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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Parental violence before, during and after COVID-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Ricardo Barroso; Eduarda Ramião; Patrícia Figueiredo

Published: April 2022   Journal: Psicologia

It’s not clear if and how social distancing measures to  controlCOVID-19 transmission may result in more occurrences of child and adolescent abuse perpetrated by their parents. Information often comes from indirect estimates and media reports. More evidence  is needed from multiple sources, particularly from the potential victims. The aim of this study was to compare the proportion of violence perpetrated on  adolescents by their parents before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown in Portugal. Three different samples with adolescents aged 12–18 years were collected before (n=1444), during(n=1427) and after(n=794) the lockdown and compared to verify variations concerning parental violence behaviors.

Physical activity time and intensity in physical education during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Joana Lourenço; Catarina Rodrigues; Fábio Flôres (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Perceptual and motor skills
With the COVID-19 outbreak, schools have experienced difficulty providing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) to their students, which should normally account for at least 50% of children’s physical education (PE) class time. We aimed to determine the intensity of physical activity (PA) within PE classes at various grade levels to compare children’s in-class PA with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended guidelines. Thus, 301 students (1st to 12th grade) participated in the investigation. Children were evaluated during the PE classes with different typologies and durations.
Portuguese adolescents' cognitive well-being and basic psychological needs during the COVID-19 outbreak: a longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Ana Meireles; Sofia Marques; Maria Manuela Peixoto (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Applied Psychology Health and Well-Being
Confinements and social distancing measures during COVID-19 pandemic were particularly challenging to adolescents, impacting significantly their life and routines. Following a longitudinal design, this study sought to compare adolescents' cognitive well-being—satisfaction with life, social support, and quality of life—before (T1) and during (T2) the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it aimed to clarify the predictive value of the three dimensions of the cognitive well-being to the satisfaction of basic psychological needs of adolescents at school at T2. One thousand ninety-nine Portuguese adolescents participated, showing generally increased scores in satisfaction with life, social support, and quality of life at T2. Even so, girls revealed lower changes in cognitive well-being components compared with boys, between T1 and T2.
Self-compassion and mindful parenting among postpartum mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic: the role of depressive and anxious symptoms

AUTHOR(S)
Daniela Ventura Fernandes; Maria Cristina Canavarro; Helena Moreira (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Current Psychology
Self-compassion is an important psychological skill that may facilitate the adoption of a mindful way of parenting, especially during the COVID‐19 pandemic. However, the association between these constructs may be explained by several variables, such as maternal psychopathological symptoms, with a well-established interference in parenting. This study aimed to compare mothers who experienced and mothers who did not experience a negative emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on self-compassion, mindful parenting, postpartum depressive symptoms (PPDS) and postpartum anxious symptoms (PPAS). We also explored whether mothers’ self-compassion was associated with mindful parenting and whether this relationship may be mediated by PPDS and PPAS. A sample of 977 Portuguese mothers of infants aged between zero and six months completed an online survey between December 2020 and January 2021, a period of major pandemic-related restrictions.
COVID-19: psychological symptoms and coping strategies in preschoolers, schoolchildren, and adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Elisa Delvecchio; Mireia Orgilés; Alexandra Morales (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
The present study aimed to compare psychological symptoms and coping strategies in 1480 preschoolers, schoolchildren, and adolescents during home confinement due to COVID-19. It enrolled parents from Italy, Portugal, and Spain who completed a survey between the second and fourth week of lockdown. The results showed that preschoolers displayed more sleeping difficulties, temper tantrums, and dependency while adolescents' reactions were more related to COVID-19 worries and uncertainty. Schoolchildren showed more difficulty in concentrating. Adolescent girls showed higher anxiety levels than schoolchildren boys.
From chaos to normalization and deconfinement: what did the pandemic unveil in youth residential care

AUTHOR(S)
Helena M. Carvalho; Catarina P. Mota; Beatriz Santos (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
The conditions imposed by the Covid-19 outbreaks forced residential care (RC) facilities to experience new challenges and to adopt new practices. The aim of the current study is to analyze how RC facilities have experienced and managed confinement during the 1st wave of the pandemic. A thematic analysis of 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted with professionals responsible for managing crisis in RC facilities. The main implications of the confinement measures on RC dynamics and relations were organized in three major themes: Chaos, novelty and organization; reinventing normalization and deconfinement. The pandemic exposes the structural weaknesses of RC, namely mobility of human resources, scarcity of supportive networks, and fragilities in providing comprehensive and integrative care. These factors need to be considered when addressing risk/vulnerability and discussing best practices and policies on child/youth welfare domain. Future studies should explore representations of important key actors as youth, families and other professionals from youth care.
Knowledge and perception of middle school students regarding COVID-19 disease at the start of the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Maria Manuel Azevedo; Elisa Saraiva; Fátima Baltazar

Published: January 2022   Journal: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Facing recent threats of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an educational strategy was designed and applied to middle school students in order to reinforce related knowledge and behaviors. A group of 65 middle school students (14–18 years old) developed several designed online curricular activities. After the intervention, students answered a questionnaire to assess if they: (a) were familiar with the terms COVID 19 and SARS-CoV-2; (b) were conscious about the importance of preventive measures to stop the spread of this disease; (c) were engaged in these activities; (d) were motivated to research on health-related issues. This study was a first to attempt to evaluate student's perceptions about SARS-CoV-2 infection and support education regarding COVID-19, mainly on the reinforcement of preventive measures.
Parenting during the COVID-19 lockdown in Portugal: changes in daily routines, co-parenting relationships, emotional experiences, and support networks

