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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Parent-reported social-communication changes in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK

AUTHOR(S)
Phoebe O. Morris; Edward Hope; Tom Foulsham (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: International Journal of Developmental Disabilities
The coronavirus pandemic has swept across the United Kingdom (UK). Given the ever-evolving situation, little is known about the repercussions of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Therefore, this study explores the social-communicative impact of the first lockdown (March 2020 – July 2020) in the UK and the return to school period (September 2020 – October 2020), following prolonged disruption to routine, in children diagnosed with ASD. Parents of autistic children completed 2 separate online surveys following the first lockdown in the UK (n = 176) and also when children returned to school following the summer break (n = 54).
Parent distraction with technology and child social competence during the COVID-19 pandemic: the role of parental emotional stability

AUTHOR(S)
Marina Merkaš; Katarina Perić; Ana Žulec

Published: June 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Communication
This study aimed to test the possible moderating role of parents’ emotional stability on the relationship between parent distraction with technology and child social competence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data used in the study were collected in May 2020 when extensive restrictive measures, labeled as lockdown, were present in Croatia. Data on technoference in parenting, parents’ problematic phone tendencies, and child social competence were collected using an online questionnaire from parents (n = 281) of children aged 3 to 14 years. The results show a significant negative effect of overall technoference in parenting on child social competence. This negative effect was significantly moderated by parents’ emotional stability, as expected. Medium and high levels of parents’ emotional stability buffer the negative effect of low technoference in parenting on child social competence. Results imply technoference in parenting negatively affects child development, but the emotional stability of parents can be a protective factor.
Bridging the gap: exploring the impact of hospital isolation on peer relationships among children and adolescents with a malignant brain tumor

AUTHOR(S)
Jami‑Leigh Sawyer; Faye Mishna; Eric Boufet (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Children and adolescents with complex medical conditions are often uprooted from their environments and isolated in hospital while undergoing treatment. Little is known about how they perceive this isolation and its subsequent impact on their relationships with peers, both during and after isolation for treatment. This study describes the experience of hospital isolation from the perspectives of children and adolescents with a malignant brain tumor. The use and impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a possible bridge for contact is also explored. Following a qualitative approach utilizing interpretive phenomenological analysis, in-depth interviews were conducted with eight youth participants who had undergone treatment for medulloblastoma. Data analysis generated three main themes: (1) transforming children and relationships, (2) hospitalization in a digital world, and (3) ICTs as a promising bridge back to school.
Young chinese children's remote peer interactions and social competence development during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Wenwei Luo; Ilene R. Berson; Michael J. Berson (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Technology in Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way young children engage in peer communication. The aim of this study was to explore how young children engaged in peer interaction remotely by examining young children's multimodal interactions during the pandemic. Visual and audio data posted to Douyin (China's most popular live-streaming site) between January 23, 2020 and May 6, 2020 were collected and analyzed. Mediated discourse analysis was used to explore young children's remote interactions as captured on video recordings.
Family–school partnerships in the age of Covid-19: reasons for optimism amidst a global pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Chris Jones; Colin Forster

Published: May 2021   Journal: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education
This article reports on research undertaken in May and June 2020, during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic when schools in England were still closed to the majority of children. The research sought to explore the impact of the so-called ‘lockdown’ on family–school partnerships. Research shows such partnerships make an important contribution to the effective education of children and young people, potentially leading to improved behaviour, engagement and learning outcomes. The study was conducted as a short online survey, circulated through social media and email, which invited teachers, school leaders and others working in primary and secondary schools to share their experiences of family–school partnership during this time. Analysis of the data showed that schools had made considerable efforts to maintain communication and support for all families, particularly those deemed ‘hard-to-reach’, and many participants reported that family–school partnerships had actually been strengthened through this testing period of time.
Consensually nonmonogamous parent relationships during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa H. Manley; Abbie E. Goldberg

Published: May 2021   Journal: Sexualities
During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents in consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships navigated public health directives to social distance and avoid contact between households. Many parents practicing CNM share romantic, sexual, and coparenting relationships across households, and the pandemic introduced challenges and opportunities for innovation in maintaining connection. This qualitative study sought to explore the experiences, challenges, and adaptations of CNM parents, using survey and interview data from 70 US parents collected between May and December 2020. Thematic analysis highlighted that many parents spent less time with non-cohabiting partners and more time with cohabiting partners and children, but also adapted via creative strategies such as incorporating partners into a quarantine pod, inviting partners to move in, or connecting over technology. These data illuminate the diverse ways that CNM parents engaged in and “queered” family and partner relationships during the pandemic.
Covid-19 in New Zealand and the Pacific: implications for children and families

AUTHOR(S)
Claire Freeman; Christina Ergler; Robin Kearns (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Children's Geographies
The experience of Covid-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2020 has been strongly shaped by a narrative emanating from a robust partnership between politicians and public health experts. This narrative treads a careful line between hard and soft responses. To elaborate, enacting policy such as closing borders and requiring ‘lockdown’ was swift and firm but was accompanied by an attempt to develop a disposition of care and empathy towards the public. While there has been hardship for some families, the soft messaging has, we argue, led to aspects of the response that have been decidedly child-friendly. At the regional scale, border closures have impacted heavily on Pacific Island families, separating families as parents have been unable to return to their home islands and through the loss of economic opportunities associated with seasonal work and in local - often tourism dominated economies. In a COVID-era the future looks uncertain for children both within New Zealand and in the wider Pacific realm.
Risk communication & community engagement (RCCE) Somalia COVID-19 rapid assessment survey report
Institution: Save the Children
Published: December 2020

