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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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).

In whose best interest? Parental hesitancy toward the COVID-19 vaccine for children in Japan: a literature survey study

Shizuko Takahashi; Eisuke Nakazawa; Akira Akabayashi

Published: June 2022   Journal: COVID
In early February 2022, the Japanese government sent COVID-19 vaccine vouchers to children ages 5–11. Using keywords obtained from the voucher, the frequently asked questions section, and experts, this study descriptively analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of vaccination for children and their parents through a web-based literature survey of media articles and government homepage statements in Japan. For children, vaccination helps prevent severe symptoms and may be particularly beneficial for children in low-income families by lowering the rate of suicide and at-home child abuse. For parents, not vaccinating their child allows them to fulfill a more traditional role as a parent (mothers in particular), reduces the gender gap for mothers, and provides greater peace of mind about their child’s future fertility. This study also examined the governmental vaccination campaigns targeting children from public health perspectives.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 2 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: COVID-19, immunization, immunization programmes, infectious disease, pandemic, vaccination, vaccination policies | Countries: Japan
The relationship between family variables and family social problems during the COVID-19 pandemic

Saeko Kamoshida; Naoto Nihonmatsu; Gen Takagi (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Plos One
This study examined the relationship between variables about family members co-residing during the COVID-19 pandemic and anxiety about COVID-19, domestic violence from spouse, child abuse anxiety, internet addiction, and mental health as social problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 220 parents (70 male and 150 female, age; M = 41.6, SD = 34.4) were included in the analysis. Stepwise hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted with dependent variables of fear of COVID-19, spousal violence, anxiety regarding perpetrating child abuse, internet addiction, and mental health. The independent variables were basic variables related to family members such as family composition.
Association of regular mealtimes with a balanced diet among Japanese preschool children: a study of lifestyle changes after the spread of COVID-19 infection

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

Published: June 2022   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

This study examines whether preschool children who maintained regular mealtimes after the spread of COVID-19 infection have better lifestyle habits, like waking up and sleeping early and a more balanced diet, than those who did not. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted among 2,000 individuals who provided meals to preschool children aged 2 to 6 years. The Healthy Diet Score (HDS), on a 40-point scale, was developed to comprehensively assess the dietary balance of preschool children based on their frequency of food intake from 13 food groups. The analysis included data on 1,850 children, excluding those who failed to answer the main questions. The participants were classified into four groups based on their responses regarding the regularity of mealtimes after the spread of COVID-19: ‘regular mealtimes (n = 125),’ ‘originally regular and remains unchanged (n = 1514),’ ‘irregular mealtimes (n = 63),’ and ’originally irregular and remains unchanged (n = 148).’ Multiple regression analysis was conducted with HDS as the dependent variable, and regularity of mealtimes and confounding factors as independent variables.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 6 | Issue: Supplement 1 | No. of pages: 1 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, preschool children, social distance | Countries: Japan
Effects of COVID-19-related anxiety and sleep problems on loneliness and feelings of school refusal in adolescents

Isa Okajima; Yukako Honda; Osamu Semba (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Front. Psychiatry

COVID-19-related anxiety, sleep problems, and loneliness may be risk factors for school refusal in children and adolescents. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms by which these risk factors cause school refusal. This study examined the process by which COVID-19-related anxiety, sleep problems, and loneliness cause school refusal, using structural equation modeling. In this cross-sectional questionnaire-based study, 256 (109 male, 147 female, mean age: 15.37 ± 0.48 years) senior high school students were asked to complete the Stress and Anxiety associated with Viral Epidemics-6 questionnaire to assess COVID-19-related anxiety, the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS), Sleep Debt Index (SDI), and chronotype (MSFsc) to assess sleep problems, the Three-Item Loneliness Scale (TILS) to assess loneliness, and Feelings of School-Avoidance Scale (FSAS) to assess school refusal.

