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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 137
Daily concordance between ecological stressors and sleep in young minority children during the pre-COVID-19 outbreak period

AUTHOR(S)
Calista U. Alaribe; Odochi U. Nwabara; Karen Spruyt

Published: September 2021   Journal: Sleep Epidemiology

As the COVID-19 pandemic brings widespread changes in families, the sociology of sleep becomes noticeable. Yet, the socio-contextual determinants of a biopsychosocial phenomenon as sleep are poorly investigated. We examine changes concomitantly occurring in the child's sleep per familial and community stressors. During the pre-COVID-19 outbreak period, in 24 minority children (5.4±1.7 years old, 54.2% girls), sleep was objectively measured 24-hours for two consecutive weeks, and this was repeated three times over the study period of three months. The caregiver filled out questionnaires surveying sociodemographic, community and family aspects.

Undertaking rapid assessments in the COVID-19 context: learning from UNICEF South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Deepika Ganju; Tom Pellens

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021
In order to quickly and repeatedly assess the COVID-19 situation and its impacts, UNICEF Country Offices across South Asia conducted a variety of rapid assessments or/and similar real-time evidence generating exercises from the start of the pandemic in 2020. This resulted in innovation and learning to adapt evidence generation to the context, needs and data collection constraints imposed by the pandemic. Drawing on the documented experiences of nine rapid assessments, covering six countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), insights with regard to the design and implementation of rapid assessments in a pandemic context have been documented to facilitate cross-country learning. The focus was on: data collection and analysis methodology, sampling strategy, partnership and stakeholder involvement, agility and timeliness, and the dissemination and use of the findings. Nine case study briefs were produced as well as a cross-case synthesis report.
Targeted social protection in Arab countries before and during the Covid-19 crisis
The present technical paper provides an overview of targeted social protection programmes in selected Arab countries and discusses recent reforms these programmes have been undergoing, focusing on the approaches to identify poor and vulnerable population groups and management information systems utilized to administer these programmes. Additionally, the paper touches upon, how governments in the Arab region used social protection programmes and their respective delivery mechanisms to cushion the socio-economic fallout of Covid-19 prevention measures.
My new normal: qualitative study on childhood under school closure

AUTHOR(S)
Chloe Maillard

Institution: Save the Children, Key Aid Consulting
Published: September 2021
My New Normal is a small qualitative study in Nepal and Zambia, that explores the impact on children’s lives under COVID-19 restrictions, particularly school closures. The study was commissioned and supported by Save the Children Sponsorship programs and led by Key Aid Consulting. It employs a range of methods, such as PhotoVoice, empathy mapping, emoji charts, and daily routine analyses, to give children a voice and opportunity to tell their story. The results have been used to support national advocacy campaigns, and have been disseminated in accessible ways back to the participating children and communities.
Contact experiences and needs of children of prisoners before and during COVID-19: Findings from an Australian survey

AUTHOR(S)
Catherine Flynn; Lorana Bartels; Susan Dennison (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
Most of the research examining children visiting a parent in prison indicates that visits have a positive impact on children's well-being, their connection to the imprisoned parent and the parent themselves. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a significant change to prison visits worldwide, with limits or bans on face-to-face contact. Understanding the experiences and needs of children during this period remains limited. This paper presents the findings of a survey of 84 carers of 184 children across Australia, investigating children's experiences of contact with their imprisoned parent both before and during COVID-19 restrictions.
Sleeping through COVID-19: a longitudinal comparison of 2019 and 2020 infant auto-videosomnography metrics

AUTHOR(S)
Michal Kahn; Michael Gradisar

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric experts called attention to the potential adverse effects of living restrictions (e.g., lockdown) on child well-being, but at the same time– acknowledged their possible benefits. To date, only few data-driven reports have been published on child sleep during COVID-19, and all have been based on parent- or self-reports. This study used auto-videosomnography to capture the effects of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders imposed in the USA on objectively measured infant sleep. Auto-videosomnography metrics of infants assessed nightly between January and May 2020 were compared with metrics of an equivalent infant cohort, assessed in the corresponding 2019 period. A total of 610 infants (50.7% girls) aged 6–18 months (M = 11.8, SD = 3.6) were included, with 71,472 analyzed nights. Multilevel models were applied to assess differences between 2019 and 2020 infant sleep pre- and during-lockdown.

Investigating the impact of covid-19 socialisation restrictions on children’s spiritual well-being: case studies from Poland and the UK

AUTHOR(S)
Krystyna Heland-Kurzak; Sarah Holmes

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Children's Spirituality
Parent and practitioners observations were examined to provide insights into the impact of covid-19 restrictions on children’s spiritual well-being, specifically related to reduced physical meeting of church communities in two case study contexts: Poland and the UK. Exploration of the four domains of spiritual wellbeing was carried out, with specific focus on how the abrupt changes in the communal domain may have impacted on other aspects of the child’s spiritual well-being. Significant variations in the response by churches during the pandemic were overlaid by disparate perceptions of the spiritual needs of children in these contexts. The extent to which these responses dovetailed with parental responsibilities and expectations of the church was considered alongside awareness of the changed nature of church’s activity with children during the pandemic.
Caring for children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations

AUTHOR(S)
Hilda Loria; Jill McLeigh; Kristin Wolfe (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Child Welfare
Through qualitative feedback from professionals in healthcare, mental health, and child welfare, this study explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of children in the child welfare system. Positive outcomes and challenges related to the care of children in foster or kinship care in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic are described. Themes identified included disparities in the child welfare system; utilization of telehealth; cross-sector communication and collaboration; safety considerations; and placement stability and support. The article concludes with recommendations in each of these areas for ensuring the health and well-being of children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic.
Parental and staff experiences of restricted parental presence on a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Harriet Garfield; Briony Westgate; Rajiv Chaudhary (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Acta Paediatrica

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on parental presence in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) during the first wave. The NICU team at the Rosie Hospital, Cambridge, endeavoured to explore the impact on parent and staff experiences of supporting parents throughout the period when visiting was restricted, between 13th August and 11th September 2020. Bespoke surveys were designed following the first lockdown to gather information on the impact on staff and parents. The questions were developed in the context of initial observations and conversations with staff and parents.

