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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Real choices real lives: Latin America
Institution: Plan International
Published: October 2022

This report, focusing on evidence from Brazil, Dominican Republic, and El Salvador, forms part of Plan International’s ongoing research, Real Choices, Real Lives – a qualitative, longitudinal study following the lives of girls living in nine countries* around the world from their birth (in 2006), until they turn 18 (in 2024). Through annual data collection, Real Choices, Real Lives captures unique insights into what it means to grow up as a girl across different contexts, including how families and communities shape expectations of what girls can do, and be, right from the moment they are born.

The emotional-behavioral state of Israeli adolescent and young adult females with anorexia nervosa during the COVID19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Yaffa Serur; Hadar Dikstein; Tal Shilton (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, the number of patients with eating disorders (EDs) seeking treatment increased significantly. The present study sought to evaluate whether, during the pandemic (2020–21), patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) would show more ED-related, comorbid, and COVID-19-related symptoms in comparison to a naturalistic control group, and whether differences would be found between adult and adolescent patients with AN. We also examined attitudes to telemedicine use during the pandemic in patients receiving long-distance interventions. Using online self-report questionnaires, this study assessed general and COVID-19-specific symptoms with a secure digital platform (REDCap®) in 36 female adolescents with AN, 35 female adults with AN, and 25 female controls.

Adolescents in the abyss of Lebanon’s worst economic crisis: A focus on Lebanese and Palestinian adolescents’ education, and voice and agency

AUTHOR(S)
Sally Youssef; Nicola Jones; Agnieszka Małachowska (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: September 2022

Vulnerable Lebanese and Palestinian refugee adolescents in crisis-stricken Lebanon, amid a global pandemic, face the most enormous challenges to their education. With increasing socioeconomic vulnerabilities and shrinking opportunities, and the ever more fragile education sector, adolescents’ education is increasingly at risk. In 2021, an estimated 260,000 Lebanese children and 440,000 refugee children dropped out of school. This report focuses on Palestinian and Lebanese adolescents’ access to education and learning, and their opportunities to exercise voice and agency, highlighting the impact of the Lebanese crisis on their lives. It draws on findings from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) longitudinal study, involving adolescents from Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities and vulnerable Lebanese host communities. Using interactive participatory tools, including participatory photography, GAGE aims to gain a better understanding of ‘what works’ to empower different groups of adolescents (especially girls) in conflict-affected contexts.

When schools shut: child marriage start: impact of Covid-19 on education of girl hhild in Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Zobaida Akhter

Published: September 2022

More than 15.5 percent of Bangladeshi girls had been forced into wedlock below the age of 15 whereas the marriage age in Bangladesh during a pandemic. With the recent reopening of Bangladeshi schools, authorities have been alarmed by the number of girls not attending classes. In Khulna district, North of Bangladesh recorded more than 3,000 child marriages in this district. The paper will assess and estimate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the education of young girls. Some case studies will be conducted in the child marriage-prone district of Khulna. Technology is not the only solution to all problems, it needs infrastructure, access to the internet or mobile, and economic solvency to provide necessary things. Since the majority of schools have moved instruction online because of the pandemic, it is now important to give girls the tools to participate in distance learning techniques. Because thousands of girl brides in southern Bangladesh whose classroom seats have remained empty after reopening of school.

Analysis of the incidence and risk factors of precocious puberty in girls during the COVID-19 pandemic
Published: September 2022   Journal: International Journal of Endocrinology
Home quarantine due to the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on children. Lifestyle changes have led to an increase in precocious puberty (PP) among girls, and the underlying risk factors for this remain unclear. Thus, this study aimed to assess the influence of environmental, genetic, nutritional, and other lifestyle factors on the risk of PP in girls. It evaluated the incidence of new-onset PP in girls during home quarantine for COVID-19 and analyzed the potential risk factors. This was a retrospective questionnaire and medical record-based study involving 22 representative medical units from 13 cities in Henan Province, China. Girls with new-onset PP (central precocious puberty, 58; premature thelarche, 58; age, 5–9 years) between February 2020 and May 2020 were included, along with 124 healthy, age-matched controls.
The impact of prior knowledge on adolescents' sexual and reproductive health behavior amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of Kakamega County, Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
S. Ooko; A. Okoth; F. Njeru (et al.)

