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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 94
Experiences of increased food insecurity, economic, and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic among SNAP-enrolled food pantry clients

AUTHOR(S)
Robin T. Higashi; Anubha Sood; Ana Belen Conrado (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

The COVID-19 pandemic initially doubled the rates of food insecurity across the USA and tripled rates among households with children. Despite the association among food insecurity, chronic disease and psychological distress, narratives depicting the experiences of already food insecure populations are notably underrepresented in the literature. The current study assessed the impact of COVID-19 on clients of a food pantry who were also enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a qualitative study probing the effects of the pandemic on daily living, food needs, food buying and food insecurity. Interview transcripts were analysed using a combined deductive and inductive approach. Interviews were conducted via telephone between May and June of 2020 among equal numbers of English- and Spanish-speaking clients (n 40 total).

Child maltreatment prevention service cases are significantly reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal investigation into unintended consequences of quarantine

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly M. Whaling; Alissa Der Sarkissian; Natalie Larez (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Maltreatment
Unprecedented financial and emotional stress, paired with measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., school closures), place youth at risk for experiencing increased rates of abuse. This study analyzed data from New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services to investigate the frequency of child maltreatment prevention service case openings during this time. Longitudinal counts of case openings were compiled for January through June of the years 2014–2020. An independent samples Kruskal–Wallis H-test suggested that pre-quarantine case openings were significantly larger than case openings during quarantine. To account for the possible influence of other historical events impacting data, a secondary Kruskal–Wallis H-test was conducted comparing only the 4 months of quarantine data available to the 4 months immediately preceding quarantine orders. The second independent samples Kruskal–Wallis H-test again suggested that pre-quarantine case openings were significantly larger than case openings during quarantine. A Poisson regression model further supported these findings, estimating that the odds of opening a new child maltreatment prevention case during quarantine declined by 49.17%.
Perceived impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the family context of foster and non-foster families

AUTHOR(S)
Lucía González-Pasarín; Antonio Urbano-Contreras; Isabel M. Bernedo (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown have had a far-reaching impact across all levels of society. In Spain, severe restrictions were placed on people’s mobility, and leaving the home was only possible under special circumstances. This study analyzes the impact of lockdown on the family context of foster and non-foster families, focusing particularly on their levels of cohesion, adaptability, and perceived stress. It also examines a series of variables that may have influenced foster families’ perceptions of their family context during lockdown. Data were gathered through an online survey that was completed by 347 individuals corresponding to 100 foster families and 247 non-foster families from different regions of Spain. Analyses were descriptive and exploratory in nature.
Material hardship among custodial grandparents in COVID-19 and its associations with grandchildren’s physical and mental health: a latent class analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Yanfeng Xu; Qianwei Zhao; Brittany R. Schuler (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
COVID-19 has increased economic hardship for many families, including custodial grandparent-headed families. This studied aimed to examine latent classes of material hardship among custodial grandparent-headed families, to assess predictors associated with identified classes, and to investigate associations with grandchildren’s physical and mental health outcomes during COVID-19. A cross-sectional survey was administered via Qualtrics Panels in June 2020. The sample comprised of 362 grandparents. Latent class analysis and multinomial and binary logistic regression were conducted. Three latent classes of material hardship were identified: Class 1 low overall hardship with high medical hardship, class 2 moderate overall hardship with high utility hardship, and class 3 severe overall hardship. Factors, including race, household income, labor force status, years of care, and financial assistance status, were associated with class membership. Class 2 was significantly associated with grandchildren’s physical health.
Precarious parental employment, economic hardship, and parenting and child happiness amidst a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Wen-Jui Han; Jake Hart

Published: December 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
As labor markets in recent decades have become increasingly volatile and precarious, more workers are susceptible to working conditions that threaten their economic security and thus their well-being and that of their families. This study examined the associations between precarious parental employment, income and job loss, and aggravation in parenting and child happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its measure of precarity is more comprehensive than those used in prior studies using U.S. samples. The study used an online cross-sectional dataset collected in May 2020 in the United States to examine parenting and child happiness, controlling for a rich set of sociodemographic characteristics.
Preventing a lost decade: urgent action to reverse the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children and young people
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: December 2021

