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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 752
A synergistic mindsets intervention protects adolescents from stress

David S. Yeager; Christopher J. Bryan; James J. Gross (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Nature
Social-evaluative stressors—experiences in which people feel they could be judged negatively—pose a major threat to adolescent mental health1,2,3 and can cause young people to disengage from stressful pursuits, resulting in missed opportunities to acquire valuable skills. Here we show that replicable benefits for the stress responses of adolescents can be achieved with a short (around 30-min), scalable 'synergistic mindsets' intervention. This intervention, which is a self-administered online training module, synergistically targets both growth mindsets4 (the idea that intelligence can be developed) and stress-can-be-enhancing mindsets5 (the idea that one’s physiological stress response can fuel optimal performance). In six double-blind, randomized, controlled experiments that were conducted with secondary and post-secondary students in the United States, the synergistic mindsets intervention improved stress-related cognitions (study 1, n = 2,717; study 2, n = 755), cardiovascular reactivity (study 3, n = 160; study 4, n = 200), daily cortisol levels (study 5, n = 118 students, n = 1,213 observations), psychological well-being (studies 4 and 5), academic success (study 5) and anxiety symptoms during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns (study 6, n = 341).
Risks and resources for depressive symptoms and anxiety in children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic – Results of the longitudinal COPSY study

Neslihan Güzelsoy; Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer; Joachim Westenhöfer (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic is of particularly high relevance. Especially for children and adolescents, the pandemic and its restrictions represent a significant burden. The present study aims to identify risks and resources for depressive symptoms and anxiety in children and adolescents during the pandemic in Germany. Self-reported data from the first wave of the longitudinal COVID-19 and Psychological Health (COPSY) study were used to investigate risks and resources among n = 811 children and adolescents aged 11–17 years. Depressive symptoms and anxiety were measured at the first follow-up 6 months later. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to investigate the effects of risks and resources on depressive symptoms and anxiety.

Longitudinal change in adolescent depression and anxiety symptoms from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marjolein E. A. Barendse; Jessica Flannery; Caitlin Cavanagh (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
This study aimed to examine changes in depression and anxiety symptoms from before to during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample of 1,339 adolescents (9–18 years old, 59% female) from three countries. It also examined if age, race/ethnicity, disease burden, or strictness of government restrictions moderated change in symptoms. Data from 12 longitudinal studies (10 U.S., 1 Netherlands, 1 Peru) were combined. Linear mixed effect models showed that depression, but not anxiety, symptoms increased significantly (median increase = 28%). The most negative mental health impacts were reported by multiracial adolescents and those under ‘lockdown’ restrictions. Policy makers need to consider these impacts by investing in ways to support adolescents’ mental health during the pandemic.
Understanding changes in adolescent physical activity behaviors and cognitions prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dusan Kovacevic; Steven R. Bray; Denver M. Y. Brown (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Sports and Active Living
Despite accumulating evidence that has found significant negative declines in physical activity (PA) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, little work has sought to understand how PA cognitions have changed during this period and in relation to behavior change during the pandemic. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the changes in adolescents' PA behaviors and cognitions associated with COVID-19 and prospective predictors of PA using the Multi-Process Action Control (M-PAC) framework. Adolescents were recruited from a large school board and a total of 588 participants (Mage = 15.87 ± 0.43 years, 60% female) completed data collection in both Fall 2019 and 2020—prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants completed self-reported measures of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), participation in organized activities, and variables derived from the M-PAC framework. Mixed effects models were computed to examine longitudinal changes in MVPA and cognitions as well as whether cognitions prior to COVID-19 predict MVPA during COVID-19. A generalized estimating equations model was computed to examine longitudinal changes for participation in organized activities. Findings indicated that MVPA (B = −56.41, p < 0.01) and participation in organized activities (OR = 0.33, p < 0.01) significantly decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Risk factors associated with increased anxiety sensitivity in children and adolescents in Northwest China during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown

Qiaoyan Jin; Wenxian Ma; Yang Zhang (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
A large body of evidence has revealed that the sudden outbreak of public health emergencies induces dramatic effects on the mental health of the general public. This study aimed to investigate the level of anxiety sensitivity and its risk factors in children and adolescents from northwest China during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in early 2020.
Health-related quality of life, health literacy and COVID-19-related worries of 16- to 17-year-old adolescents and parents one year into the pandemic: a cross-sectional study

Hilde Timenes Mikkelsen; Siv Skarstein; Sølvi Helseth (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The uncertain and challenging situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affects adolescents and their parents in an exceptional way. More knowledge of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), health literacy (HL) and COVID-19-related worries in adolescents and parents 1 year into the pandemic is needed. The present study aimed to describe HRQoL, HL and COVID-19-related worries of 16- to 17-year-old adolescents and parents of adolescents. Further, to assess the strength of associations between gender, HL, COVID-19-related worries and HRQoL. A cross-sectional study involving 215 adolescents and 320 parents was conducted, exploring HRQoL, HL, COVID-19-related worries and sociodemographic variables. KIDSCREEN-10 and RAND-36 were used to measure HRQoL. Data were analyzed using bivariate methods, multiple linear regression and robust regression.

