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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The quality of life of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents during the Coronavirus disease 19 emergency in Japan

Riyo Ueda; Takashi Okada; Yosuke Kita (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Scientific Reports
This study aimed to reveal how the COVID-19 stay-at-home period has afected the quality of life (QOL) of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents and to identify possible factors that enabled them to maintain their QOL. We enrolled 136 school-aged children (intellectual quotient ≥ 50) and their parents and administered QOL questionnaires to assess the maladaptive behavior of the children; depression, anxiety, and stress of the parents; and activities of their daily lives.
How the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the education service

Byeongwoo Kang

Published: February 2021
This chapter focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education service, which is typically classified as a service industry in industrial classifications. Digital transformation in the education sector has attracted significant attention recently. The distance education is becoming a new normal in the education service. However, the education community in general is not ready to maximize the merits of distance learning. We need to change the role of instructors from a knowledge teacher to a learning motivator and progress manager. In addition, we need more investment in ICT infrastructure in the education service to enhance educational effects.
Factors modifying children’s stress during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

Seiko Mochida; Mieko Sanada; Qinfeng Shao (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal
This study explored the factors associated with the stress signs among children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. Although children showed increased stress signs, they also showed increased development of good behavioral traits during this period. Parenting styles were significantly correlated with the psychological and physical stresses experienced by children. While a punitive parenting style had significant correlations with increased psychological and physical stress, a warm and permissive parenting style had positive correlations with increased good behavioral traits and behaviors of children even during the pandemic. Social support enhanced mothers’ self-esteem and positive perceptions among children.
The impact of closing schools on working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence using panel data from Japan

Eiji Yamamura; Yoshiro Tsustsui

Published: January 2021   Journal: Review of Economics of the Household
COVID-19 has led to the closure of various schools in Japan to cope with the pandemic. This study explores how school closure influences parents’ work style based on short panel data for the period of school closure from mid-March to mid-April 2020. Specifically, it analyzes how the presence of their children influences parents’ work at home and examines how the effect differs by the parent’s gender.
Association between maternity harassment and depression during pregnancy amid the COVID‐19 state of emergency

Yuko Kachi; Takeo Fujiwara; Hisashi Eguchi (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Occupational Health

Maternity harassment, known in English as pregnancy discrimination, remains prevalent in developed countries. However, research examining the mental health effects of maternity harassment is lacking. We aimed to examine the association between maternity harassment and depression during pregnancy in Japan. A cross‐sectional Internet survey was conducted on 359 pregnant employees (including women who were working at the time their pregnancy was confirmed) from May 22 to May 31, 2020, during which time a COVID‐19 state of emergency was declared. Maternity harassment was defined as being subjected to any of the 16 adverse treatments prohibited by national guidelines.

Increase in suicide following an initial decline during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

Takanao Tanaka; Shohei Okamoto

Published: January 2021   Journal: Nature Human Behaviour (
There is increasing concern that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic could harm psychological health and exacerbate suicide risk. Here, based on month-level records of suicides covering the entire Japanese population in 1,848 administrative units, this study assessed whether suicide mortality changed during the pandemic. Using difference-in-difference estimation, this study found that monthly suicide rates declined by 14% during the first 5 months of the pandemic (February to June 2020). This could be due to a number of complex reasons, including the government’s generous subsidies, reduced working hours and school closure. By contrast, monthly suicide rates increased by 16% during the second wave (July to October 2020), with a larger increase among females (37%) and children and adolescents (49%).
What the COVID-19 school closure left in its wake: evidence from a regression discontinuity analysis in Japan

Reo Takaku; Izumi Yokoyama

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Economics
To  control  the  spread  of  COVID-19,  the  national  government  of  Japan  abruptly started the closure of elementary schools on March 2,  2020,  but preschools were exempted from this nationwide school closure.  Taking advantage of this natural experiment, we examined how the proactive closure of elementary schools affected various outcomes related to children and family well-being.  To identify the causal effects of the school closure, we exploited the discontinuity in the probability of not going to school at a certain threshold of age in months and conducted fuzzy regression discontinuity analyses.   The  data  are  from  a  large-scale  online  survey  of  mothers  whose  first born children were aged 4 to 10 years.
Effects of voluntary event cancellation and school closure as countermeasures against COVID-19 outbreak in Japan

