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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Young parents’ experiences of pregnancy and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study in the United Kingdom

Bettina Moltrecht; Louise J. Dalton; Jeffrey R. Hanna (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

Young parents (aged 16–24 years) in the perinatal period are at an increased risk of poor mental health especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to multiple risk factors including social and economic instability. COVID-19 related restrictions had profound implications for the delivery of perinatal care services and other support structures for young parents. Investigating young parents’ experiences during the pandemic, including their perceived challenges and needs, is important to inform good practice and provide appropriate support for young parents. Qualitative interviews were conducted with young parents (n = 21) during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom from February – May 2021. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Socially isolated and digitally excluded: a qualitative exploratory study of the lives of Roma teenage mothers during the COVID-19 lockdown

Anca Velicu; Monica Barbovschi; Ileana Rotaru (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Technology in Society

This paper explores the interlinks between multiple layers of exclusion and deprivation of Roma adolescents mothers in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, in order to understand: a) how different types of exclusion (e.g., digital, social, educational) overlap and how are those types of exclusion lived and perceived by teenage mothers; and b) whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic changed existing inequalities in their situation. In our paper, we refer to teenage mothers to describe mothers who gave birth before the age of 18. The study has a qualitative exploratory approach and relies on ten interviews conducted with Roma teenage mothers in peripheral urban areas in Romania during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the Spring of 2020. As a theoretical framework, the study employs the Relative Digital Deprivation Theory, (Helsper, 2016) which touches upon three dimensions of digital divides while revealing different markers of agency that young mothers manifest.

“A little bit closer”: a mixed method analysis of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of adolescent parents

Shelby M. Astle; Jeneé C. Duncan; Michelle L. Toews (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Research
Using a Family Stress Model framework, this study used quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the impact of the pandemic on Latinx pregnant and parenting adolescents and their families. Participants were 406 adolescents (ages 14–19) in the southwestern U.S. who participated in a school-based relationship education program for pregnant and parenting adolescents. The quantitative analysis compared self-reported mental health (depressive symptoms, worry, parental stress), coparental relationships (conflict and communication), and parenting of adolescents who participated prior to the pandemic (N = 357; 83.6% female; 84.7% Latinx) with those who participated during the pandemic (N = 49; 74.6% female; 87.8% Latinx). Unexpectedly, the pandemic-period cohort reported fewer depressive symptoms, less parental stress, more frequent coparental communication, and more positive coparental communication and conflict management than the pre-pandemic cohort.
Parenting in a pandemic: needs of teen parents during COVID-19

Yael Smiley; Noushine Sadeghi; Christiana Jolda (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Clinical Pediatrics
The COVID-19 pandemic places a disproportionate burden on teen parents as they balance health and wellness with multiple other responsibilities including parenting, childcare, education and employment. This is an important issue in the United States where the teemn birth rate exceeds that of comparable developed nations. In 2018 there were 179.871 live births to 15 to 19 year olds in the United States. Teen parents are at high risk of stress due to economic instability, inadequate access to health care and educational challenges. In addition teen parents are more likely to experience traumatic exposures, thereby facing higher levels of chronic toxic stress.
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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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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.