One school’s management of students with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan: a study based on interviews with teachers

Yusuke Kusumi; Mitsuaki Tominaga; Hironobu Nagasawa (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of intellectual disabilities : JOID
This study aimed to elucidate how school employees caring for students with intellectual disabilities managed emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It attended to decision-making by school managers as well as the engagement of local teachers in the outcome resolution process. A total of 10 teachers employed in different positions were purposefully selected from a school for students with intellectual disabilities in Osaka, Japan, and interviews were conducted with them via Zoom. The thematic analysis identified six significant premises: sensemaking, emergency responsive organization, high morale, planning through prioritization, risk management, and recovery from adverse incidents. The findings suggest distributed leadership functions to successfully sustain security in educational practices. Additionally, the empirical study consisting of interviews with staff in multiple positions reveals that all of the staff's proactive participation in decision-making and the communication process enabled the school to cope with the pandemic crisis as a united organization.
Did children in single-parent households have a higher probability of emotional instability during the COVID-19 pandemic? A nationwide cross-sectional study in Japan

Takuto Naito; Yasutake Tomata; Tatsui Otsuka (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The influence of public health measures against COVID-19 in Japan on child mental health by household type is unknown. This study aimed to investigate whether COVID-19 and the declaration of a state of emergency in Japan affected children’s mental health between single-parent and two-parent households disproportionately. A large cross-sectional online survey was conducted from August to September 2020. The study included 3365 parents with children aged 0–14 years old who reported their children’s mental status during the declared state of emergency. Emotional instability was reported dichotomously by parents. As the primary result, the probability of emotional instability was higher in single-parent households compared with that in two-parent households after adjustments for potential covariates; the adjusted prevalence ratio (95% CI) was 1.26 (1.07–1.49).
Identifying vulnerable children’s stress levels and coping measures during COVID-19 pandemic in Japan: a mixed method study

Hajime Takeuchi; Sharanya Napier-Raman; Osamagbe Asemota (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMJ Paediatrics Open

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable children and youth. In Japan, despite evidence that the paediatric age group holds a lower risk of infection than the older population, there was a nationwide closure of schools as an early public health measure. Acknowledging that school closures brought heightened psychological and physical stress among Japanese children, we aimed to explore vulnerable children’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, focusing on socially disadvantaged subset of the population. This study used an adapted version of the ‘Perceived Stress Scale for Children’, with additional free-text space, delivered online to children attending three non-profit organisations which provide support for this group of vulnerable persons and families experiencing social disadvantage. Simple descriptive analysis was undertaken on the quantitative data; we used thematic and content analysis for the qualitative data.

Quality of life of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic: a 1-year follow-up study

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

Published: March 2022   Journal: Scientific Reports volume
This study aimed to reveal changes in the quality of life (QOL) of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents, and the interaction between their QOL and parental mental state during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Eighty-nine school-aged children and parents participated in surveys in May 2020 (T1) and May 2021 (T2). The parents completed questionnaires that assessed their QOL, depression, parenting stress, and living conditions. Children’s temporary mood status was evaluated using the self-reported visual analog scale (VAS). Children’s QOL and VAS at T2 were higher than their QOL at T1. Parents’ QOL at T2 was lower than their QOL at T1. Severe parental depression at T1 had a synergistic effect on severe parenting stress and severe depressive state at T2. Additionally, children’s high QOL at T1 had a synergistic effect on low parenting stress and children’s high QOL at T2. Furthermore, children’s low VAS scores and parents’ low QOL at T2 were associated with deterioration of family economic status.
E-book-based learning activity during COVID-19: engagement behaviors and perceptions of Japanese junior-high school students

Hiroyuki Kuromiya; Rwitajit Majumdar; Gou Miyabe (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning
Recent spread of the COVID-19 forces governments around the world to temporarily close educational institutions. This paper evaluated learning engagement, level of satisfaction and anxiety of e-book based remote teaching strategy on an online learning platform. The research involves 358 students at an urban junior-high school in Japan. Learning logs were analyzed to measure student engagement, whereas survey responses indicated their perception regarding the remote learning experience. Log analysis revealed that the average completion rate over 267 learning materials was 67%.
The impact of COVID-19 on the psychological distress of youths in Japan: a latent growth curve analysis

Sho Fujihara; Takahiro Tabuchi

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

This study expands on previous studies that have investigated the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on mental health in two ways. It first model the change in mental health, then examine the various factors that predict changes in psychological distress. Longitudinal surveys were conducted once each in 2015, 2017, and 2019 on mothers and their children born between April 2000 and March 2001 (n = 1854), and three times in 2020 (February, July, and December) on the children in Japan. A latent growth curve model with four time points from December 2019 to December 2020 was used to depict the changes in the psychological distress of youths and to examine the factor associated with the level and change in psychological distress.

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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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