Published: September 2022

Adolescents (aged between 10 and 19 years) go through significant physical, physiological, and psychosocial changes from childhood to adulthood during this period. There are indications that during the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents experienced a myriad of challenges as reported by various forms of media. These challenges included teenage pregnancies/ motherhood and early marriages amongst girls, drug and substance abuse, and other social deviancies that came with devastating consequences, notably a surge in school dropout, which shuttered their dreams for a better future. During the outreach activities by the African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE), MMUST chapter, a gap for research in the realm of Sexual and Reproductive Health of adolescents was established, necessitating this study. The objective guided the study: To establish how prior Knowledge on Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) shaped their behavior in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The study adopted a Mixed Methods Research (MMR) approach, drawing on the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative paradigms, with a sample of 340 adolescents.

Feasibility of a peer-led, after-school physical activity intervention for disadvantaged adolescent females during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from the Girls Active Project (GAP)

AUTHOR(S)
Sara McQuinn; Sarahjane Belton; Anthony Staines (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Pilot and Feasibility Studies volume

There is a critical need for interventions that can be feasibly implemented and are effective in successfully engaging adolescent females in physical activity (PA). A theory-based, peer-led, after-school PA intervention, the Girls Active Project (GAP), was codesigned with adolescent females. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of implementing and evaluating the GAP programme. One single-sex, female-only, designated disadvantaged postprimary school (students aged 12–18) in Dublin, Ireland. Mixed methods were applied with multiple stakeholders over a 12-week trial (March to May 2021). A single-arm study design was used to examine intervention: reach, dose, fidelity, acceptability, compatibility and context. Feasibility of using proposed self-reported outcome measures (moderate-to-vigorous PA levels, self-rated health, life satisfaction, PA self-efficacy and PA enjoyment) was also explored.

Sexual and reproductive health services during outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics in sub-Saharan Africa: a literature scoping review

AUTHOR(S)
Mwila Ng’andu; Aldina Mesic; Jake Pry (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Systematic Reviews

The COVID-19 pandemic could worsen adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). This study sought evidence on the indirect impacts of previous infectious disease epidemics and the current COVID-19 pandemic on the uptake of ASRH in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to design relevant digital solutions. This literature scoping review aimed to synthesize evidence on the indirect impacts of COVID-19 on ASRH in SSA per the Arksey and O’Malley framework and PRISMA reporting guidelines. It conducted the search on PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate in June and November 2020. It included all peer-reviewed, English-language primary studies on the indirect impacts of infectious disease epidemics on the uptake of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in SSA.

Effect of COVID-19 on the need for and access to family planning among Nigerian women: secondary analysis of an international survey

AUTHOR(S)
Olanrewaju Kolawole; Mufulihat T. Ibagbe; Promise C. Ugochukwu (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science

During the lockdown, there was a disruption in the provision of and access to family planning (FP) services in developing countries due to the covid 19 pandemic mostly because of restrictions on transportation, border closures, and closure of some healthcare institutions.This study examined the impact of covid-19 on the need for and access to family planning among Nigerian women and access to family planning among Nigerian women.

Posttraumatic stress disorder among adolescent girls infected with COVID-19: a cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Anandu Suresh; Sindhu Shankar Shivanna; Pradeep Tarikere Satyanarayana (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Pandemics are known to cause an increase in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in the same along with other problems such as anxiety and depression. This study aimed to find out the prevalence of PTSD and other mental health abnormalities among adolescent girls who have contracted COVID-19 infection and the factors associated with it. This was a cross-sectional study carried out for 6 months at RL Jalappa Hospital and Research Center, Kolar. Adolescent girls infected with COVID-19 were included. A total of 100 girls took part in the study after matching inclusion and exclusion criteria. To assess for PTSD, the Mini International Neuropsychiatry Interview-KID (MINI-KID) and CPSS-5 Interviewer Version (CPSS 5-I) questionnaire were used. Data entered in Microsoft office excel were analyzed using SPSS v 22 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). To check for the association between factors, chi-square test was applied.

