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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in pregnant and lactating women and mothers of young children in Poland

N. Kuciel; J. Mazurek; K. Hap (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Women's Health

The World Health Organization indicated vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health. The success of a vaccine depends not only on its efficacy but also on its acceptance. This study aims to define COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in a sample of pregnant and lactating women in Poland. Since mothers are often key decision-makers for whether their children will receive vaccination, it is vital to measure vaccine confidence among this group. An anonymous online survey was distributed to assess the level of acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant and lactating women for themselves and their children in Poland.

Body mass and emotional eating: emotional eater questionnaire (EEQ) in the Polish adolescents’ COVID-19 experience (PLACE-19) study

Dominika Skolmowska; Dominika Głąbska; Dominika Guzek (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Nutrients
Stress caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may lead to emotional eating which may have a negative impact on the weight status. This study aimed to analyze the association between emotional eating and body mass, as well as changes in body mass during the COVID-19 pandemic, within the Polish Adolescents’ COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study. A total of 1126 Polish adolescents, aged 15–20, were included. A random quota sampling was performed within a national sample, and emotional eating was assessed using Emotional Eater Questionnaire (EEQ). Based on the declared height and weight before and during the pandemic, the respondents were categorized according to their body mass (malnourished, normal weight, overweight, obese) and changes in body mass during the COVID-19 pandemic (lost weight, no body mass change, gained weight).
A peer-based educational intervention effects on SARS-CoV-2 knowledge and attitudes among Polish high-school students

Maria Ganczak; Oskar Pasek; Łukasz Duda-Duma (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
To support high school students to develop knowledge they need to adhere to control measures during the pandemic, a peer-based educational intervention on SARS-CoV-2 was developed and its impact was evaluated. Multistage random sampling was used. The 50 min peer-based intervention was conducted by final year medical students. Baseline and post-intervention knowledge and attitudes were assessed. Significance was tested by McNemar’s/Wilcoxon rank tests. Of 518 participants (mean age 17.8 years ± 0.43), 81.0% did not receive any school-based education on SARS-CoV-2. After intervention, the knowledge score improved from 65.2% to 81.6%, attitudes from 63.2% to 70.8% (both p < 0.0001). The effect size after the intervention compared to pre-intervention showed moderate improvement of knowledge, but not attitudes (d = 0.46 and d = 0.18, respectively). Pre- and post-intervention, females, students in non-science programs, living in cities < 250,000 inhabitants had lower knowledge, while fewer males, non-science program students, living in smaller cities presented positive attitudes. Before intervention, 67.0% students correctly named SARS-CoV-2 preventive methods and 73.6% were concerned COVID-19 is a serious disease; these improved after intervention (to 80.1% and 86.3%; p < 0.0001). The intervention was not very successful in increasing the intent to vaccinate for COVID-19 (pre-intervention 52.9%, post-intervention 56.4%; p < 0.007). Peer-based teaching for high school students can be effective in increasing SARS-CoV-2 knowledge and awareness.
New realities for Polish primary school informatics education affected by COVID-19

Taras Panskyi; Ewa Korzeniewska; Małgorzata Serwach (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
In the paper, the authors discuss the first research effort to explore the transition from traditional teaching into distance teaching in Polish primary schools enforced by COVID-19. The first research question was addressed to primary school students and was dedicated to furnishing them with ICT equipment for crisis-prompted distance informatics learning. According to the obtained results, almost all Polish students during the pandemic have a technical opportunity to participate in distance learning and to use digital devices to develop their digital competences. Hence the second research question was addressed to the experts, demystifies whether the accessibility and the availability of ICTs could increase students’ informatics learning outcomes in out-of-school primary education settings.
Gender and educational inequalities during the COVID-19 pandemic: preliminary insights from Poland