Current and future implications of COVID-19 among youth wheelchair users: 24-hour activity behavior

AUTHOR(S)
Ryan T. Conners; Lauren C. Bates; Patricia Pagan Lassalle (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Children
Preventative measures taken worldwide to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 have had a tremendous impact on youth. Following social restrictions, youth with and without physical disabilities are engaging in less physical activity, more increased sedentary behavior, and poor sleep habits. Specifically, youth wheelchair users (YWU) are likely disproportionately affected by COVID- 19 and have a higher risk of contraction due to underlying comorbidities. While all of the negative long-term implications of COVID-19 for YWU cannot be controlled, participation in positive 24-h activity behaviors can decrease chronic disease risk and the likelihood of long-term complications resulting from infection. This commentary is to extend the discourse on the importance of 24-h activity behaviors by focusing on YWU. Specifically, it discuss the importance of chronic disease prevention, provide a brief overview of 24-h activity behaviors, and outline some of the lessons that can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impact of financial and psychological wellbeing on children’s physical activity and screen-based activities during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Louise C. Mâsse; Iyoma Y. Edache; Mark Pitblado (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health measures to combat it, have strained the finances of many families. While parents transitioned to working from home, children transitioned to learning virtually, limiting their organized social and physical activities. Families also reduced the frequency and size of gatherings, impacting psychological wellbeing. This study sought to understand the influence of financial wellbeing on children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities via mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing. In May and June of 2020, 254 Grade 7 Canadian children and their mothers completed separate online surveys assessing family financial wellbeing, mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing, and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the indirect effects of mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing on the relationship between financial wellbeing and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Final models were adjusted for potential confounders.
COVID-19 and children’s well-being: a rapid research agenda

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca N. Dudovitz; Shirley Russ; Mary Berghaus (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal

Understanding the full impact of COVID-19 on U.S. children, families, and communities is critical to (a) document the scope of the problem, (b) identify solutions to mitigate harm, and (c) build more resilient response systems. This study sought to develop a research agenda to understand the short- and long-term mechanisms and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s healthy development, with the goal of devising and ultimately testing interventions to respond to urgent needs and prepare for future pandemics. The Life Course Intervention Research Network facilitated a series of virtual meetings that included members of 10 Maternal and Child Health (MCH) research programs, their research and implementation partners, as well as family and community representatives, to develop an MCH COVID-19 Research Agenda. Stakeholders from academia, clinical practice, nonprofit organizations, and family advocates participated in four meetings, with 30–35 participants at each meeting.

Food insecurity among households with children during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a study among social media users across the United States

AUTHOR(S)
Niyati Parekh; Shahmir H. Ali; Joyce O’Connor (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Nutrition Journal volume

In the United States, approximately 11% of households were food insecure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aims to describe the prevalence of food insecurity among adults and households with children living in the United States during the pandemic. This study utilized social media as a recruitment platform to administer an original online survey on demographics and COVID-related food insecurity. The survey was disseminated through an advertisement campaign on Facebook and affiliated platforms. Food insecurity was assessed with a validated six-item United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Household Food Security Survey Module, which was used to create a six-point numerical food security score, where a higher score indicates lower food security. Individual-level participant demographic information was also collected. Logistic regressions (low/very-low compared with high/marginal food security) were performed to generate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95%CIs for food insecurity and select demographic characteristics.

Economic Crisis and Child Well-being in the West and Central Africa Region
The COVID-19 pandemic that swept over the world from early 2020 has triggered both health and economic shocks of unprecedented proportions in recent memory. Some estimates suggest that the consequences of these shocks will likely erase most of the progress made in global development over the past two decades. Many countries now risk falling further behind the attainment of national and international development goals, including the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of these shocks due to their persistent higher levels of vulnerability, and the reality that school closures and other COVID-19 containment measures can be more damaging to children. 

This report examines the effect of previous economic crises on children’s well-being in UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Region (WCAR) and makes projections regarding the potential impacts of COVID-19-induced economic crises on priority indicators for the region. 
Uncertain pathways: how gender shapes the experiences of children on the move

AUTHOR(S)
Jan Beise; Danzhen You (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2021

Age plays a critical role in a child’s migration, but how will gender mediate that experience? Which gender-specific vulnerabilities, needs, and opportunities influence the lives of girls and boys on the move? This report reviews the existing evidence base – official statistics and quantitative and qualitative studies from the community level to the global level – to shed light on these important questions. Examining the available information not only indicates where and how children on the move need targeted resources, support and protection, but also pinpoints areas needing further investigation. Available data and research demonstrate that gender plays a pivotal role from the time the decision to leave home is made, and continues to shape experiences and vulnerabilities throughout the child’s journey and integration process at the destination. COVID-19 has added another layer of complexity to the lives of children on the move, exacerbating pre-existing insecurities in some dimensions and introducing new ones. Girls in particular are feeling many of these effects acutely, such as gender-based violence.

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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.