Almost two years into the pandemic, the widespread impact of COVID-19 continues to deepen, increasing poverty and entrenching inequality. While some countries are recovering and rebuilding in a ‘new normal’, for many, COVID-19 remains a crisis. The human rights of all children are under threat to a degree that has not been seen in more than a generation. The global response so far has been deeply unequal and inadequate. The world now stands at a crossroads. The actions we take now will determine the well-being and rights of children for years to come. As we commemorate UNICEF’s 75th year, this report lays out the work in front of us by taking stock of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on children and the road to respond and recover to reimagine the future for every child.

Impact of COVID-19 among young people currently and formerly in foster care

AUTHOR(S)
Rachel Rosenberg; Sunny Sun; Alaina Flannigan (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 continues to have devastating impacts across the United States, causing high levels of unemployment and disconnection from work and school. Furthermore, some communities are at higher risk for adverse outcomes due to the pandemic, including transition age foster youth. Transition age foster youth report negative impacts on their employment, educational attainment, ability to meet basic needs, and their connection to work and school. The current study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on key young adult outcomes including education, employment, financial well-being, and disconnection from work and school.


Assessing the impact of war in Yemen: pathways for recovery

AUTHOR(S)
Taylor Hanna; David K. Bohl; Jonathan D. Moyer

Institution: United Nations Development Programme
Published: November 2021

Released in November 2021, this report explores post-conflict recovery and finds that war has continued to devastate the country; the conflict’s death toll has already grown 60 per cent since 2019. However, if a sustainable and implementable peace deal can be reached, there is still hope for a brighter future in Yemen. Seven different recovery scenarios were modeled to better understand prospects and priorities for recovery and reconstruction in Yemen. The analysis identified key leverage points and recommendations for a successful recovery – including empowering women, making investments in agriculture, and leveraging the private sector. Moreover, by combining these, it is possible to save hundreds of thousands of additional lives and put Yemen on a path not only to catch up with – but to surpass – its pre-war SDG trajectory by 2050.

WeWorld index 2021: women and children in a changing world

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Caneva; Martina Albini; Stefano Piziali (et al.)

Institution: WeWorld
Published: November 2021

The seventh edition of the WeWorld Index globally evaluates in which dimensions there are forms of inclusion/exclusion of women and children, and captures their living conditions in more than 170 countries in the world. The Index is composed of 34 indicators, grouped into 17 dimensions, which refer to 4 fundamental areas for the implementation of the rights of women and children: health, education, economy and society, in addition to the environmental and cultural context, which is determinant for the quality of life of these two social categories. As the previous edition, the WeWorld Index 2021 considers the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding 3 new indicators to the pre-existing 34. In order to integrate quantitative data, the Index is enriched with interviews to witnesses and experts who illustrate, for their direct knowledge, qualitative aspects that numbers alone would not be able to provide.

Social inequalities and extreme vulnerability of children and adolescents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Aloísio Antônio Gomes de Matos; Kimberly Virginin Cruz Correia da Silva; Jucier Gonçalves Júnior (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

This study aims to identify the hidden orphans and to reinforce existing monitoring systems. Orphanhood is a public health issue, and it primarily evidences existing geopolitical tensions. Thus, this study emphasises the strong naturalisation of social inequalities and the extreme vulnerability of children and adolescents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 continues to tear families apart, leaving the children of deceased parents with even fewer options than before the pandemic. In Brazil, one child is orphaned by COVID-19 every 5 min. This is an alarming estimate, especially in the most vulnerable and underprivileged regions of the country, such as the North and Northeast. Current evidence emphasises that at every three million deaths due to the pandemic, more than 1.5 million children lose their mothers, fathers or primary caregivers (usually grandparents). This may be very traumatic for children. In this context, Brazil is the second country in the world with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, reducing caregiving options among family members.

