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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Childcare, work or worries? What explains the decline in parents' well-being at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany?

AUTHOR(S)
Basha Vicari; Gundula Zoch; Ann-Christin Bächmann (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Research

This study examines how care arrangements, general and altered working conditions, and worries influenced subjective well-being at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic for working parents in Germany. Prior research suggests several reasons for declines in subjective well-being, particularly for working mothers. This study employs Pearlin's (1989) stress process model to explore the role of parental childcare, altered working conditions and amplified worries of working parents in terms of increased stressors and modified resources to cope with the extraordinary situation.

Lone parenthood in the COVID-19 context: Israeli single gay fathers' perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Maya Tsfati; Dorit Segal-Engelchin

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
This article focuses on Israeli single gay fathers, using the Stress Process Model (SPM) as a framework to investigate their fathering experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thematic analysis of 15 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Israeli single gay fathers during the third national lockdown revealed that their parenting experiences during the pandemic were shaped by both COVID-related stress exposure and interpersonal resources, which the fathers viewed as interactive. These fathers described three main pandemic-specific stressors: financial insecurity and workplace transformation, feelings of loneliness and isolation and health-related fears.
A ramp that leads to nothing: outdoor recreation experiences of children with physical disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Annika L. Vogt; Chris A. B. Zajchowski; Eddie L. Hill

Published: March 2022   Journal: Leisure Studies
During the global COVID-19 pandemic, access to outdoor recreation is desperately needed for youth; however, children with physical disabilities who regularly experience barriers and constraints to engagement in outdoor physical activity may experience additional challenges. This study examined the outdoor recreation experiences of children with physical disabilities (ages 6–10) living in Coastal Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic by interviewing their parents using a modified Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Responses were coded inductively and then deductively using a typology of factors related to physical activity participation among children and adults with physical disabilities.
Parenting a newborn baby during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative survey

AUTHOR(S)
Hailey Sledge; Marguerite Lawler; Jonathan Hourihane (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMJ Paediatrics Open

 The COVID-19 pandemic caused long periods of lockdown, social isolation and intense challenges for parents. This study examines parenting in an infant cohort born at the pandemic onset. The CORAL study is a prospective longitudinal observational study looking at allergy, immune function and neurodevelopmental outcome in babies born between March and May 2020. Demographic information was collected, babies were reviewed at 6-monthly intervals, and serology for COVID-19 infection was recorded. When babies were 12 months old, parents were asked for 3–5 words to describe raising a baby during the pandemic. Frequency of word usage was compared between first time parents and parents with other children, and parents of babies with and without a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.

Balancing work and childcare: evidence from COVID-19 school closures and reopenings in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Pierre E. Biscaye; Dennis Egger; Utz J. Pape

Institution: The World Bank
Published: March 2022
This paper identifies the impact of childcare responsibilities on adult labor supply in the context of COVID-19-related school closures in Kenya. It compares changes in parents’ labor participation after schools partly reopened in October 2020 for households with children in a grade eligible to return against households with children in adjacent grades. Using nationally-representative panel data from World Bank phone surveys in 2020–21, the findings show that the partial reopening increases affected adults’ weekly labor hours by 22 percent, with increases concentrated in household agriculture. The results suggest that school closures account for over 30 percent of the fall in average work hours in the first few months after COVID-19 cases were detected. The effects are driven by changes in household childcare burdens and child agricultural labor when a student returns to school. The impacts are not significantly different by sex of the adult. Although both women and men increased hours spent on childcare during the pandemic, women benefited more than men from reductions in childcare needs, but took on more of the childcare burden when the returning student was a net childcare provider. The results highlight the importance of siblings in household childcare and suggest that policies that increase childcare availability and affordability could increase adult labor supply in Kenya.
The pains and gains of COVID-19: challenges to child first justice in the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kathy Hampson; Stephen Case; Ross Little

Published: February 2022   Journal: Youth Justice
The global COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected justice-involved children. Youth justice policy changes and innovations have assisted communication and engagement with these vulnerable children during unprecedented times, while attempting to limit risks of contagion and criminalisation – all central tenets of the ‘Child First’ guiding principle for the Youth Justice System of England and Wales. While some changes have enhanced the experiences of some justice-involved children (gains), others have disproportionately disadvantaged justice-involved children in court, community and custody contexts (pains), increasing criminalisation, disengagement and anxiety. These pains of COVID-19 have effectively eroded the rights of this already-vulnerable group of children.
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s oral health and dental care use

AUTHOR(S)
Wei Lyu; George L. Wehby

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Journal of the American Dental Association

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to early restrictions on access to dental care and social distancing requirements. This study examines the early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s oral health and access to dental care in the United States. Using nationally representative data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, this study compares several measures of children’s oral health and dental care use early during the pandemic in 2020, and one year earlier. Logistic (multinomial or binary) regression models are estimated adjusting for several child/household covariates and state fixed effects. Similar comparisons are estimated for 2019 relative to 2018 to evaluate pre-pandemic trends.

