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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Mental health of hothers of preschoolers amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan: a cross-sectional study

Tomoko Sumiyoshi; Yukiko Satoh; Mio Tanaka

Published: December 2022   Journal: The Open Public Health Journal

The COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s emergency declarations in Japan may have influenced people’s mental health. In particular, among women, there are concerns about the occurrence of neuroses, such as depression and anxiety. This study aimed to identify the factors related to mental distress among women in Japan who were raising children amid the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey was conducted in 2020 among 730 Japanese women raising preschoolers. The survey included questions about child-rearing, anxiety, and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). The average age of the respondents was 34.4 years (21–52 years), and 31.5% of the respondents were living in “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” areas.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic exposure on child dental caries: difference-in-differences analysis

Yusuke Matsuyama; Aya Isumi; Satomi Doi (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Caries Research
The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on dental caries is unknown. We investigated the effect of the pandemic on child dental caries in Japan by comparing the increase in dental caries from fourth to sixth grade between two cohorts, COVID-19 exposed cohort and COVID-19 unexposed cohort, using difference-in-differences analysis. Longitudinal data that followed elementary school children in Adachi City, Tokyo, were analyzed. The analysis consisted of two cohorts: those who were in fourth grade in 2016 and sixth grade in 2018 (COVID-19 unexposed cohort, N = 399) and those who were in fourth grade in 2018 and sixth grade in 2020 (COVID-19 exposed cohort, N = 3,082). Children’s dental caries were examined by school dentists.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 9 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19 response, health services, lockdown, social distance | Countries: Japan
Effectiveness of the booster of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine among Japanese adolescents: a cohort study

Yoshika Saito; Kana Yamamoto; Morihito Takita (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Vaccines
Vaccination is effective in preventing COVID-19-related hospitalization among all age groups, but there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of the booster of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine among adolescents. This study analyzed the data on the status of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their vaccination profiles in adolescents aged 13–18 years in Soma city (Fukushima, Japan) (n = 1835) from 14 May to 15 June 2022. The crude incidence rate and 95% confidence interval were calculated with the negative-binomial regression model after classifying the immunization status. The crude effectiveness of a booster administration to prevent infections was estimated as 86.4% (95% confidence interval: 57.2–95.7) when compared with the primary vaccination alone.
Time trends in emotional well-being and self-esteem in children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ryunosuke Goto; Aurelie Piedvache; Mayumi Hangai (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

Given their unique COVID-19 pandemic experience, it is necessary to evaluate the mental health of youth beyond the initial stages of the pandemic, in relation to the stringency of the social distancing measures. This study aimed to describe long-term trends in emotional well-being and self-esteem among youth in Japan during the pandemic. Using serial cross-sectional data from April 2020 to December 2021, it evaluated the trends in emotional well-being and self-esteem of youth aged 6–17 years using the self-report KINDL questionnaire, weighted to represent the age and gender distributions in the Japanese population. It then tested the associations between emotional well-being and self-esteem and stringency of social distancing policies, measured using the Oxford COVID-19 Stringency Index. Analyses were also stratified by gender and age group.

The implicit self-esteem of Japanese junior high school students under the COVID-19 pandemic

Akitoshi Uchida; Kazuo Mori

Published: November 2022   Journal: Open Journal of Social Sciences
This study aimed to examine the psychological effects of the COVID-19 turmoil of junior high school students. It assessed 142 Japanese junior high school students (74 boys, 68 girls) who experienced the confusion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and compared them with those of 164 students (81 boys, 83 girls) before the turmoil in 2018. The paper-and-pencil Implicit Association Test (Mori, Uchida, & Imada, 2008) was administered to assess implicit self-esteem with the target word “myself” to both cohorts.
Topic model analysis of attitudes of mothers with infants and toddlers toward travel before and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Tadanari Taniguchi; Ryozo Kitajima; Shinji Sakamoto (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Global Tourism Research Online
It is important for creating a travel-friendly environment to consider old people and young children, who have many issues when traveling. In this study, the attitudes of mothers with infants and toddlers toward travel before and after the COVID-19 pandemic were analyzed using data from mamari, which is a smartphone application for mothers to solve and share questions and concerns about pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare. Latent Dirichlet allocation topic models were constructed for the data, which were user question sentences written in Japanese. Thus, the attitudes of mothers toward travel were investigated using the topic model analysis.
Physical fitness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results of annual national physical fitness surveillance among 16,647,699 Japanese children and adolescents between 2013 and 2021