Małgorzata Krywult-Albańska; Łukasz Albański

Published: November 2021   Journal: Sustainability
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on many spheres of social life across the world. One of them has been the deepening of social inequalities and the aggravating of discrimination based on gender. Emerging studies in the field of education and occupation systems point to the fact that women seem to have been particularly affected, along with layoffs in those sectors of the economy where female staffs prevail. Additionally, in many countries, the burden of combining professional careers and supporting the education of young children falls disproportionately on mothers. These transformations pose a challenge to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, wherein gender equality is an important factor. This article uses official statistical data to examine gender and educational structures during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland, set against the backdrop of other European nations and analyzed in the context of sustainability. Have educational and gender inequalities been exacerbated as data from other countries suggest? In order to answer this question, the article traces changes in the education system in Poland and their implications for gender structures. The latter have also been affected by transformations on the labor market in various sectors of the economy, therefore, the second part of the analysis focuses on the labor market changes during the pandemic. The final section offers conclusions on the implications of the pandemic for the studied issues. Throughout the article, we apply the principles of unobtrusive research. Following the theoretical framework outlined in the first part of the paper, we carry out a descriptive analysis of existing statistical data collected by the Eurostat. These official statistics are supplemented by an overview of public opinion polls to allow for perspectives on structural changes, as they are perceived by those affected by them.
Analysis of food habits during pandemic in a Polish population-based sample of primary school adolescents: diet and activity of youth during COVID-19 (DAY-19) study

Aleksandra Kołota; Dominika Głąbska

Published: October 2021   Journal: Nutrients
The improper dietary behaviors of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are associated with lockdowns and reduced physical activity, are a complex problem, potentially resulting in increased risk of diet-related diseases, including overweight and obesity and their consequences. The aim of the study was to assess the food habits during the COVID-19 pandemic and to define their association with physical activity and body mass changes in a Polish population of primary school adolescents within the Diet and Activity of Youth During COVID-19 (DAY-19) Study. The DAY-19 Study was conducted in June 2020 in a national cohort of 1334 primary school students aged 10–16 years, recruited based on a stratified random sampling of schools (sampling counties from voivodeships and schools from counties). The Adolescent Food Habits Checklist (AFHC) was used to assess food habits, associated with food purchase, preparation, and consumption, which in the studied group were analyzed separately for the period before (retrospective data) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (prospective data). The recognizable physical activity changes and recognizable body mass changes were also assessed (retrospective data) and respondents were classified as those declaring that their physical activity and body mass decreased, remained stable, or increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attitudes of parents with regard to vaccination of children against COVID-19 in Poland: a nationwide online survey

Mateusz Babicki; Dagmara Pokorna-Kałwak; Zbigniew Doniec (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Vaccines
Within a few months, the scientific world achieved a great success, developing effective and safe vaccines against COVID-19. Many countries with full access to vaccines have introduced recommendations for the vaccination of not only people who are at risk of developing severe COVID-19, i.e., the elderly and chronically ill, but all members of society, including children aged 12 and above as the currently registered preparations can be used above the said age. However, the use of COVID-19 vaccines in children arouses strong emotions, with their sense being frequently questioned. The aim of the paper was to assess the attitudes of Polish parents with regard to vaccinations against COVID-19 administered to their children. The study was conducted with the use of the authors’ original questionnaire, which was distributed online.
Stress level and general mental state in Polish pregnant women during COVID-19 pandemic

Agata Mikolajkow; Krzysztof Małyszczak

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

COVID-19 pandemic may contribute to mental state worsening. Mental health disorders in pregnancy are known to have adverse outcomes both for mothers and their children. It is the first study in Poland to investigate the impact of the pandemic on stress level and general mental state in pregnant women. Three hundred sixteen pregnant women completed an online survey containing four instruments. The main research questions were investigated with Bayesian regression analyses.

Providing contact with nature for young generation - a case study of preschools in the City of Poznań, Poland

Iwona Zwierzchowska; Piotr Lupa

Published: September 2021   Journal: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
Contact with nature is valuable for the health, wellbeing and development of children. Meanwhile, the urban environment and the contemporary urban lifestyle limit the opportunity for contact with nature. Given that children aged three to six years spend a significant amount of time in preschool, this study aimed to: 1) investigate children’s opportunities to contact with nature during their time in preschool, including the availability of these schools’ own outdoor spaces and neighbouring green spaces for visiting; 2) recognise preschools’ practices in using available green spaces to enable children to have contact with nature; 3) identify the impact on the outdoor activities provided by preschools of factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and preschool managers’ awareness of the importance of children’s contact with nature.
An online cross-sectional survey of complementary feeding practices during the COVID-19 restrictions in Poland