Global, regional, and national minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, by age and family circumstance up to Oct 31, 2021: an updated modelling study

AUTHOR(S)
H. Juliette T. Unwin; Susan Hillis; Lucie Cluver (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

In the 6 months following our estimates from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, the proliferation of new coronavirus variants, updated mortality data, and disparities in vaccine access increased the amount of children experiencing COVID-19-associated orphanhood. To inform responses, this study aimed to model the increases in numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, as well as the cumulative orphanhood age-group distribution and circumstance (maternal or paternal orphanhood). It used updated excess mortality and fertility data to model increases in minimum estimates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver deaths from our original study period of March 1, 2020–April 30, 2021, to include the new period of May 1–Oct 31, 2021, for 21 countries.

Social protection in the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons from South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Lena Gronbach; Jeremy Seekings; Vayda Megannon

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: February 2022
South Africa responded to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown using a combination of existing social protection programmes, unemployment insurance, and additional measures to support those most affected. This paper reviews policies and implementation with the objective of highlighting lessons for the global community, including on the use of digital mechanisms.
Controlling the uncontrollable: stress, burnout, and parenting during a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Amanda Joyce

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Family Journal
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, many parents have struggled to maintain work-life balance. This investigation examines contributors to and protective factors from parental stress during the pandemic. As expected, perceived stress increased with burnout and decreased with parental inhibitory control, mindfulness in parenting, and perceived competence. Interestingly, it showed no association with child age nor the number of children in the home. Similarly, it investigated parental well-being as a function of childcare during COVID.
Child care and participation in the Global South: an anthropological study from squatter houses in Buenos Aires

AUTHOR(S)
Pía Leavy; Paula Nurit Shabel

Published: January 2022   Journal: Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal
Children and teenagers are often considered as objects of care or as subjects who have the right to be cared for. However, in squatter houses in Buenos Aires, they often take on responsibilities that challenge the ways we understand childcare and participation. This article sets out to analyse the experiences of girls and young women. To do so, it carried out ethnographic work with girls aged 8–19 years within two occupied buildings in a Buenos Aires neighbourhood before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, studying its consequent measures of isolation and social distancing. Firstly, it describes how health measures applied to contain the pandemic reinforced certain stereotypes about children and their care. Secondly, it analyzes the participation of these children in production and reproduction activities inside and outside their homes. This analysis includes the ways in which they deployed strategies for their own care, based on their activism in a political organisation. The analysed material shows tensions between care and participation that occur in the daily practices of young women who inhabit these spaces, which are crossed by moral and legal duties as well as by material needs and violence.
‘It's making his bad days into my bad days’: The impact of coronavirus social distancing measures on young carers and young adult carers in the United Kingdom

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Blake-Holmes; Andy McGowan

Published: January 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
The lockdown measures put in place in March 2020 in England to counter the spread of the coronavirus have had significant implications for the lives and well-being of young carers and young adult carers. In such unprecedented times, little was known about the potential impact on this group and their specific experience of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. A rapid review was conducted, 28 young carers responded to a survey and an additional 20 participants were interviewed in January 2021; the survey was repeated with a further 149 responses.
Family well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy: gender differences and solidarity networks of care

AUTHOR(S)
Nadia Rania; Ilaria Coppola; Francesca Lagomarsino (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
During the COVID-19 pandemic, families experienced new challenges related to reorganizing living spaces and the need to renegotiate domestic and care roles. This paper aims to understand how Italian families have reacted to this situation with respect to psychological well-being, the management of domestic and care activities and solidarity networks of care. The participants were 560 Italian subjects who reported having a parental role. The protocol included a measure of well-being (the General Health Questionnaire-12) and some questions related to the time dedicated to domestic activities or to caring for people, the perception of conflict within the family and solidarity networks of care.
Difficulties experienced in providing care of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Melike Yavas Celık; Selver Guler

Published: December 2021   Journal: Early Child Development and Care
In this study, it was aimed to determine the difficulties in receiving care for infants who are in neonatal intensive care during the pandemic process. In this phenomenological study, interviews were conducted with semi-structured questions with the participants. While collecting the data, both observation and interview techniques were used. The situations that prevent getting care from nurses are as follows. The inability to establish skin-to-skin contact with the infant, the problems caused by the equipment that nurses have to wear, and the fear of COVID-19. Conditions that prevent receiving care from the mother are as follows: removal of family visits, interruption of kangaroo care, failure to initiate breastfeeding. As a result, infants faced many difficulties in receiving care during the pandemic period and their care could not be applied properly and regularly.
Transitions to virtual early childhood home visitation during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Dorian Traube; Sharlene Gozalians; Lei Duan (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
COVID-19 has disrupted many of the preventive service sectors designed to promote infant mental health. The purpose of this study is to examine provider and supervisor transition strategies as well as maternal-child outcomes during the transition from in-person to virtual early childhood home visitation services in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles County is one of the largest home visitation sectors in the U.S. and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Transitioning from in-person to virtual home visitation was an important step in ensuring the continuity of infant mental health services. Home visitors reported relative ease in transitioning to virtual services themselves but noted that families encountered greater difficulty. The most helpful strategies to support this transition included training, ongoing reflective supervision, and provision of technology. Family level analysis revealed that positive screening rates for anxiety and depression decreased during the pandemic as did referrals for most support services.
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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.