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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lifestyle and wellbeing of children, adolescents and their parents: a qualitative study

Kelly G. H. van de Pas; Marijn L. Hesselink; Robin Schlechtriem (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
Prior studies have shown that changes in daily structure and habits due to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the lifestyle and wellbeing of families. This study aimed to obtain in-depth information on children’s and adolescents’ experiences regarding their lifestyle and wellbeing during the pandemic. Semi-structured interviews with fifteen families were carried out between May and November 2021. Directed content analysis was used to analyze the transcripts and fundamental qualitative description to describe the results. Children and adolescents revealed an overall unhealthier lifestyle and decreased wellbeing. These negative effects were even larger in adolescents and children with overweight or psychosocial complaints. Our results revealed that parents were actively involved in maintaining a normal daily structure. Furthermore, diet changes were inconsistent and dependent on food availability. An increase in screen time was experienced as inevitable, and external influences were necessary to keep children and adolescents active. Almost no effects were reported on physical health, whereas negative emotions were experienced in varying degrees.
Stay home, stay safe? The impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the prevalence, nature, and type of reporter of domestic violence in the Netherlands

Anne Coomans; David Kühling-Romero; Sjoukje van Deuren (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Violence

Insecurities and social isolation resulting from the COVID-19 restrictions, may have elevated tensions at home, consequently increasing the risk of domestic violence. The present study aims to examine changes in the prevalence, nature, and type of reporter of domestic violence following the various restrictions implemented to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Netherlands. All official domestic violence reports recorded by the 26 Dutch domestic violence agencies in 2019 and 2020 were collected and analyzed. Time-series forecasting analyses, using a SARIMAX model, were conducted to predict the trend of domestic violence reports during the first lockdown and to compare the predicted trend with the observed trend.

Impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on gifted and non‐gifted primary school students' well‐being and motivation from a self‐determination perspective

H. Elise Samsen-Bronsveld; Sanne H. G. Van der Ven; Paula P. A. M. Speetjens (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
This study examined the impact of the COVID-19-induced school lockdown on need satisfaction, well-being and motivation in both gifted and non-gifted primary school students in the Netherlands. A total of 312 parents (122 from gifted children) participated.
A scenario modelling analysis to anticipate the impact of COVID-19 vaccination in adolescents and children on disease outcomes in the Netherlands, summer 2021

Kylie E. C. Ainslie; Jantien A. Backer; Pieter T. de Boer (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Eurosurveillance
This work presents an analysis to inform a policy decision during summer 2021, specifically whether to extend vaccination to adolescents (12–17-year-olds) and children (5–11-year-olds). To this end, it developed a deterministic, age-structured susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) model. It briefly describe the debate surrounding this policy decision to motivate this analysis and then present the results of our scenario modelling. Finally, it discusses the implications of its findings and reflect on its modelling conclusions in light of the emergence of the Omicron (Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (Pango) lineage: B.1.1.529) variant.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 27 | Issue: 44 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: COVID-19, immunization, immunization programmes, infectious disease, vaccination, vaccination policies | Countries: Netherlands
A longitudinal study on changes in food parenting practices during COVID-19 and the role of parental well-being

Junilla K. Larsen; Nina van den Broek; Maaike Verhagen (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Appetite
The COVID-19 pandemic may negatively influence food parenting practices, also among parents of adolescents. Parental well-being (stress and depressive symptoms) may explain these COVID-19 related changes in food parenting practices (snack structure, healthy structure, modeling, autonomy support, and coercive control). However, most previous studies performed before or during the COVID-19 pandemic have been limited by cross-sectional designs. The aim of the current study among parents of adolescent children was twofold. First, it aimed to examine prospective differences in food parenting practices comparing the situation before and during COVID-19. Second, it aimed to examine both cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between parental well-being and the dimensions of food parenting, while additionally examining whether these prospective associations were more pronounced in parents who had experienced more COVID-19 stressful life events.
Trajectories of adolescent perceived stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amanda W. G. van Loon; Hanneke E. Creemers; Simone Vogelaar (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Scientific Reports
Adolescents might be particularly affected by the drastic social changes as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, given the increased stress-sensitivity and importance of the social environment in this developmental phase. In order to examine heterogeneity during the pandemic, the current study aimed to identify whether subgroups of adolescents could be distinguished based on their levels of perceived stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety. In addition, it examined which prepandemic factors predicted these trajectories. Adolescents were assessed before the pandemic (N = 188, Mage = 13.49, SD = 0.81) and at three timepoints during the pandemic (i.e., eight, ten, and 15 months after the start of the pandemic in the Netherlands).
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on young children with feeding and eating problems and disorders and their families

Hilde Krom; Joost van Mameren; Lianne Remijn (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

The incidence of feeding and eating problems and disorders (FEPD) in children increased during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young children with FEPD and their parents. Cross-sectional survey: parents of children with FEPD (0-11 years) in the Netherlands completed an online questionnaire (January-April 2021). This questionnaire included 4 demographic questions (including criteria of Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) and/or Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)) and 11 questions related to experienced impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parental responses regarding children with FEPD (including PFD and ARFID) were compared to those of healthy controls (HC).

Perceived stress, family impact, and changes in physical and social daily life activities of children with chronic somatic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anne Krijger; Karolijn Dulfer; Hedy van Oers (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably affected children and their families. This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 measures in children with chronic somatic conditions (CSC) and their parents and compares them with a Dutch general population sample. We included a sample of children with CSC (0–18 years, n = 326) and compared them with children (8–18 years, n = 1,287) from the Dutch general population. Perceived stress, coping, social interaction with friends and family, physical activity, eating behavior, family support, parenting perception, and financial situation were assessed once with the self-reported and parent-reported COVID-19 child check questionnaire, between November 2020 and May 2021. Comparisons between the two samples were made by using t-tests and chi square tests.

