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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–related hardship and mental health in Puerto Rican children: the moderating role of adverse childhood experiences (ACES)

Mateus Mazzaferro; Prudence W. Fisher; Glorisa Canino (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Home
Research on the mental health impact of COVID-19 has called attention to the high levels of symptoms among children. Latinx children experience more COVID-19 related hardship (CRH; eg, child infection, parental job loss) and are disproportionately exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)—a risk factor for negative mental health outcomes. ACEs are associated with alterations in physiology that may make children more vulnerable to future stressors. However, no study has investigated whether ACEs may exacerbate symptoms associated with CRH in Latinx children. This study sought to examine whether prior exposure to ACEs moderates the association between CRH and behavioral and emotional symptoms in Puerto Rican children across 2 contexts, the South Bronx (SB), NYC, and San Juan (SJ), Puerto Rico.Participants were Puerto Rican youth (n = 138; 68 in SB, 70 in SJ) aged 3 to 12 years (mean = 8.3, SD = 2.2) enrolled in the Boricua Youth Study and assessed between March 2020 and September 2021. Parents were interviewed about their child’s ACEs, CRH experienced by the family (16 items), and their child’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Hierarchical linear regression was performed for 2 age groups: 3-5 years (younger) and 6-12 years (older), with internalizing and externalizing as dependent variables and child ACEs, CRH, and their interaction as independent variables, adjusting for child's age and gender.
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy with Puerto Rican youth in a post-disaster context: tailoring, implementation, and program evaluation outcomes

Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo; Aubrey R. Dueweke; Andel Nicasio (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) has not yet been systematically evaluated in the Caribbean context, particularly with Hispanic youth exposed to multiple disasters. The objective of this project was twofold: 1) to train mental health providers in Puerto Rico in TF-CBT as part of a clinical implementation project within the largest managed behavioral health organization (MBHO) on the island, and 2) to conduct a program evaluation to determine the feasibility of implementation and the effectiveness of the treatment.
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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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Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.