applying a peer education approach. The NSSI-PEP is grounded on the psychoanalytic tradition’s tenets, implementing modules targeting four crucial risk factors for NSSI: pubertal transformation, body image, self-esteem, and emotion regulation. Selected 8th grade students were trained to serve as peer educators and held a peer-education intervention for 6th and 7th grade students. Pre- and post-intervention assessments were conducted in order to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle behaviors in children and adolescents: an international overview

S. Scapaticci; C. R. Neri; G. L. Marseglia (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics

The adverse effects of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are not limited to the related infectious disease. In children and adolescents, serious risks due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are also related to its indirect effects. These include an unbalanced diet with an increased risk of weight excess or nutritional deficiencies, increased sedentary lifestyle, lack of schooling, social isolation, and impaired mental health.  Pediatricians should be aware of the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s diet, physical mental health and advise the families according to their nutritional needs and financial resources. Moreover, the lack of a targeted therapy able to offer protection against the deleterious effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection should require a greater effort by scientific societies to find a more effective prevention strategy. In this context, much interest should be given to nutritional support, able to contrast malnutrition and to stimulate the immune system.

COVID-19: psychological symptoms and coping strategies in preschoolers, schoolchildren, and adolescents

Elisa Delvecchio; Mireia Orgilés; Alexandra Morales (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
The present study aimed to compare psychological symptoms and coping strategies in 1480 preschoolers, schoolchildren, and adolescents during home confinement due to COVID-19. It enrolled parents from Italy, Portugal, and Spain who completed a survey between the second and fourth week of lockdown. The results showed that preschoolers displayed more sleeping difficulties, temper tantrums, and dependency while adolescents' reactions were more related to COVID-19 worries and uncertainty. Schoolchildren showed more difficulty in concentrating. Adolescent girls showed higher anxiety levels than schoolchildren boys.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on affect, fear, and personality of primary school children measured during the second wave of infections in 2020

Alessio Matiz; Franco Fabbro; Andrea Paschetto (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
In relation to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, a large body of research has identified a negative impact on individuals' affectivity, frequently documented by increased prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms. For children, this research was less extensive, was mainly based on caregivers' reports and neglected personality assessment. In order to measure the impact of the pandemic, and the fears it caused, on primary school children's affect and personality, 323 (180 boys and 143 girls) Italian third, fourth and fifth graders were assessed between October and November 2020, namely during the second wave of COVID-19 infections in Italy, with validated self-reports of affect (Positive and Negative Affect Scale for Children, PANAS-C), fear of COVID-19 (Fear of COVID-19 Scale, FCV-19S) and personality (junior Temperament and Character Inventory, jTCI). In comparison with PANAS-C and jTCI normative scores collected prior to the pandemic, data obtained from children in 2020 showed unchanged affect scores in the overall sample, a decrease of Positive Affect in girls, and a decrease in the Harm Avoidance and an increase in the Self-Transcendence scales of personality.
Diffusion of COVID-19 among children and adolescents during the second and third waves of the pandemic in Italy

Francesca Bassi; Mattia Doria

Published: January 2022   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics
This paper explores COVID-19 diffusion among children and adolescents (up to 19 years old) in Italy using the publicly available data that were collected and released by the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS). It considers in more detail the so-called second and third waves of the pandemic in Italy and explores the relationship between schools opening and the diffusion of COVID-19, which is a highly debated topic in the recent reference literature. It analyses the dynamics of COVID-19 incidence in the country as a whole and in its individual regions. Moreover, it compares the regions in which different levels of restrictions were imposed during the pandemic as well as different school closure calendars.
Parents’ willingness to vaccinate their children with COVID-19 vaccine: results of a survey in Italy

Gabriella Di Giuseppe; Concetta Paola Pelullo; Andrea Salvatore Volgare (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the parents’ willingness to vaccinate their children with COVID-19 vaccine and related determinants with specific attention to willingness for adolescents as compared to younger children. Data were collected through a confidential online questionnaire.

Childhood confined by COVID-19 in Italy and the impacts on the right to education

Fernando Donizete Alves; Aline Sommerhalder; Concetta La Rocca (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: International Journal of Early Years Education
This article aimed to assess the impact of school closures in Italy on children's lives, particularly in Early Childhood Education, as a result of the Covid-19 containment measures. A set of documents published by the Italian government related to the measures to contain the covid-19 were analyzed. Based on content analysis, three categories of analysis were defined: 1) containment measures and social life; 2) school closures and distance education; 3) the return of face-to-face activities in early childhood education. The results indicated that the containment measures imposed severe restrictions on children's social interaction, such as the closing of public and private spaces (parks, museums, etc.) and the impossibility of moments of interaction and collective play. They impacted the right to education by closing schools when distance education was implemented as a measure to reduce potential damage to children's learning and overall development. For the resumption of in-person activities in schools, there should be priority use of open spaces, social distancing, and measures of personal and collective hygiene. Another significant result is the consideration of daycare centers and pre-school as essential services by the Italian government.
Italian same-sex parenting in times of COVID-19: constructing parenthood on insecure grounds

Salvatore Monaco

Published: January 2022   Journal: Family Relations

This article focuses on the challenges same-sex-parent families in Italy have faced in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. It is universally acknowledged that Italy was the first victim of the novel coronavirus in Europe. Due to the hazards caused by the pandemic, the Italian government implemented a series of countermeasures to help families, resolving the increasingly irreconcilable conflicts between work and childcare, providing financing to the most poverty-stricken families. However, some initiatives have made it clear that in Italy, not all people have received equal benefits. To further investigate and bring awareness to the issue of the vulnerability of Italian same-sex-parent families in times of COVID-19, 40 in-depth interviews were conducted online between March and June 2020 to collect data on attitudes, opinions, and behaviors at the individual level.

Family well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy: gender differences and solidarity networks of care

Nadia Rania; Ilaria Coppola; Francesca Lagomarsino (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
During the COVID-19 pandemic, families experienced new challenges related to reorganizing living spaces and the need to renegotiate domestic and care roles. This paper aims to understand how Italian families have reacted to this situation with respect to psychological well-being, the management of domestic and care activities and solidarity networks of care. The participants were 560 Italian subjects who reported having a parental role. The protocol included a measure of well-being (the General Health Questionnaire-12) and some questions related to the time dedicated to domestic activities or to caring for people, the perception of conflict within the family and solidarity networks of care.
31 - 45 of 160

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

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