A narrative review on prevention and early intervention of challenging behaviors in children with a special emphasis on COVID-19 times

Sarah Musa; Ismail Dergaa

Published: June 2022   Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management
COVID-19 and the measures stemming from efforts to control it have affected the psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents. The increasing trend of challenging behavior has exerted further pressure on parents and schools. Understanding socioemotional development and interrelating triggers is the key to management. Early interventions prevent the future threat of mental illness and risky acts. Effective strategies are ones that primarily focus on strengthening parent–child interactions. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the (i) psychosocial and behavioral impacts of COVID-19 on children/ adolescents and (ii) approaches to identify determinants of challenging behaviors as a principal guide to effective interventional strategies for children and their families.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Korean adolescents' mental health and lifestyle factors

Jongha Lee; Young-Hoon Ko; Suhyuk Chi (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused changes in the daily lives of Korean adolescents and affected their emotional well-being. This study compared lifestyle factors and the mental health status of adolescents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a secondary analysis using data from a national cross-sectional cohort (Korean Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey, KYRBS) collected in 2019 before the COVID-19 outbreak and in 2020 during the pandemic. This study included 57,303 students from the 2019 KYRBS and 54,948 from the 2020 KYRBS. Lifestyle factors such as dietary habits, physical activity levels, time spent studying, duration of Internet use, and mental health status, including perceived stress, experience of depressive mood, and suicidal ideation and attempts, were included in the analyses.
Mental health care use among adolescent sexual minority males before and during COVID-19

N. S. Perry; K. M. Nelson

Published: June 2022   Journal: Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Adolescent (cisgender) sexual minority males (ASMM) face multiple mental health disparities. Yet surprisingly little is known about use of mental health care among ASMM. The current study examined mental health care use among ASMM, both lifetime use and during the COVID-19 pandemic. ASMM (N = 154, ages 14–17 years) enrolled in Spring 2020 for a pilot randomized controlled trial of an online sexual health intervention. Participants were assessed at baseline and 3-month follow-up.
Young people's experiences of death anxiety and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic

Ben Hughes; Kerry Jones

Published: June 2022   Journal: OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying
Capacity for death awareness and death anxiety in young people has been previously documented but the impact of Covid-19 is not currently known. Therefore, the aim of this study of this study was to explore young people’s experiences and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. Qualitative data was collected from young people via a two-stage process across the United Kingdom: Stage One consisted of an online questionnaire; Stage Two comprised online semi-structured interviews.
Changes in adolescent mental and somatic health complaints throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: a three-wave prospective longitudinal study

Gertrud Sofie Hafstad; Sjur Skjørshammer Sætren; Tore Wentzel-Larsen (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
Measures taken to limit the spread of the COVID-19 may have had unintended consequences for the mental and somatic health of children and adolescents. A nationwide three-wave survey in a representative sample of 12–16 year olds in Norway, with baseline data collected in January 2019 (n = 9,240; 49% girls) and follow-ups in June 2020 (n = 3,564; 49% girls) and June 2021 (n = 3,540; 47% girls). Linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate change and identify predictors thereof in mental and somatic health complaints.
Social support and depressive symptoms among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: the mediating roles of loneliness and meaning in life

Ying Liu; Jinsheng Hu; Jia Liu

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health
Identifying which factors influence depressive symptom during the COVID-19 pandemic is highly significant for psychological crisis interventions among adolescents. Social support is likely to be one of the main factors. However, the underlying mechanism is still not well understood in the context of COVID-19. The current study examines whether loneliness and meaning in life mediate the association between social support and depressive symptoms in adolescents. A sample of 1,317 high school students in China were surveyed using the Perceived Social Support Scale, the Chinese Child Loneliness Scale, the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, and the Beck Depression Inventory-II.
Mental health status of high school students in Khartoum State, Sudan during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study

Randa Altamih; Osman Elmahi

Published: June 2022   Journal: BJPsych Open

This study sought to assess mental health status of high school students in Khartoum State, to evaluate the participants’ adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures and to identify factors associated with commitment to COVID-19 guidelines and mental health status during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a descriptive, cross-sectional and institution-based study. 364 post-primary students in 10 schools were selected by multistage stratified cluster sampling. Mental health status was evaluated using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Chi-square testing was used to identify influencing factors of mental health status and commitment to practicing COVID-19 preventive measures.

Children and adolescents' mental health following COVID-19: the possible role of difficulty in emotional regulation

Meirav Hen; Vered Shenaar-Golan; Uri Yatzker

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered routines throughout the world, creating closures and social isolation. Preliminary studies conducted during the pandemic have shown that children and adolescents are mainly affected by social distancing and the lack of a supportive framework. The purpose of the present study was to compare mental health symptoms of 430 children and adolescents who sought mental health services in the community before vs. during the pandemic. The study examined children's perceived burden of the pandemic, reports of emotional and behavioral problems (SDQ) anxiety (SCARED), depressed moods (SMFQ-C), and difficulty in emotional regulation (DERS), as well as intervening variables such as age and gender. Furthermore, the effect of difficulty in emotional regulation on children's mental health symptoms was explored.
Flow eExperience and emotional well-being among Italian adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marta Bassi; Claudia Carissoli; Sofia Beretta (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: The Journal of Psychology
Research highlighted the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ emotional well-being worldwide. In the attempt to identify resources which could facilitate adolescents’ adjustment, this study examined the occurrence of flow experience and related activities, and the association between flow and emotional well-being among Italian teenagers. In Spring 2021, 150 students (40.7% girls) aged 15–19 completed instruments assessing flow and related activities before and during the pandemic, and current positive and negative affect.
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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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