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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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Early impact of school closure and social distancing for COVID-19 on the number of inpatients with childhood non-COVID-19 acute infections in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Kenji Kishimoto; Seiko Bun; Jung-ho Shin (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics
Many countries have implemented school closures as part of social distancing measures intended to control the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to assess the early impact of nationwide school closure (March–May 2020) and social distancing for COVID-19 on the number of inpatients with major childhood infectious diseases in Japan.
Mental health in Japanese children during school closures due to the COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
Mari Saito; Yutaka Kikuchi; Alan Kawarai Lefor (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Pediatrics International

Changes in relationships, sleep rhythms, and physical activity caused by school closures instituted to curb the spread of COVID‐19 influenced children’s mental health. We explored changes in children’s daily life and effects on their mental health during school closures. Participants included elementary and junior high school students 9 years of age and older seen in the outpatient clinic during school closures and were required to complete the Japanese version of WHO Five Well‐Being Index (WHO‐5‐J). The results were compared with those of students seen after schools reopened.

Review mental health and physical activity among children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Junko Okuyama; Shuji Seto; Yu Fukuda (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is causing disruptions in the global social system. Japanese children and adolescents have had their schools closed, government-mandated activity restrictions imposed, and interactions outside the home reduced. These restrictions can have a considerable psychological impact on children and adolescents. This review aims to describe the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity and psychological status of this population. The review was conducted by searching PubMed for information on the impact of COVID-19−related activity restrictions on children and adolescents.
Increased risk of rhinovirus infection in children during the coronavirus disease‐19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Emi Takashita; Chiharu Kawakami ; Tomoko Momoki (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses

Coronavirus disease (COVID‐19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2), was first detected in Japan in January 2020 and has spread throughout the country. Previous studies have reported that viral interference among influenza virus, rhinovirus, and other respiratory viruses can affect viral infections at the host and population level. To investigate the impact of COVID‐19 on influenza and other respiratory virus infections, this study analyzed clinical specimens collected from 2244 patients in Japan with respiratory diseases between January 2018 and September 2020.

Effectiveness of the 2019–2020 influenza vaccine and the effect of prior influenza infection and vaccination in children during the first influenza season overlapping with the COVID-19 epidemic

AUTHOR(S)
Soichiro Ando

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of Nippon Medical School

The behavioral changes among Japanese, along with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, may affect the seasonal influenza epidemic in Japan and change the influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE). Influenza VE in children was estimated in the first influenza season (2019/20) overlapping with the COVID-19 epidemic by conducting a single-center, test-negative case-control (TNCC) study. Effects of prior influenza infection and vaccination in children were assessed for the 2019–2020 season.

The COVID‐19 pandemic and families in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Tazuko Shibusawa; Chikako Ishii; Shinichi Nakamura (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy
This paper, which is authored by members of the Japanese Association of Family Therapy (JAFT), describes the COVID‐19 pandemic in Japan from a family systems perspective. It describes the course of the pandemic and the ways in which government policies to mitigate the pandemic have affected Japanese families. Challenges that affect Japanese families include the inability to participate in family and social rituals, prescribed gender roles that specifically affect women, high suicide rates, and prejudice against those who are at risk of spreading the infection. The need to shelter in place has also forced family homes to function as a workplace for parents, classrooms for children, and day care services for frail elders, which has resulted in psychological distress among individuals and conflicts among families.
Relationships between changes due to COVID-19 pandemic and the depressive and anxiety symptoms among mothers of infants and/or preschoolers: a prospective follow-up study from pre-COVID-19 Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Miyako Kimura; Kazuki Kimura; Toshiyuki Ojima

Published: February 2021   Journal: BMJ Open
Mothers with young children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the lifestyle changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the association between such changes and maternal mental health has not been examined, and comparable pre-COVID-19 baseline data were lacking. Thus, this study aimed to examine the relationships between changes due to COVID-19 pandemic and the development of depressive and anxiety symptoms among mothers of infants and/or preschoolers in Japan.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 11 | Issue: 2 | No. of pages: 9 | Language: English | Topics: Mental Health | Tags: COVID-19 response, maternal and child health, mental health, mental stress, psychological distress | Countries: Japan
The quality of life of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents during the Coronavirus disease 19 emergency in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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

AUTHOR(S)
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.
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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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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.