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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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

AUTHOR(S)
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.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health in low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Salima Meherali; Bisi Adewale; Sonam Ali (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Adolescents living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are struggling with accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and COVID-19 has escalated the problem. The purpose of this review was to identify and assess the existing literature on the impact of the pandemic on SRH needs and access to services by adolescents in LMICs. A scoping review was conducted to collate findings on the topic. Searches were performed on eight databases. Data were extracted and categorized into various themes.
Parenting in a pandemic: needs of teen parents during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
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.
Tracking the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in Kenya : special edition COVID-19 barometer
Institution: *UNICEF, Shujaaz Inc.
Published: August 2021

One of the objectives of this collaboration is to produce a range of youth-led, data-driven research products, providing insight into the most effective ways to support young people in East Africa. This special edition Barometer is designed to provide a snapshot into the lives of Kenyan girls aged 15-19 (also referred to as adolescent girls) in 2021. This edition of COVID-19 Barometer includes new insights from Shujaaz Inc’s annual national youth survey, which draws on face-to-face interviews with 2,015 young people conducted between December 2020 and January 2021. Drawing on additional qualitative research, the Barometer aims to provide an update on the challenges, lifestyles, priorities and aspirations of adolescent girls, during a turbulent pandemic. This edition focuses on key topics including education, sexual and reproductive health, financial security, mental wellbeing and resilience. We hope it provides a valuable update for organisations working with adolescent girls across Kenya, and inspiration for similar research in East and Southern African countries.

Covid-19 and female learners in South Sudan: the impact of school closures in Juba, Rumbek, Kapoeta, Torit and Pibor
Institution: Institute of Social Policy and Research
Published: August 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting closure of South Sudan’s schools in March 2020 exacerbated many of the challenges female learners face in pursuing an education. Research found that increased poverty, domestic care work, early and forced marriage, and teenage pregnancy would make it difficult for female learners to return to schools when they reopened in May 2021. Greater financial and material support to female learners and their schools; more inclusive school environments for mothers, married or pregnant learners; and improved availability of services for learners experiencing gender-based violence, early and forced marriage or pregnancy are necessary to adequately support female learners to continue their education.
COVID-19 and the surge of child marriages: a phenomenon in Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia

AUTHOR(S)
Maila D. H. Rahiem

Published: July 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Worldwide, there has been a massive increase in child marriages following the COVID-19 crisis. In Indonesia, too, this figure has risen with Indonesia ranked amongst ten countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world. One of the Indonesian provinces with a high incidence of child marriage cases is in Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB). This study aims to examine what is causing the rate of child marriages to increase since the outbreak of COVID-19 in NTB.

Promises to keep: impact of COVID-19 on adolescents in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Julie Mwabe; Karen Austrian; Sheila Macharia

Institution: Population Council
Published: July 2021

This new report is one of the first in the world to look exclusively at the impact of COVID-19 on adolescents’ lives. It leverages data collected on the social, education, health, and economic effects of COVID-19 on adolescents in June 2020 and again in February 2021, and features contributions and recommendations from girls and boys who are part of advisory groups in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kilifi and Wajir counties, where the data was collected.

Early marriage and teenage pregnancy: the unspoken consequences of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

AUTHOR(S)
Shuaibu Saidu Musa; Goodness Ogeyi Odey; Muhammad Kabir Musa (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Public Health in Practice
Early marriage and its sad consequences to the girl child and socio-economic development of the nation has been an age-long issue being advocated against in many parts of Nigeria. At the onset of COVID-19, the teeming efforts to curb this issue almost got jeopardized with harsh economic situations in many households due to the lockdown and the willingness to marry off their girls to reduce this burden. Closure of schools and cases of sexual gender based violence also impacted the prevalence of early marriage during the pandemic in Nigeria.
The relationship between perceived stress, uncertainty emotions and hopelessness regarding pandemics in pregnant women

