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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 222
Slow life history strategies and increases in externalizing and internalizing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lei Chang; Yuan Yuan Liu; Hui Jing Lu (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
The COVID-19 pandemic is but one of many instances of environmental adversities that have recurred in human history. Biobehavioral resource allocation strategies, known as fast (reproduction-focused) versus slow (development-focused) life history (LH) tradeoff strategies, evolved to deal with environmental challenges such as infectious diseases. Based on 141 young people and their mothers observed prior to (ages 9 and 13) and during (age 20) COVID-19, we investigated longitudinal relations involving slow LH strategies. The results support the adaptive role of slow LH strategies in reducing COVID-related increases in externalizing problems. In addition, the effect of early adversity on COVID-related increases in externalizing was mediated, and the effect on COVID-related increases in internalizing was moderated, by slow LH strategies.
COVID-19 instructional approaches (in-person, online, hybrid), school start times, and sleep in over 5,000 U.S. adolescents

Lisa J. Meltzer; Jared M. Saletin; Sarah M. Honaker (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Sleep

This study aims to examine associations among instructional approaches, school start times, and sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic in a large, nationwide sample of U.S. adolescents. Cross-sectional, anonymous self-report survey study of a community-dwelling sample of adolescents (grades 6–12), recruited through social media outlets in October/November 2020. Participants reported on instructional approach (in-person, online/synchronous, online/asynchronous) for each weekday (past week), school start times (in-person or online/synchronous days), and bedtimes (BT) and wake times (WT) for each identified school type and weekends/no school days. Sleep opportunity was calculated as BT-to-WT interval. Night-to-night sleep variability was calculated with mean square successive differences.

The impact of COVID-19 on adolescents’ daily lives: the role of parent–child relationship quality

Julie J. Janssens; Robin Achterhof; Ginette Lafit (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
COVID-19 lockdown measures have profoundly impacted adolescent’ daily life, with research suggesting an increase in irritability, stress, loneliness, and family conflict. A potential protective factor is parent–child relationship quality; however, no studies have investigated this. This study used data from SIGMA, a longitudinal, experience sampling cohort study, in which N = 173 adolescents aged 11 to 20 were tested before and during COVID-19. Multilevel analyses showed decreased daily-life irritability and increased loneliness from pre- to mid-pandemic. Daily-life stress levels were unchanged. Relationship quality was negatively associated with irritability and loneliness and buffered against the increase in loneliness. Effect sizes were small and do not support a strong effect of the first lockdown on irritability, stress, loneliness, and family conflict in adolescents.
Egyptian and Roma adolescents’ perspectives on their developmental assets in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic

Diana Miconi; Eglantina Dervishi; Nora Wiium (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
This mixed-method study explores the accessibility of developmental assets among Egyptian and Roma minority youth in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six focus groups were conducted in August 2020 with Egyptian (n = 16) and Roma (n = 15) adolescents (14–20 years, Mage = 16.71; SDage = 2.00; 14 girls and 17 boys). In addition, adolescents rated how much they experienced each developmental asset. Descriptive and thematic analyses highlighted: (1) low developmental assets and barriers to accessing resources, (2) mental health concerns and coping strategies, (3) the role of proximal contexts of life, and (4) experiences within the society in terms of discrimination, integration, and contribution to society. Inter-sectoral community-based interventions are urgently needed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on minority youth.
Risk and protective factors for changes in adolescent psychosocial adjustment during COVID-19

Katelyn F. Romm; Yea Won Park; Jeffrey L. Hughes (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
The current study examined (1) changes in psychosocial adjustment among adolescents completing two surveys before COVID-19 and those completing the final survey during COVID-19 and (2) related risk/protective factors. Participants were 208 US adolescents (Mage = 15.09, SD = 0.50, 48.8% female, 86.1% White; 40.9% COVID group) who completed longitudinal surveys assessing psychosocial adjustment and related risk/protective factors (e.g., emotion regulation, well-being pursuits). Only adolescents completing Wave 3 during COVID-19 experienced increases in depressive symptoms, negative affect, and isolation and decreases in positive affect and friendship. Several variables served as risk (i.e., dampening) and protective (i.e., eudaimonic and hedonic motives) factors of these changes. Findings highlight the range of factors that are distinctly associated with negative changes in adolescent adjustment during COVID-19.
Prepandemic risk factors of COVID-19-related concerns in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amanda W. G. van Loon; Hanneke E. Creemers; Simone Vogelaar (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence:
To identify adolescents who may be at risk for adverse outcomes, this study examined the extent of COVID-19-related concerns reported by adolescents and investigated which prepandemic risk and protective factors predicted these concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dutch adolescents (N = 188; Mage = 13.49, SD = .81) were assessed before the pandemic and at eight and ten months into the pandemic. Results demonstrated that adolescents’ most frequently reported COVID-19-related concerns were about social activities and getting delayed in school. Adolescents that have specific vulnerabilities before the pandemic (i.e., higher stress, maladaptive coping, or internalizing problems) experience more concerns during the pandemic, stressing the importance of guiding and supporting these adolescents in order to prevent adverse developmental outcomes.
Adolescent and maternal anxiety symptoms decreased but depressive symptoms increased before to during COVID-19 lockdown

Tom Hollenstein; Tyler Colasante; Jessica P. Lougheed

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
Mothers (n = 155) and their adolescent children (n = 146; aged 12–13 at pre-COVID wave [Time 1, September 2019 to March 2020]) repeated measures of anxiety and depressive symptoms, and details about the impacts of the pandemic and social distancing at Time 2 (May-June 2020). Average slopes of mother and adolescent depression increased but anxiety symptoms decreased from Time 1 to Time 2. Adolescent decreases in anxiety symptoms were driven by males, whereas depression increase was driven by females. Adolescents’ depression slopes were steeper for those who reported more negative changes. Implications are discussed relative to findings from other regions and later phases of the pandemic.
Predicting negative and positive affect during COVID-19: a daily diary study in youths