Tetsuhiro Kidokoro; Grant R. Tomkinson; Justin J. Lang (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Sport and Health Science

The primary aim was to examine the temporal trends in physical fitness (PF) for Japanese children and adolescents before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The secondary aim was to estimate the concurrent trends in body size (measured as body mass and height) and movement behaviors (exercise, screen, and sleep time). Census PF data for children in Grade 5 (aged 10–11 years) and adolescents in Grade 8 (aged 13–14 years) were obtained for the years 2013–2021 from the National Survey of Physical Fitness, Athletic Performance, and Exercise Habits in Japan (n = 16,647,699). PF and body size were objectively measured, and movement behaviors were self-reported. Using sample-weighted linear regression, temporal trends in mean PF were calculated before the pandemic (2013–2019) and during the pandemic (2019–2021) with adjustments for age, sex, body size, and exercise time.

Lessons from the health policies for children during the pandemic in Japan

Naohisa Shobako

Published: October 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health
It is everyone's desire to seek the sound growth of children through food education and there is a critical need for fostering an environment for this purpose. Health policies are important for this support. To the present, the Japanese society has been greatly disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic. “Stay at home”, “mokusyoku (silent eating)”, and mask wearing were encouraged in nationwide campaigns as public health measures to combat COVID-19. There are some papers reporting negative effects of “stay at home” and lockdowns such as weight gain, decrease in physical activities and change in eating habits. In Japan, while benefits and advantages of food education during mealtime were previously well studied, the “mokusyoku” rule may directly run counter to this food education. Moreover, there are several reports showing that nutrients might contribute to prevention of infectious diseases. Japanese children were also encouraged to wear masks all day long. The results of the clinical research, especially randomized control trials, show limited protective effect of masks. On the other hand, negative outcomes of the masks were reported in various scenes. This review focuses on these topics and arousing reconsideration for a better environment for children.
Relationship between children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their caregivers and friends during early phase of COVID-19 school closure in Japan: association with difficulty in implementing infection prevention measures

Tomoka Yamamoto; Sanae Tanaka; Arika Yoshizaki (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic people had to implement various infection prevention measures. Researchers have reported the difficulties experienced by children with neurodevelopmental disorders in implementing these measures and their caregivers’ resultant anxiety and stress. This study examined the relationship between these difficulties and the deterioration of the children’s relationships with their caregivers and friends during school closure and after school reopened. A total of 150 caregivers of children with neurodevelopmental disorders answered a questionnaire asking about parent‒child relationships, their child’s friendships, and the presence or absence of difficulty in implementing infection prevention measures at three time points: before the pandemic, while schools were closed, and after school reopened. The frequency and percentages of the child’s behavioral problems, deterioration in their relationships, and difficulty implementing infection control measures were calculated. Using the relationship deterioration scores, independent and multiple regression analyses were performed for the presence or absence of difficulty implementing infection control measures, presence or absence of caregivers’ mental health concerns, and the presence or absence of deterioration of one or more problematic behaviors.

Supporting adolescents' mental health during COVID-19 by utilising lessons from the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Junko Okuyama; Shin-Ichi Izumi; Shunichi Funakoshi (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
Historical data can determine how adolescents recover from difficult situations such as the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study analysed 3 years of data obtained from high-school students who had been affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and consequently evidenced the importance of increasing resilience among affected adolescents. This involved identifying factors contributing to resilience through a model that assessed for each tsunami disaster. This model was determined by assessing the correlation between survivors’ resilience scores and their measured psychological and lifestyle scores. This approach showed that, in all tsunami damage models, resilience was most affected by the depressed emotions. Thus, our approach suggests that interventions for improving the depressed mood may improve resilience in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Game‐related behaviors among children and adolescents after school closure during the COVID‐19 pandemic: a cross‐sectional study

