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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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Old tricks, new opportunities: how companies violate the International code of marketing of breast-milk substitutes and undermine maternal and child health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Constance Ching; Paul Zambrano; Tuan T. Nguyen (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Breastfeeding is critical to maternal and child health and survival, and the benefits persist until later in life. Inappropriate marketing of breastmilk substitutes (BMS), feeding bottles, and teats threatens the enabling environment of breastfeeding, and exacerbates child mortality, morbidity, and malnutrition, especially in the context of COVID-19. These tactics also violate the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. This study identified marketing tactics of BMS companies since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by reviewing promotional materials and activities from 9 companies in 14 countries, and the official Code reporting data from the Philippines.
Ushering children with disabilities in the ‘new normal’ post-COVID-19 period: collective actions in the Philippines

AUTHOR(S)
Michael B. Cahapay

Published: October 2020   Journal: Disability & Society
This issue paper describes the collective actions to usher children with disabilities in the new normal post-COVID-19 period in the Philippines. These actions focus on assistive technologies to augment information and communication, critical services to sustain medical and developmental needs, adaptive learning methods to continue education, and other social services to improve access and mobility. Set within a single national context, this issue paper provides a view as regards the shared initiatives to improve the conditions of children with disabilities in a developing country amid the pandemic.
Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction
Published: July 2020   Journal: The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Evidence on whether the amount of time children spend online affects their mental health is mixed. There may be both benefits and risks. Yet, almost all published research on this topic is from high‐income countries. This paper presents new findings across four countries of varying wealth.

We analyse data gathered through the Global Kids Online project from nationally representative samples of Internet‐using children aged 9 to 17 years in Bulgaria (n  = 1,000), Chile (n  = 1,000), Ghana (n  = 2,060) and the Philippines (n  = 1,873). Data was gathered on Internet usage on week and weekend days. Measures of absolute (comparable across countries) and relative (compared to other children within countries) time use were constructed. Mental health was measured by Cantril’s ladder (life satisfaction). The analysis also considers the relative explanatory power on variations in mental health of children’s relationships with family and friends. Analysis controlled for age, gender and family socioeconomic status.

In Bulgaria and Chile, higher‐frequency Internet use is weakly associated with lower life satisfaction. In Ghana and the Philippines, no such pattern was observed. There was no evidence that the relationship between frequency of Internet use and life satisfaction differed by gender. In all four countries, the quality of children’s close relationships showed a much stronger relationship with their life satisfaction than did time spent on the Internet.

Time spent on the Internet does not appear to be strongly linked to children’s life satisfaction, and results from one country should not be assumed to transfer to another. Improving the quality of children’s close relationships offers a more fruitful area for intervention than restricting their time online. Future research could consider a wider range of countries and links between the nature, rather than quantity, of Internet usage and mental health.

Hear it From the Girls – Asia and COVID-19
Institution: Plan International
Published: May 2020
The Asia Pacific region has seen significant progress in gender equality in recent years in a number of areas, such as education and political participation. From 2000-2016, the number of out-of-school girls in primary and secondary school dropped by 67 million. 1 The number of females in tertiary school rose by 41 million. From 1990 to 2018 the proportion of women in national parliaments has risen from 8 percent to18 percent. Unfortunately, in other areas, Asia and the Pacific have seen a decline in equality. According to UNESCAP, women’s economic empowerment has remained nearly stagnant and those who are young and in the informal labour market are expected to be hit the hardest. The East Asia Pacific Region is one of the only regions in the world where rates of teenage pregnancy are increasing in low-and-middle-income countries.Any emergency risks increasing existing discriminations and incidents of violence. It also risks losing progress so recently made for girls and young women. The COVID-19 Pandemic is an emergency on a scale not seen for nearly 100 years. 
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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.