Yoshiyuki Sugishita; Junko Kurita; Tamie Sugawara

Published: December 2020   Journal: Plos One
To control the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan, sports and entertainment events were canceled and schools were closed throughout Japan from February 26 through March 19. That policy has been designated as voluntary event cancellation and school closure (VECSC). This study assesses VECSC effectiveness based on predicted outcomes. A simple susceptible–infected–recovered model was applied to data of patients with symptoms in Japan during January 14 through March 26. The respective reproduction numbers for periods before VECSC (R0), during VECSC (Re), and after VECSC (Ra) were estimated.
Development of a family-friendly system for Japanese parents infected with COVID-19

Kyoko Yoshioka-Maeda; Chikako Honda; Riho Iwasaki-Motegi

Published: December 2020   Journal: Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health
The number of coronavirus disease 2019–infected people taking treatment at home is increasing every day in Japan. Even though they need to be hospitalized, due to the inability to secure childcare, infected parents are taking medical treatment at home. This short report focused on developing a new childcare system in Japan for parents infected with coronavirus disease 2019. It is important that each public sector makes family-friendly policies to ensure the development of a childcare system equipped to deal with the current pandemic.
Caregivers’ mental distress and child health during the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan

Sayaka Horiuchi; Ryoji Shinohara; Sanae Otawa (et al.)

Published: December 2020
To clarify the physical and mental conditions of children during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and consequent social distancing in relation to the mental condition of their caregivers. This internet-based nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted between April 30 and May 13, 2020. The participants were 1,200 caregivers of children aged 3–14 years. Child health issues were categorized into “at least one” or “none” according to caregivers’ perception. Caregivers’ mental status was assessed using the Japanese version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale-6.
Child abuse and neglect prevention by public health nurses during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Japan

Chikako Honda; Kyoko Yoshioka‐Maeda; Riho Iwasaki‐Motegi (et al.)

Published: August 2020   Journal: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Child abuse and neglect are high‐priority public health issues around the world, but it is known that early care for families with parenting anxiety and stress is essential for preventing abuse (World Health Organization, 2006). In Japan, the country has created a national campaign plan called The Second Term of Healthy Parents and Children 21 (2015‐2024) to address two prioritized agenda: (1) supporting parents with difficulties raising their children; and (2) preventing child abuse from pregnancy. Public health nurses (PHNs) play a crucial role in preventing child abuse and neglect by providing family healthcare in each municipality. In Japan, more than 70% of PHNs work for municipalities or prefectures covering people at various health stages from birth to old age, identifying health issues for infants and their parents before preschool through a variety of health checkups and home visits.
Do suicide rates in children and adolescents change during school closure in Japan? The acute effect of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic on child and adolescent mental health

Aya Isumi; Satomi Doi; Yui Yamaoka

Published: August 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect
This study investigates the acute effect of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide among children and adolescents during school closure in Japan.
Age-dependent effects in the transmission and control of COVID-19 epidemics

Nicholas Davies; Petra Klepac; Yang Liu

Published: July 2020   Journal: Nature Medicine
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a markedly low proportion of cases among children. Age disparities in observed cases could be explained by children having lower susceptibility to infection, lower propensity to show clinical symptoms or both. We evaluate these possibilities by fitting an age-structured mathematical model to epidemic data from China, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Canada and South Korea. We estimate that susceptibility to infection in individuals under 20 years of age is approximately half that of adults aged over 20 years, and that clinical symptoms manifest in 21% (95% credible interval: 12–31%) of infections in 10- to 19-year-olds, rising to 69% (57–82%) of infections in people aged over 70 years. Accordingly, we find that interventions aimed at children might have a relatively small impact on reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, particularly if the transmissibility of subclinical infections is low. Our age-specific clinical fraction and susceptibility estimates have implications for the expected global burden of COVID-19, as a result of demographic differences across settings. In countries with younger population structures—such as many low-income countries—the expected per capita incidence of clinical cases would be lower than in countries with older population structures, although it is likely that comorbidities in low-income countries will also influence disease severity. Without effective control measures, regions with relatively older populations could see disproportionally more cases of COVID-19, particularly in the later stages of an unmitigated epidemic.
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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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