Adult mental health and child maltreatment: an ecological study across rural–urban and economic continua with implications for post-pandemic human services

AUTHOR(S)
Paula Yuma; Rebecca Orsi; Anita A. Pena

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Journal of Community Psychology
This ecological, county-level, cross-sectional study examines relationships between the mental health of adults (IV) and child maltreatment report rates (DV), as they vary by socioeconomic distress and rurality (n = 3015 counties), using the most recent available data from several linked sources. In a two-way model, maltreatment reports increased 20.1% for each additional half day of poor mental health in metro counties, 11.7% in nonmetro counties, and 13% in rural counties. Our zero-inflated negative binomial model, moderated by rurality and economic distress, showed a significant relationship between the number of poor mental health days and increased child maltreatment report rates in counties (χ2 = 145.52, p < 0.0001).
A diagonal and social protection plus approach to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 syndemic: cash transfers and intimate partner violence interventions in Latin America

AUTHOR(S)
Merike Blofield; Felicia M. Knaul; Renzo Calderón-Anyosa (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
Latin America has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 syndemic, including the associated economic fallout that has threatened the livelihoods of most families. Social protection platforms and policies should have a crucial role in safeguarding individual and family wellbeing; however, the response has been insufficient to address the scale of the crisis. This viewpoint focuses on two policy challenges of the COVID-19 syndemic: rapidly and effectively providing financial support to the many families that lost livelihoods, and responding to and mitigating the increased risk of intimate partner violence (IPV). It argues that building programmatic linkages between social protection platforms, particularly cash transfers, and IPV prevention, mitigation, and response services, creates synergies that can promote freedom from both poverty and violence.
Diet quality during the COVID-19 pandemic: Effects of workplace support for families and work-to-family enrichment in dual-earner parents with adolescent children

AUTHOR(S)
Berta Schnettler; Ligia Orellana; Edgardo Miranda-Zapata (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Appetite
Organizational support goes beyond the work domain, supporting workers' family role and thus generating resources that lead to work-to-family enrichment. Workers may invest these resources in improving their, and their family's, diet quality. However, data on the link between work resources, enrichment and diet quality during the COVID-19 pandemic is still emerging. The present study contributes to this literature by exploring the actor and partner effects between perceived workplace support for families, work-to-family enrichment, and diet quality in different-sex dual-earner parents with adolescent children; the potential mediating role of work-to-family enrichment between perceived workplace support for families and diet quality was also explored. A sample of 430 different-sex dual-earner parents and one of their adolescent children (mean age 13.0 years, 53.7% female) were recruited in Rancagua, Chile, during March and June 2020.
Early childhood teachers of color in New York City: heightened stress, lower quality of life, declining health, and compromised sleep amidst COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Mariana Souto-Manning; Samantha A. Melvin

Published: November 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to mitigate its spread affected every facet of education and society. The closure of sites of early care and education posed risks to the health, nutrition, social well-being, and emotional development of young children. In the U.S., threats to the quality of life and wellness of early childhood teachers and young children ages birth to eight (early childhood according to definition issued by the National Association for the Education of young children) intensified existing inequities. These inequities were visible in stigmatizing children and families in neighborhoods with high infection rates; trauma emanating from the death and bereavement of family members; loss of employment and economic hardships; more young children living in extreme poverty; disruptions to child protection services; and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. Stress, anxiety, and disrupted sleep, expected responses to a threat as sizeable as the COVID-19 pandemic, were further exacerbated by racialized inequities in access and rates of vaccination
‘To prevent this disease, we have to stay at home, but if we stay at home, we die of hunger’ – livelihoods, vulnerability and coping with Covid-19 in rural Mozambique

AUTHOR(S)
Judith E. Krauss; Luis Artur; Dan Brockington (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: World Development

Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing and travel restrictions have been introduced to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (hereinafter Covid). In many countries of the Global South, NPIs are affecting rural livelihoods, but in-depth empirical data on these impacts are limited. This study traced the differentiated impacts of Covid NPIs throughout the start of the pandemic May to July 2020. It conducted qualitative weekly phone interviews (n=441) with 92 panelists from nine contrasting rural communities across Mozambique (3 to 7 study weeks), exploring how panelists’ livelihoods changed and how the NPIs intersected with, and often exacerbated, existing vulnerabilities, and created new exposures.

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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.