Naoki Yamamoto; Yoshiro Morimoto; Hirohisa Kinoshita (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences Reports

Increased exposure to digital gaming content among youth in recent years has raised serious health concerns. Social restrictions such as school closures, imposed worldwide because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, may increase exposure to gaming and lead to addictive gaming behavior in young people. This study investigated gaming behaviors among Japanese students during COVID-19 school closures. Students completed questionnaires regarding their living conditions, game-related behaviors, diagnosis of Internet addiction, psychological difficulties, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mealtime regularity Is associated with dietary balance among preschool children in Japan: a study of lifestyle changes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Yuki Tada; Yukari Ueda; Kemal Sasaki (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Nutrients
The novel coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has considerably impacted children’s lives. The aim of this study was to determine whether the pandemic affected mealtime regularity among preschool children and whether maintaining regular mealtimes or changes in mealtime regularity during the pandemic were related to dietary balance, including chronological relationships. This online cross-sectional survey involving individuals registered with a company that provides meals to children aged 2−6 years was conducted in February 2021. Using a 40-point scale, a healthy diet score (HDS) was developed to evaluate children’s dietary balance. The participants were divided into four groups based on their responses, and multiple regression analyses were performed with the HDS as the dependent variable. Maintaining regular mealtimes was associated with practices such as waking and going to bed earlier, less snacking, and eating breakfast every day.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 14 | Issue: 14 | No. of pages: 14 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, preschool children, social distance | Countries: Japan
Impact of school closure due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on body mass index in Japanese children: Retrospective longitudinal study

Yuka Nagashima; Mikako Inokuchi; Yosuke Yasui (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Paediatrics and Chils Health

During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the governments of many countries responded to high levels of infection with lockdowns. As a result, some children were reported to experience weight gain. The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of school closures on body mass index (BMI) in Japanese children. This was a retrospective study of students enrolled in the participating schools (6- to 11-year-old elementary school students and 12- to 14-year-old junior high school students) between 2015 and 2020. Using school health check-up data, annual changes in the BMI standard deviation score (ΔBMI-SDS) were calculated. We compared ΔBMI-SDS in 2019–2020 with the corresponding control years.

Gender differences in housework and childcare among Japanese workers during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Toshihide Sakuragi; Rie Tanaka; Mayumi Tsuji (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Occupational Health

Although gender stereotypes regarding paid work and unpaid work are changing, most wives are responsible for taking care of the family and home in Japan. It is unclear how time spent on housework and childcare has changed between working men and women during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. The purpose of this study is to investigate how working men and women’s responsibilities for housework and childcare changed during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan depending on work hours, job type, the number of employees in the workplace, and frequency of telecommuting. A cross-sectional analysis (N = 14,454) was conducted using data from an Internet monitoring study (CORoNa Work Project), which was conducted in December 2020. A multilevel logistic model with nested prefectures of residence was conducted to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for change in time devoted to housework and childcare among men and women adjusting for age, household income, presence of spouse who work, work hours, job type, the number of employees in the workplace, frequency of telecommuting, and the incidence rate of COVID-19 by prefecture.

Implementation of online classes during national school closure due to COVID‐19 and mental health symptoms of adolescents: a cross‐sectional survey of 5000 students

Ryo Morishima; Haruna Koike; Akiko Kanehara (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: PCN Reports

Online classes were implemented in numerous schools during the school closure due to COVID-19. The present study examined the relationship between online classes during national school closure and mental health symptoms after the reopening of schools. It conducted a cross-sectional survey from October 1 to November 7, 2020 using an anonymous self-reported questionnaire to evaluate 21 junior and senior high schools in the Saitama prefecture of Japan. Out of the 5538 students who were recruited, 5000 agreed to participate. The relationship between the implementation of online classes and mental health symptoms (emotional symptoms, psychotic experience [PE], and smartphone addiction) was evaluated using mixed-effect logistic regression models, while controlling for individual and class-level covariates (e.g., gender, grades).

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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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