Andrea Horvath; Agata Stróżyk; Piotr Dziechciarz (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Nutrients
This cross-sectional online survey performed in Poland aimed to improve understanding of how COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affected complementary feeding practices among parents of infants aged 4 to 12 months. Self-selected parents were recruited through the internet. The anonymous questionnaire was opened during two intervals during COVID-19 restrictions. The primary outcome was an assessment of sources of information and infant feeding practices in the context of COVID-19 restrictions. Data from 6934 responders (92.2% mothers) were analyzed.
Investigating the impact of covid-19 socialisation restrictions on children’s spiritual well-being: case studies from Poland and the UK

Krystyna Heland-Kurzak; Sarah Holmes

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Children's Spirituality
Parent and practitioners observations were examined to provide insights into the impact of covid-19 restrictions on children’s spiritual well-being, specifically related to reduced physical meeting of church communities in two case study contexts: Poland and the UK. Exploration of the four domains of spiritual wellbeing was carried out, with specific focus on how the abrupt changes in the communal domain may have impacted on other aspects of the child’s spiritual well-being. Significant variations in the response by churches during the pandemic were overlaid by disparate perceptions of the spiritual needs of children in these contexts. The extent to which these responses dovetailed with parental responsibilities and expectations of the church was considered alongside awareness of the changed nature of church’s activity with children during the pandemic.
Religiosity, meaning-making and the fear of COVID-19 affecting well-being among late adolescents in Poland: a moderated mediation model

Dariusz Krok; Beata Zarzycka; Ewa Telka

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Religion and Health
Adolescents have come to be greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing containment measures in recent months. The aim of the present study was to examine the relations among religiosity, meaning-making, fear of COVID-19, and subjective well-being within a moderated mediation model. Three hundred and sixteen late adolescents (173 women and 143 men) in Poland volunteered to take part in the study. The results show that meaning-making mediated relationships between religiosity and life satisfaction, religiosity and positive affect, and religiosity and negative affect. In addition, these mediation effects were moderated by the fear of COVID-19. Specifically, the indirect effects were stronger for adolescents with high fear than for those with low fear, which indicates that fear of COVID-19 serves as a ‘warning’ factor.
Associations between food preferences, food approach, and food avoidance in a Polish adolescents’ COVID-19 experience (PLACE-19) study population

Dominika Guzek; Dominika Skolmowska; Dominika Głabska

Published: July 2021   Journal: Nutrients
Food preferences are among the strongest predictors of the food choices of adolescents. These are associated with appetitive traits (food approach and avoidance) to some extent. However, no research has been conducted so far analyzing the association between food preferences and appetitive traits of adolescents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between food preferences and appetitive traits in adolescents (aged 15–20 years) within the Polish Adolescents’ COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study population. The PLACE-19 Study was carried out in a population-based sample of 2448 secondary school students sampled across the country (random quota sampling).
Children’s eating habits, physical activity, sleep, and media usage before and during COVID-19 pandemic in Poland

Edyta Łuszczki; Anna Bartosiewicz; Iwona Pezdan (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Nutrients
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge changes in people’s lifestyle, health, and social relationships. This situation has had an impact on children and adolescents, affecting their health, intellectual, physical, and emotional development. The survey aimed to compare eating behaviors, level of physical activity (PA), hours of sleep, and screen time among Polish children and adolescents aged 6–15 years before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We obtained self-reported data from 1016 participants at two measurement points before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in Poland to examine the influence of the lockdown and the distance learning on PA, dietary habits, sleep, and media usage of children and adolescents aged 6–15 years.
Head teachers’ opinions on the future of school education conditioned by emergency remote teaching

Katarzyna Potyrała; Nataliia Demeshkant; Karolina Czerwiec (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
The study explores the school transformation process as evidenced by the opinions of head teachers. The main goal of the research was to present a content analysis study of the Polish educational environment on the basis of primary and secondary head teachers’ views on the risks and perspectives brought by the global Covid-2019 lockdown. The conceptual framework was based on the theoretical perspective (the cognitive and affective processes in multimedia learning, the theory of motivation, and goal setting) as well as the model of the school as a learning organization and the assumptions of Emergency Remote Teaching. The categorized interviews with the head teachers were conducted using a categorized interview questionnaire and the respondents considered various categories problems within educational practice related to the functioning of schools during the 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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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.