AUTHOR(S)
Ana P. Antunes; Silvana Martins; Laura Magalhães (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged parental resources pertinent to coping with lockdowns. The main objective of this work was to study parenting during the COVID-19 lockdown. Specifically at focus were parental behaviors concerning key domains for the family (daily routine, co-parenting, emotional experience, and support network) and changes related to the pandemic and associated with the parents’ employment statuses. An online survey was carried out through an ad hoc questionnaire where participants completed questions about their sociodemographic data and rated how much their family routines, their co-parenting relationship, their emotional experiences, and the support available in the family network varied on a 5-point scale. The participants included 1384 parents, of which 286 responded to open questions regarding impactful experiences during the lockdown.
Children are back to school, but is play still in lockdown? Play experiences, social interactions, and children’s quality of life in primary education in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Ana Lourenço; Fernando Martins; Beatriz Pereira (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The right to play is crucial for the overall development of children. Several studies highlight the need to have time and space to play, especially at school where children spend much of their time. Unfortunately, in formal education the obsession with academic achievements sidelines and ignores the importance of play. The neglection of play had already reached a critical stage before the pandemic, so data are needed to realize how the right to play in school is presently affected. This paper aims to understand children’s play experience in primary education during the pandemic. It investigates what activities children participated in and what materials were used, and provides insight into the social interactions between peers. Furthermore, children’s quality of life is explored. A group of 370 Portuguese children answered a questionnaire on play and social interactions, alongside with Peds 4.0TM on health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
The role of mothers’ self-compassion on mother–infant bonding during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study exploring the mediating role of mindful parenting and parenting stress in the postpartum period

AUTHOR(S)
Daniela V. Fernandes; Maria C. Canavarro; Helena Moreira

Published: August 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for postpartum mothers, and associated challenges may have a negative impact on their parenting and, consequently, on mother–infant bonding. This study aimed to longitudinally explore whether mothers’ self-compassion was associated with mother–infant bonding and whether this relationship was mediated by mindful parenting and parenting stress. A total of 125 Portuguese mothers of infants aged between 0 and 12 months completed an online survey at two assessment points during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (T1: April–May 2020; T2: June–July 2020). The survey included several questionnaires assessing sociodemographic, clinical, and COVID-19 information; self-compassion; mindful parenting; parenting stress; and mother–infant bonding.
Emergency remote teaching and learning in Portugal: preschool to secondary school teachers’ perceptions

AUTHOR(S)
Filipa Seabra; António Teixeira; Marta Abelha (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Education Sciences
Emergency remote teaching and learning (ERTL) represent a critical and challenging time for teachers globally. To understand how Portuguese teachers interpreted their ERTL experiences of the first lockdown, we started by asking: What perspectives do teachers have about ERTL? Answering three open questions made available online between April and May of 2020, a sample of 305 preschool, basic, and secondary school teachers expressed their perspectives on (i) difficulties throughout ERTL; (ii) students’ constraints in participating in ERTL; (iii) the potential and benefits resulting from this exceptional period. Data were analyzed using content analysis. While Portuguese teachers perceived ERTL with concern, a majority also saw it as an opportunity. Workload, work conditions, and time management were the most frequently mentioned difficulties. Regarding students’ constraints, teachers emphasized participation, the role of parents, lack of contact, and autonomy.
#COVID#BACKTOSCHOOL: Qualitative study based on the voice of Portuguese adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Cátia Branquinho; Anabela Caetano Santos; Lúcia Ramiro (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: The Journal of Community Psychology
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the exponential increase in cases, educational institutions worldwide were forced to close, making way for digital learning. After a period of confinement and an online teaching methodology, a new school year has begun. However, this new school year included the application of a wide range of measures that transformed the educative setting. The present study aimed to understand the health consequences for adolescents and young adults (AYA) during the back to school period after the COVID-19 lockdown. This mixed-method study included 304 participants between 16 and 24 years old (M = 18.4, SD = 2.12), female (71.1%), Portuguese (90.8%) and students (85.2%).
Child health vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil and Portugal

AUTHOR(S)
Ivone Evangelista Cabral; Márcia Pestana-Santos; Lia Leão Ciuffo (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem

This study aims to analyze the vulnerabilities of children in the access to primary health care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil and Portugal. It is a documentary study based on Brazilian and Portuguese governmental guidelines issued between March and August 2020 regarding access of children to primary health care. Thematic analysis was based on the precepts of health vulnerability.

Psychological symptoms in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese youth during the COVID-19 health crisis: a longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Mireia Orgilés; Rita Francisco; Elisa Delvecchio (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Aiming to slow down the spread of the COVID-19, a lockdown was declared in the first term of 2020 in many European countries, applying different restrictions measures. Although the psychological effects of home confinement in children have been described, there is a lack of longitudinal research examining the impact of the confinement over time. The present study analyzes the evolution of the psychological wellbeing of children and adolescents from three European countries with different restrictions. Parents of 624 Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese children and adolescents aged 3 to 18 years old completed the “Impact Scale of COVID-19 and Home Confinement on Children and Adolescents” two, five, and eight weeks after the lockdown.
Parental burnout and the COVID-19 pandemic: how Portuguese parents experienced lockdown measures

AUTHOR(S)
Joyce Aguiar; Marisa Matias; Ana Carolina Braz (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Family Relations

This work aimed to analyze parental burnout (PB) and establish a comparison between the times before (Wave 1) and during (Wave 2) the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic brought additional stress to families. The pandemic could be particularly difficult for parents experiencing parental burnout, a condition that involves four dimensions: an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, emotional distancing from the child, saturation or a loss of fulfillment with the parental role, and a sharp contrast between how parents used to be and how they see themselves now.

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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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