AUTHOR(S)
Gamze Fiskin

Published: June 2021   Journal: The Journal of Community Psychology
The objective of this study was to determine the emotional reactions of pregnant women towards the pandemic and to increase awareness of healthcare professionals on this subject. In this descriptive, cross-sectional, and correlational study, an online questionnaire was applied to 375 pregnant women (n = 375). Data were collected with pregnant information form, Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale and Beck Hopelessness Scale. The mean age of the pregnant women was 29.495 ± 4.301, and the mean gestational week was 27.469 ± 7.971. Pregnant women's levels of perceived stress and intolerance to uncertainty were high. There was a moderate positive correlation between stress and uncertainty levels of the women who stated that they experienced mild hopelessness. It is recommended to identify risky groups and provide the necessary psychological support by health professionals during the pandemic.
COVID-19 school closures in the DRC: impact on the health, protection and education of children and youth
Institution: Cellule d’Analyse en Sciences Sociales
Published: May 2021

This report presents an analysis of the impact of school closures as a COVID-19 response measure in the DRC, and is intended to inform evidence-based programming to mitigate the short- and long-term consequences to health, protection, and education of children and adolescents in the DRC. It demonstrates that the impact of school closures does not end with the reopening of schools; the evidence shared in this report highlight the long-term impacts that will continue to be felt following two extended periods of school closures in the DRC, and calls for an urgent response.

Let's go digital! Using digital technology to end child, early and forced marriage and reduce adolescent pregnancy

AUTHOR(S)
Raša Sekulović

Institution: Plan International
Published: April 2021
This report examines the role that digital technologies and online solutions can play in ending child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on an in-depth literature review and key informant interviews, it explores the ways in which Plan International Asia-Pacific Regional Hub (APAC) and other child-rights based development organisations have integrated digital technologies in their programmatic and influencing approaches towards eliminating CEFM in the region. It also introduces some of the digital technologies that have been developed by the private sector, which can be effective in CEFM prevention. Drawing on these insights, the report develops a series of recommendations about how digital technologies can be leveraged most effectively to reach scale and generate impact in eradicating CEFM.
Pregnancy-related anxiety and its associated factors during COVID-19 pandemic in Iranian pregnant women: a web-based cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Zeinab Hamzehgardeshi; Shabnam Omidvar; Arman Asadi Amoli (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Pregnancy is a risk factor for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pregnant women suffer from varying levels of pregnancy-related anxiety (PRA) which can negatively affect pregnancy outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess PRA and its associated factors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This web-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2020 on 318 pregnant women purposively recruited from primary healthcare centers in Sari and Amol, Iran.
Progress toward ending child marriage over the last decade: a missed opportunity to deliver for girls
Institution: Save the Children
Published: February 2021

Compared to the previous generation, the incidence of child marriage worldwide has declined. However, strides forward have suffered from substantial limitations. At the global level, child marriage is still too widespread, and progress too slow, to meet the SDG target in 2030. At the regional level, some areas have achieved remarkable progress, while others are lagging behind. Worryingly, in the majority of cases, progress over the past decade (2010-2020) has not matched advancements achieved in the decade prior (2000-2010). At the country level, inclusive progress hasn’t always materialized: in a number of countries, gaps are widening not only between wealth groups, but also on the basis of residence. In a nutshell, progress has been unevenly distributed not only across time, but also across geographies, with stark divides both among and within countries. COVID-19 is expected to have a damaging impact on child protection, including according to Save the Children’s own projections. Urgent efforts are needed to guarantee girls’ rights and prevent devastating setbacks. In the longer term, more research is needed to understand what drives child marriage, so as to tackle it more effectively in different regions.

Exploring health-seeking behavior among adolescent mothers during the Ebola epidemic in Western rural district of Freetown, Sierra Leone

AUTHOR(S)
Hamida Massaquoi; Catherine Atuhaire; Gorgeous Sarah Chinkonono

Published: January 2021   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
From 2014 to 2016, the largest Ebola outbreak in history threatened Sierra Leone and its neighbouring countries, Guinea and Liberia. The Ebola outbreak impacted pregnant adolescent girl’s access to prenatal care during the pandemic. The aim of this study is to understand health-seeking behaviour among adolescent mothers who were pregnant during the Ebola epidemic in Waterloo, Sierra Leone
Impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the well‐being of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their parents

AUTHOR(S)
Anne Masi; Antonio Mendoza Diaz; Lucy Tully (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
This study aims to examine the impact of COVID‐19 pandemic on child mental health and socio‐emotional and physical well‐being (including sleep, diet, exercise, use of electronic media; care giver perceptions of symptoms of child neurodevelopmental disability [NDD] and comorbidities), and care giver mental health and well‐being, social support and service use.
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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.