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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Parenting in a pandemic: parental stress, anxiety and depression among parents during the government-initiated physical distancing measures following the first wave of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Miriam S. Johnson; Nora Skjerdingstad; Omid V. Ebrahimi (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Stress & Health
Drawing on the tenets of family stress theory, the aim of this study is to examine parents' perceived stress, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and associated risk- and protective factors across demographic subgroups during in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Norwegian parents (N = 2868; 79.5% mothers) with >1 child under 18 years of age completed an online survey two weeks after the implementation of government-initiated distancing measures. The survey includes measures of COVID-related risk factors (parental stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, anger of parents towards children, difficulty working from home, and positive beliefs about worry) and protective factors (self-efficacy and social support).
Parental burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nora Skjerdingstad; Miriam S. Johnson; Sverre U. Johnson (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Family Process
Increased and long-term parental stress related to one's parental role can lead to parental burnout. In the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, families experienced intensified pressure due to the government-initiated contact restrictions applied to prevent the spread of the virus in the population. This study investigates the risk factors and predictors of parental burnout in a large sample of parents (N = 1488) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway. Demographic and psychosocial factors were assessed at two timepoints: at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak in March 2020 (T1) and at 3 months follow-up (T2). A hierarchical regression analysis was applied to identify the factors that contribute to parental burnout at T2. Parental burnout was additionally explored across subgroups
Preterm birth after the introduction of COVID-19 mitigation measures in Norway, Sweden and Denmark: a registry-based difference-in-differences study

AUTHOR(S)
Laura L. Oakley; Anne K. Örtqvist; Jonas Kinge (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Although some studies have reported a decrease in preterm birth following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, findings are inconsistent. This study aimed to compare the incidence of preterm birth before and after the introduction of COVID-19 mitigation measures in Scandinavian countries, using robust population-based registry data.

Sleep during COVID-19-related school lockdown, a longitudinal study among high school students

AUTHOR(S)
Ingvild West Saxvig; Ståle Pallesen; Børge Sivertsen (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Sleep Research
There has been great concern about the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related school lockdown on adolescent health. The aim of the present study was to compare sleep patterns before and during COVID-19-related school lockdown, in a large sample of high school students. The present study is based a prospective, longitudinal survey on adolescent sleep health. Phase 1 was conducted in 2019, whereas phase 2 was conducted in 2020 (response rate 60.2%), during the last 10 days of a 60-day long school lockdown. Main outcomes comprised sleep parameters from the Munich ChronoType Questionnaire (MCTQ). A total of 2,022 students provided valid responses to MCTQ in both survey phases.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on mental well-being of Norwegian adolescents during the first wave—socioeconomic position and gender differences

AUTHOR(S)
Arnhild Myhr; Linn Renée Naper; Indira Samarawickrema (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health
The lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has been called a crisis in mental health, and adolescents may have been among the most affected. Comparing the first period of societal lockdown in spring 2020 to periods going back to 2014 using a rich cross-sectional dataset based on repeated surveys, we explore the potential changes in self-reported mental well-being across sociodemographic groups among Norway's adolescents. Norway closed schools and implemented strict restrictions in March 2020; an electronic questionnaire survey was distributed to lower secondary school students in Trøndelag county (N = 2,443) in May 2020. Results were compared with similar surveys conducted annually in the same county dating back to 2014. Logistic regression models were applied to investigate potential changes in depressive symptoms, loneliness, and quality of life and life satisfaction, and to detect possible differences in the impact of lockdown between the genders and socioeconomic groups.
The social policy response to COVID-19: the failure to help vulnerable children and elderly people

AUTHOR(S)
Tom Christensen

Published: August 2021   Journal: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11115-021-00560-2
Norway’s handling of COVID-19 has been seen as a success. Vulnerable groups among young and elderly people, have however, not been part of this success. Their interests have been defocused in two ways. First, they have not been prioritized in the big picture, because the precautionary principle and health concerns, in particular the capacity questions, have dominated. Second, the more specific social policy measures have been indirect and not particular targeted vulnerable children, youths and old people, and had negative effects for them, such as social isolation and lack of daily support and services, resulting in increasing problems.
Effects of Covid-19 lockdown on parental functioning in vulnerable families

AUTHOR(S)
Maren Sand Helland; Torkild Hovde Lyngstad; Tonje Holt (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Marriage and Family

The aim of this study was to increase the knowledge about how the initial Covid-19 lockdown influenced parental functioning in vulnerable families. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major changes to family life. Using a natural experiment design can potentially adjudicate on former inconclusive findings about the effects of lockdown on parental functioning in vulnerable families. Responses from parents in a sample of potentially vulnerable families in Norway were divided into a lockdown group if participating at baseline and during the initial Covid-19 lockdown (n = 820 responses) or into a control group if participating at baseline and before lockdown (n = 1368 responses). Mixed model regression analyses were used to mimic a wait-list design investigating direct lockdown effects on mental health, parenting stress, and three aspects of interparental conflicts, as well as moderation effects.