Adolescent well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in India

AUTHOR(S)
Amita N. Vyas; Nitasha C. Nagaraj; Shikha Chandarana (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health

It is without question that gender attitudes/norms, voice and agency, self-efficacy, and locus of control are important determinants of health and well-being, particularly for adolescent girls and boys in low to middle income countries. And, while prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were trends suggesting social inequities would be on the decline, these trends have since reversed due to abrupt long-term school closures as a result of the pandemic. This study examines adolescents’ perceptions of gender norms/attributes, voice/agency, self-efficacy, locus of control, and gender-based violence norms pre-COVID and one year later during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in India, a country with one of the largest adolescent populations worldwide. The data for this study were derived from a larger study via two cross-sectional self-reported survey of adolescents ages 10-15 years old in public schools located in Delhi, India (urban), and Uttar Pradesh, India (rural) pre-COVID and one year later. The adolescent participants were part of local existing after-school programs and interventions implemented by non-profit community organizations, and a convenience sample (n=547) was recruited.

Social consequences of COVID-19 on fertility preference consistency and contraceptive use among Nigerian women: insights from population-based data

AUTHOR(S)
Joshua O. Akinyemi; Oluwafemi I. Dipeolu; Ayodeji M. Adebayo (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Contraception and Reproductive Medicine

Emerging evidence from high income countries showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on population and reproductive health behaviour. This study provides a sub-Saharan Africa perspective by documenting the social consequences of COVID-19 and its relationship to fertility preference stability and modern contraceptive use in Nigeria. It analysed panel data collected by Performance Monitoring for Action in Nigeria. Baseline and Follow-up surveys were conducted before the COVID-19 outbreak (November 2019-February 2020) and during the lockdown respectively (May-July 2020). Analysis was restricted to married non-pregnant women during follow-up (n = 774). Descriptive statistics and generalized linear models were employed to explore the relationship between selected social consequences of COVID-19 and fertility preferences stability (between baseline and follow-up) as well as modern contraceptives use.

How COVID-19 lockdown has impacted the sanitary pads distribution among adolescent girls and women in India

AUTHOR(S)
Karan Babbar; Niharika Rustagi; Pritha Dev

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Social Issues
This paper empirically explores the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying lockdown on adolescent girls’ and women's access to sanitary pads in India. It used the National Health Mission's Health Management Information System (NHM-HMIS) data for the study, which provides data on pads' distribution on a district level. The empirical strategy used in the study exploits the variation of districts into red, orange, and green zones as announced by the Indian Government. To understand how lockdown severity impacts access to sanitary pads, we used a difference-in-difference (DID) empirical strategy to study sanitary pads' access in red and orange zones compared to green zones.
Factors associated with adolescent pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review of socioeconomic influences and essential interventions

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly Kons; Adriana A. E. Biney; Kristin Sznajder

Published: June 2022   Journal: International Journal of Sexual Health
A literature review was conducted to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on documented preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa such as poverty, inequitable gender norms, low access to education, and reproductive health services. The terms “sub-Saharan Africa,” “Gender Norms,” “Poverty,” and “Adolescent Pregnancy” were used to search the literature for preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in academic and grey literature. “COVID-19” was added to investigate the potential consequences of the pandemic. The literature revealed similar experiences in adolescent girls during the Ebola outbreak, which lead to the analysis of government and healthcare official responses to previous epidemics.
Physical activity and anxiety with complaints of PMS in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ni Ketut Alit Armini; Arinda Naimatuz Zahriya; Laily Hidayati (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: International Journal of Public Health Science
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a menstrual cycle disorder that frequently appears in women. As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus pandemic, the school from home program was implemented, which could affect physical activity and anxiety and therefore increase the incidence of PMS. This cross-sectional research analyzed the relationship between physical activity and anxiety with PMS in adolescents. The population was 221 adolescent girls in Surabaya, Indonesia. A consecutive sampling technique was used to select the 143 respondents. The independent variables were physical activity and anxiety while the dependent variable was PMS. The data was collected using a questionnaire and analyzed by the Spearman Rho test with a level of significance α<0.05. The results showed no significant correlation between physical activity and PMS among adolescents, however there was a significant correlation between anxiety and PMS in adolescents (p=0.000; r=0.463). Adolescents with anxiety have higher risk of PMS. The higher level of anxiety will be the more severe the symptoms of PMS.

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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.