Weight gain in children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the protective effect of lifestyle intervention in children with obesity.

Judith Lubrecht; Lisanne Arayessa; Dorien Reijnders (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Obesity Facts
School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic affect children’s daily structure, mealtimes, physical activity, and sleeping habits, possibly exacerbating weight gain, particularly in vulnerable children with overweight and obesity. This study aimed to evaluate both perceived and objectively measured weight gain in children in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of prior lifestyle intervention. A total of 150 children of the Children, Obesity and Lifestyle during COVID-19 (COLC) study (cohort A) reported perceptions of weight change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anthropometric data of 65 children with overweight and obesity were collected at the expertise Centre for Overweight Adolescent and Children’s Healthcare in the same period (COACH; cohort B).
The side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic: increased BMI z-score in children with overweight and obesity in a personalised lifestyle intervention one year after the start of the pandemic in the Netherlands

Lisanne Arayess; Nienke Knockaert; Bjorn Winkens (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Nutrients
Early research showed weight gain in children during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper aimed to compare changes in BMI z-score of children with overweight and obesity in a personalised lifestyle intervention before and during the pandemic. Changes in BMI z-score half a year (T6) and twelve months (T12) after the first lockdown were included for 71 children in the ‘2020 during COVID’ group and compared to 48 children in the ‘2019 before COVID’ group, using a marginal model for repeated measures (model 1). Model 2 corrected for lifestyle intervention characteristics, and model 3 corrected additionally for family characteristics.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 14 | Issue: 9 | No. of pages: 12 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, obesity, physical activity, social distance | Countries: Netherlands
Daily prosocial actions during the COVID-19 pandemic contribute to giving behavior in adolescence.

Sophie W. Sweijen; Suzanne van de Groep; Kayla H. Green (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Scientific Reports volume
Prosocial actions are a building block for developing mature and caring social relations. However, the global pandemic may hamper adolescents’ prosocial actions. In this preregistered study, we examined the extent to which adolescents provided daily emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 10–25-year-old high school and university students participated at three timepoints (N = 888 at the first timepoint (May 2020); 494 at the second timepoint (Nov 2020) and 373 at the third timepoint (May 2021)). At the first and second timepoint, participants completed 2 weeks of daily diaries on providing emotional support. At all timepoints, participants performed Dictator Games to measure giving to peers, friends and COVID-19 targets (medical doctors, COVID-19 patients, individuals with a poor immune system). Across the three timepoints, adolescents gave more to COVID-19 targets than peers and friends, but giving to COVID-19 target was highest in the beginning of the pandemic (first timepoint relative to second and third timepoint).
Youth sensitivity in a pandemic: the relationship between sensory processing sensitivity, internalizing problems, COVID-19 and parenting

Selina S. C. Burgard; Juliëtte M. Liber; Suzanne M. Geurts (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
The personality trait sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is an established risk factor for the development of internalizing problems. Highly sensitive adolescents react stronger to environmental cues including parenting environment and stressful life events. The aim of the current study was to examine if the perceived impact of COVID-19, mediates the link between SPS and internalizing problems. In addition, it was tested if parenting style moderates the mediating effect of perceived COVID-19 impact between SPS and internalizing problems among adolescents. The study had a cross- sectional design and data were collected between April-July 2020 during the first lockdown in the Netherlands
Parents of young infants report poor mental health and more insensitive parenting during the first Covid-19 lockdown

Marion I. van den Heuvel; Stefania V. Vacaru; Myrthe G. B. M. Boekhorst (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

The Covid-19 pandemic has put an unprecedented pressure on families with children. How parents were affected by the first Covid-19 lockdown during the early postpartum period, an already challenging period for many, is unknown. This study aims to investigate the associations between Covid-19 related stress, mental health, and insensitive parenting practices in mothers and fathers with young infants during the first Dutch Covid-19 lockdown. The Dutch Covid-19 and Perinatal Experiences (COPE-NL) study included 681 parents of infants between 0 and 6 months (572 mothers and 109 fathers). Parents filled out online questionnaires about Covid-19 related stress, mental health (i.e. anxiety and depressive symptoms), and insensitive parenting. Hierarchical regression models were used to analyze the data.

Mental health problems among Dutch adolescents of the general population before and 9 months after the COVID-19 outbreak: a longitudinal cohort study

Peter G. van der Velden; Hedwig J. A. van Bakel; Marcel Das

Published: April 2022   Journal: Psychiatry Research
The aim of the present study is to examine whether the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of mental health problems (MHP) in adolescents nine months post-outbreak. For this purpose, a longitudinal cohort study was conducted based on a probability sample of the Dutch population. It compared the prevalence and incidence of MHP in 16–20 year-old adolescents in November-December 2020 (N = 251) with the prevalence and incidence in adolescents in November-December 2012 (N = 346) and November-December 2016 (N = 253).
Young people and adolescents have more irregular meals during the COVID-19 pandemic: A nested case-control study on chrono-nutrition before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bo Saals; Myrthe Boss; Gerda K. Pot

Published: March 2022   Journal: Chronobiology International
Chrono-nutrition is an emerging field of research that includes three aspects of time: (1) regularity, (2) frequency, and (3) clock time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the implemented lockdown, daily routines were disrupted, which presented a unique opportunity to investigate chrono-nutrition, in particular in adolescents. A nested case-control study was conducted and information on chrono-nutrition was collected via an anonymous online questionnaire including 99 participants aged 13 to 20 years (N = 43 before the COVID-19 pandemic and N = 56 during the COVID-19 pandemic).
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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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