Wisteria Deng; Reuma Gadassi Polack; Mackenzie Creighton (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence:
The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to profoundly affect youths’ mental health. Understanding predictors of affective responding to the pandemic is critical for prevention and intervention efforts. This study examines emotion regulation as an important predictor of youth’s changes in positive and negative affect. The present study of 115 participants (62 girls, Mage = 11.77) explores the relation between pre-existing emotion regulation strategies, as measured by multi-week daily diaries pre-COVID, and youths’ mean positive and negative affect levels and variability during a 28-day period amidst the pandemic, while including COVID-related worries and isolation as important moderators. The findings provide important insight into interactions between pre-existing vulnerabilities and COVID-related stressors in predicting affective adjustment in youth.
Young people's drug use stayed level during pandemic

Alison Knopf

Published: August 2021   Journal: Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly
Alcohol use declined and use of nicotine and misuse of prescriptions increased among 10-to-14-year-olds during the pandemic, according to a study published last week. Overall, the rate of drug use among these young people remained stable during the pandemic based on repeated surveys of more than 7,800 people ages 10 to 14 conducted between September 2019 and August 2020.
Review: Mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and youth – a systematic review

Hasina Samji; Judy Wu; Amilya Ladak (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented threat to global mental health. Children and adolescents may be more susceptible to mental health impacts related to their vulnerable developmental stage, fear of infection, home confinement, suspension of regular school and extracurricular activities, physical distancing mandates, and larger scale threats such as global financial recessions and associated impacts. This study aimed to review existing evidence of the COVID-19 pandemic’s global impact on the mental health of children and adolescents <19 years of age and to identify personal and contextual factors that may enhance risk or confer protection in relation to mental health outcomes.
Do positive emotions make you more prosocial? Direct and indirect effects of an intervention Program on prosociality in Colombian adolescents during social isolation due to COVID-19

Belén Mesurado; Santiago Resett; Mariana Tezón (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The objectives of this study are to analyze the efficacy of the Virtual Hero Program during the social isolation due to COVID-19 to increase the positive emotions (joy, gratitude, serenity, personal satisfaction, and sympathy) and prosocial behavior of Colombian adolescents. Additionally, we will analyze whether the Hero program, by directly promoting positive emotional states in adolescents, can predispose them to take prosocial actions toward other people (via an indirect or mediated effect). The final sample of the study comprised 100 participants from the intervention group (M age = 13.94, SD = 0.97) and 111 from the control group (M age = 14.39, SD = 0.81).
Natural language processing insight into LGBTQ+ youth mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal content analysis of anxiety-provoking topics and trends in emotion in LGBTeens microcommunity subreddit

Hannah R. Stevens; Irena Acic; Sofia Rhea

Published: August 2021   Journal: JMIR Public Health and Surveillance

Widespread fear surrounding COVID-19, coupled with physical and social distancing orders, has caused severe adverse mental health outcomes. Little is known, however, about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted LGBTQ+ youth, who disproportionately experienced a high rate of adverse mental health outcomes before the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to address this knowledge gap by harnessing natural language processing methodologies to investigate the evolution of conversation topics in the most popular subreddit for LGBTQ+ youth.

The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on child and adolescent mental health: systematic review

Urvashi Panchal; Gonzalo Salazar de Pablo; Macarena Franco (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, resulting in many countries worldwide calling for lockdowns. This study aimed to review the existing literature on the effects of the lockdown measures established as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents. Embase, Ovid, Global Health, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and pre-print databases were searched in this PRISMA-compliant systematic review (PROSPERO: CRD42021225604). It included individual studies reporting on a wide range of mental health outcomes, including risk and protective factors, conducted in children and adolescents (aged ≤ 19 years), exposed to COVID-19 lockdown.
Electronic media use and sleep disorders among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Fandi Argiansya; Rismarini Soedjadhi; Raden Muhammad Indra (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Sleep Disorders

One of the negative impacts of electronic media use is the occurrence of sleep disturbances. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of electronic media in families, including in adolescents, has been increasing. This study was aimed at describing the association between electronic media use and sleep disturbances in adolescents in Palembang. A cross-sectional study was conducted in January to February 2021. Participants were 14-17-year-old high school students who completed a questionnaire to assess electronic media use and a Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC) questionnaire to assess sleep disturbances.

Changes in adolescents’ psychosocial functioning and well-being as a consequence of long-term COVID-19 restrictions

Nóra Kerekes; Kourosh Bador; Anis Sfendla (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This work studied self-reports from adolescents on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their behaviors, relationships, mood, and victimization. Data collection was conducted between September 2020 and February 2021 in five countries (Sweden, the USA, Serbia, Morocco, and Vietnam). In total, 5114 high school students (aged 15 to 19 years, 61.8% females) responded to our electronic survey. A substantial proportion of students reported decreased time being outside (41.7%), meeting friends in real life (59.4%), and school performance (30.7%), while reporting increased time to do things they did not have time for before (49.3%) and using social media to stay connected (44.9%). One third of the adolescents increased exercise and felt that they have more control over their life. Only a small proportion of adolescents reported substance use, norm-breaking behaviors, or victimization. The overall COVID-19 impact on adolescent life was gender-specific: we found a stronger negative impact on female students. The results indicated that the majority of adolescents could adapt to the dramatic changes in their environment. However, healthcare institutions, municipalities, schools, and social services could benefit from the findings of this study in their work to meet the needs of those young people who signaled worsened psychosocial functioning, increased stress, and victimization.
16 - 30 of 222

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.