Save the Children Somalia conducted a rapid assessment covering the entirety of Somalia between the 13th to 16th of April, 2020. The findings of the assessment will inform the defining and prioritizing of the RCCE strategy and key communication and community engagement plan; including contextualized key messages tailored to circumstances of vulnerable communities, defining key actions/activities, and tailor and test materials. Ultimately, the exercise will increase the effectiveness of our communication activities and therefore the impact of the overall response. Furthermore, meaningful participatory engagement and adapting messages to the local context and audience is also proven to lead to stronger ownership, buy-in, and commitment, as well as maintaining/increasing access, and strengthening the organization’s integrity and reputation. 

Real-time communication: creating a path to COVID-19 public health activism in adolescents using social media

AUTHOR(S)
Kunmi Sobowale; Heather Hilliard; Martha J. Ignaszewski (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research
The COVID-19 pandemic and related public health efforts limiting in-person social interactions present unique challenges to adolescents. Social media, which is widely used by adolescents, presents an opportunity to counteract these challenges and promote adolescent health and public health activism. However, public health organizations and officials underuse social media to communicate with adolescents. Using well-established risk communication strategies and insights from adolescent development and human-computer interaction literature, we identify current efforts and gaps, and propose recommendations to advance the use of social media risk communication for adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and future disasters.
Racial and ethnic differences in parental attitudes and concerns about school reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic — United States, July 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Leah K. Gilbert; Tara W. Strine; Leigh E. Szucs (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Families and school districts face challenges balancing COVID-19 mitigation and school reopening. Among parents of school-aged children who participated in an Internet panel survey, racial and ethnic minority parents were more concerned about some aspects of school reopening, such as compliance with mitigation measures, safety, and their child contracting or bringing home COVID-19, than were non-Hispanic White parents. Understanding racial/ethnic differences in parental attitudes and concerns about school reopening can inform communication and mitigation strategies and highlights the importance of considering risks for severe COVID-19 and family resource needs when developing options for school attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lessons from COVID-19 pandemic for the child survival agenda

AUTHOR(S)
S. V. Subramanian; Pritha Chatterjee; Omar Karlsson

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Global Health
The public discourse around the COVID-19 pandemic has been strikingly quantitative. Worldwide, the mainstream media has regularly informed the public of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, including projections of worst-case scenarios drawn from esoteric epidemiological models. The prominence and visibility of data, regardless of its completeness or quality, underscored the threat of COVID-19 to policy makers and lay individuals alike. It also prompted governments to swiftly lock down their societies, despite the socioeconomic disruptions and human suffering associated with such lockdowns. The widespread media coverage of COVID-19 data and swift response from governments highlight the potency of real-time data, and contain important lessons for public health policy, which when applied, could raise the profile of other health issues and spur action among key stakeholders.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 10 | Issue: 2 | No. of pages: 3 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: communication, COVID-19 response, data analysis, data collection, information
Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communication and language skills in children

AUTHOR(S)
Sara A. Charney; Stephen M. Camarata; Alexander Chern

Published: November 2020   Journal: Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many unintended, long-lasting consequences for society. Preventative practices such as mask wearing, social distancing, and virtual meetings and classrooms to address contagion concerns may negatively affect communication, particularly in the pediatric population, as schools have begun to open this fall. Increasing awareness and creating innovative methods to promote communication and language learning in settings both in person and virtual is paramount. Although more studies are needed to characterize the pandemic’s impact on pediatric speech and language development, clinicians and parents should be cognizant of this phenomenon and proactive in facilitating an optimal communication environment for children.
Informing children citizens efficiently to better engage them in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jean-Eric Ghia; Sophie Gaulin; Laure Ghia (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Since the beginning of the year, the world’s attention has rightly been focused on the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the implementation of drastic mitigation strategies to limit disease transmission. However, public health information campaigns tailored to children are very rare. Now more than ever, at a time when some governments are taking populations out of lockdown and youth are returning to schools, children around the world need to fully grasp the modes of transmission of the disease, the health risks, the scientific notions of the immune system, the value of barrier measures, and the progress of scientific research. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, comics can be very useful for communicating quickly and effectively abstract and important information to children who might be under the influence of a large amount of sometimes contradictory information. Conveying precise, reliable, and accessible information to children is key in a world overwhelmingly impacted by the outbreak.
COVID-19: digital and remote approaches in eliminating female genital mutilation and child marriage
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2020
This brief is designed to support country programmes to conduct quality, evidence-based, meaningful and measurable engagement for prevention of harmful practices programming, even when interpersonal communication is not possible. In particular, this note will provide insights to the use of digital communications resources, since physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic have further strengthened reliance on mass media, social media and mobile technology as a way of reaching and engaging with intended audiences.
Reflections on practice during a pandemic: how do we continue to ensure effective communication during the COVID‐19 pandemic?

AUTHOR(S)
Wendy Roberts

Published: September 2020   Journal: Child Abuse Review

Social work is about building relationships, and communicating effectively is essential for this. Communication is a key element in building trust and relationships with families. Social workers wanted to keep good communication with workers as the relationship and maintaining the flow of communication are also considered important to a mentoring relationship. But the pandemic presented a dilemma of not knowing when or how often to contact workers to offer support.

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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.