Violence and abuse experiences and associated risk factors during the COVID-19 outbreak in a population-based sample of Norwegian adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Else-Marie Augusti; Sjur Skjørshammer Sætren; Gertrud S. Hafstad

Published: July 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The lockdowns occurring across society because of the COVID-19 pandemic have had far-reaching consequences for children and adolescents. One immediate concern was what the impact of the comprehensive disease control measures on rates of violence and abuse against children and adolescents would be. This study aimed to establish rates of child abuse and degree of family conflict during the first COVID-19 lockdown spring 2020. Additionally, we aimed to investigate associations between preexisting and concurrent risk factors and abuse during these unique times.

Children’s well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: relationships with attitudes, family structure, and mothers’ well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah E. Martiny; Kjærsti Thorsteinsen; Elizabeth J. Parks-Stamm (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: European Journal of Developmental Psychology
COVID-19 triggered social restrictions worldwide including the shutdown of schools. Whereas research has documented the negative effects on parents’ well-being, less is known about children’s well-being during the pandemic. We investigated the well-being, emotions, and COVID-19-related attitudes of 87 Norwegian elementary children (42 boys, 45 girls; Mage = 9.66 years, SD = 1.77) and their mothers (Mage = 39.69 years; SD = 5.79) in June 2020. Children reported reduced well-being relative to European norms. In line with research on child well-being before the pandemic, living in a one-parent home was associated with lower child well-being and more negative emotions during the pandemic, and mother’s well-being was related to child well-being.
COVID‐19 in pregnancy – characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women admitted to hospital because of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in the Nordic countries

AUTHOR(S)
Hilde Engjom; Anna J. M. Aabakke; Kari Klungsøyr (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica Skip slideshow

Population‐based studies about the consequences of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection (COVID‐19) in pregnancy are few and have limited generalizability to the Nordic population and healthcare systems. This study examines pregnant women with COVID‐19 in the five Nordic countries. Pregnant women were included if they were admitted to hospital between 1 March and 30 June 2020 and had a positive SARS‐CoV‐2 PCR test ≤14 days prior to admission. Cause of admission was classified as obstetric or COVID‐19‐related.

Norwegian shelters for victims of domestic violence in the COVID-19 pandemic: navigating the new normal

AUTHOR(S)
Solveig Bergman; Margunn Bjørnholt; Hannah Helseth

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
This study elucidates the responses of shelters and their adaptations to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects on their services to victims of violence, as well as how shelter managers assess the situation for victims, including changes in the rates and character of the violence observed by the shelters. A web-based survey was distributed twice to all Norwegian shelters (N = 46): first during the lockdown in spring 2020 and second during the relaxation of infection control measures in summer 2020. The shelters in Norway remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority saw a reduction in the number of requests during the lockdown, while the rates returned to normal when the strictest infection control measures were lifted. They expressed concern about the decline in requests during the lockdown as well as the well-being of some groups, such as victims from ethnic minority backgrounds, children, and victims with additional challenges.
Adolescents’ symptoms of anxiety and depression before and during the Covid-19 outbreak: a prospective population-based study of teenagers in Norway

AUTHOR(S)
Gertrud Sofie Hafstad; Sjur Skjørshammer Sætren; Tore Wentzel-Larsena

Published: March 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Lockdown policies related to the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic has potential negative consequences for mental health in youths. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed in 3 572 adolescents, age 13 to 16 using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-10), in a representative longitudinal survey of Norwegian youths between February 2019 (T1) and June 2020 (T2). Predictors for symptom change were analysed with linear mixed-effects models.
The impact of COVID-19 and homeschooling on students' engagement with physical activity

AUTHOR(S)
Astrid Roe; Marte Blikstad-Balas; Cecilie Pedersen Dalland

Published: January 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Sports and Active Living
The COVID-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented global shutdown that closed schools for months. In many nations, schools were closed to students, and teachers directed educational activities remotely via digital devices or homeschooling resources. This article explores how these months of homeschooling have affected the physical activity of Norwegian students in Grades 1–10. All Norwegian students are supposed to have at least 60 min of physical activity every day in school. We draw on data from two surveys, one with parents (N = 4,624) and the other with teachers (N = 726), to provide an indication of the daily physical activity students engaged in during the period of homeschooling.
Young people's risk perception and experience in connection with COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Atle Dyregrov; Anita Fjærestad; Rolf Gjestad

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Loss and Trauma
In 2020, Norwegian society was in lockdown for seven weeks due to the rapid spread of the corona virus. During this period, young people (YP) aged 13–20 years participated in a survey investigating risk perception and experiences related to COVID-19. Participants (n ¼ 244) were recruited from a popular website for youths in Norway. YP’s experience of risk was related to their concern about spreading the virus to close loved ones. They worried about their future with regards to education and social life. They called for more information directed at young people. Being informed and trusting the information received, decreased anxiety.
Lessons for child–computer interaction studies following the research challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Natalia Kucirkova; Cecilie Evertsen-Stanghelle; Ingunn Studsrød (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been experienced differently in and within individual countries and thus has had a different impact on the individual researchers in the child–computer interaction studies. There were several challenges that our research group experienced during the pandemic period, with a rapid transition to digital working conditions and a society managing altered living conditions. The changes happened on all levels of the society, and they affected our key participants — children, teachers, designers of children’s digital books and publishers. In this Viewpoint article the lessons learnt from the changes in our study designs and data collection processes due to lockdown and other restrictions related to the pandemic have been highlighted.
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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.