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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 103
Family disruption and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kammy K. Schmeer; Britt Singletary; Kelly M. Purtell (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
Using unique data from an economically and racially diverse sample of 448 caregivers with young children (ages 4–9 years) in Ohio, this study assesses multiple sources of family social and economic disruptions and their associations with parenting activities during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Caregivers reported extensive social and economic challenges during this time, while also increasing (on average) their time spent in play/learning activities. Time spent in discipline was less likely to increase during this period.
Strengthening lower-income families: Lessons learned from policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy B. Kanter; Deadric T. Williams; Amy J. Rauer

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Process
Families are navigating an unstable economy due to COVID-19. Financial stressors have the potential to strain intimate relationships and exacerbate prior inequities across lower-income families. Notably, the economic impact of COVID-19 disproportionately influenced Black and Latinx families. As a response to families' economic adversity during the pandemic, the federal government initiated the CARES Act. This type of federal response to lower-income families, however, is not new. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize and historicize previous and current efforts to mitigate the consequences of financial hardship on families by comparing the assumptions and efficacy of the Healthy Marriages Initiative and the CARES act.
The effects of covid-19 on the lives of adolescent girls and young women in the adult entertainment sector in Nepal

AUTHOR(S)
Anita Ghimire; Sharmila Mainali; Fiona Samuels (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: September 2021
As is the case globally, lives and livelihoods in Nepal have been heavily impacted by covid-19. This report discusses the impact of covid-19 and the measures taken to address it on adolescent girls and women working in the adult entertainment sector. It focuses on covid-19’s effects on food security, shelter, health and employment for girls working in this sector. It also explores coping mechanisms and ends by recommending measures and policies that could be adopted during and after the pandemic to support the livelihoods and broader well-being of women and girls working in this sector.
Material hardship and child neglect risk amidst COVID-19 in grandparent-headed kinship families: the role of financial assistance

AUTHOR(S)
Yanfeng Xua; Merav Jedwab; Nelís Soto-Ramírez (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 has exacerbated material hardship among grandparent-headed kinship families. Grandparent-headed kinship families receive financial assistance, which may mitigate material hardship and reduce child neglect risk. This study aims to examine (1) the association between material hardship and child neglect risk; and (2) whether financial assistance moderates this association in a sample of kinship grandparent-headed families during COVID-19. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from a convenience sample of grandparent-headed kinship families (not necessarily child welfare involved) (N = 362) in the United States via Qualtrics Panels online survey.

Are working children in developing countries hidden victims of pandemics?

AUTHOR(S)
Polyxeni Kechagia; Theodore Metaxas (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Social Sciences
The consequences of the recent pandemic have been disproportionately disruptive to several social groups, including children. As developing economies have been firefighting the recent pandemic, the welfare of minors could be affected and children’s economic exploitation and abuse could increase. Therefore, the present research aims to shed light on and to investigate the association between child labour in developing countries and pandemics, including the coronavirus, through conducting a systematic literature review on previous empirical studies. The present research concludes that previous studies on non-COVID-19 pandemics have mainly focused on the African economies, while studies on the recent pandemic have focused on Asian countries. In addition, differences were observed in relation to the methodological approaches and the characteristics of minor employees and the protection services in certain countries have proven to be insufficient.
Understanding patterns of food insecurity and family well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic using daily surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Steimle; Anna Gassman-Pines; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Development
This paper investigates economic and psychological hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse sample (61% Latinx; 16% White; 9% Black; 14% mixed/other race) of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents (90% mothers; mean age = 35 years) and their elementary school-aged children (ages 4–11; 49% female) in rural Pennsylvania (N = 272). Families participating in a local food assistance program reported on food insecurity (FI) and parent and child mood and behavior daily from January to May 2020. Longitudinal models revealed that FI, negative parent and child mood, and child misbehavior significantly increased when schools closed; only FI and parent depression later decreased. FI decreased most among those who received the local food assistance program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receipt uniquely predicted decreases in child FI.
How to assess the child poverty and distributional impact of COVID-19 using household budget surveys: an application using Turkish data

AUTHOR(S)
Meltem A. Aran; Nazli Aktakke; Zehra Sena Kibar (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: The European Journal of Development Research
This study presents a methodology to predict the child poverty impact of COVID19 that can be readily applied in other country contexts where similar household data are available—and illustrates this case using data from Turkey. Using Household Budget Survey 2018, the microsimulation model estimates the impact of labour income loss on household expenditures, considering that some types of jobs/sectors may be more vulnerable than others to the COVID-19 shock. Labour income loss is estimated to lead to reductions in monthly household expenditure using an income elasticity model, and expenditure-based child poverty is found to increase in Turkey by 4.9–9.3 percentage points (depending on shock severity) from a base level of 15.4%. Among the hypothetical cash transfer scenarios considered, the universal child grant for 0–17 years old children was found to have the highest child poverty reduction impact overall, while schemes targeting the bottom 20–30% of households are more cost-efective in terms of poverty reduction. The microsimulation model set out in this paper can be readily replicated in countries where similar Household Budget Surveys are available.
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. 
Youth relationships in the era of COVID-19: a mixed-methods study among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Celia Karp; Caroline Moreau; Grace Sheehy (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

Measures to mitigate COVID-19's impact may inhibit development of healthy youth relationships, affecting partnership quality and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. This is a mixed-methods study aiming to understand how COVID-19 affected girls' and young women's relationships in Kenya. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression examined factors associated with relationship quality dynamics and SRH outcomes among 756 partnered adolescents aged 15–24 years. Qualitative data from in-depth interviews were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis to explore youth perceptions of how intimate relationships changed during COVID-19.

National safe back to school spotlight Cambodia

AUTHOR(S)
Jess Edwards; Sotheary El; Gloria Donate (et al.)

Institution: Save the Children
Published: August 2021

Globally, over 1.5 billion children have had their schools closed due to COVID-19 since early 2020.1 For the first time in history, an entire generation of children have had their education disrupted. In Cambodia, more than 3 million children have been out of school for over most of the past year, with two major waves of schools closures since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.2 The loss, on average, of nearly 10% of children’s expected total lifetime schooling will not only have caused significant learning losses, but has put many children at risk of dropping out of school entirely.

Society to cell: how child poverty gets “under the skin” to influence child development and lifelong health

AUTHOR(S)
Kim L. Schmidt; Sarah M. Merrill; Randip Gill (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Developmental Review
Almost one in three children globally live in households lacking basic necessities, and 356 million of these children were living in extreme poverty as of 2017. Disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic further increase rates of child poverty due to widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families. Poverty leads to unequal distribution of power and resources, which impacts the economic, material, environmental and psychosocial conditions in which children live. There is evidence that poverty is associated with adverse child health and developmental outcomes in the short term, as well as increased risk of chronic diseases and mental illnesses over the life course. Over the past decade, advances in genomic and epigenomic research have helped elucidate molecular mechanisms that could in part be responsible for these long-term effects. This study reviews evidence suggestive of biological embedding of early life poverty in three, interacting physiological systems that are potential contributors to the increased risk of disease: the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, the brain, and the immune system. It also reviews interventions that have been developed to both eliminate childhood poverty and alleviate its impact on pediatric development and health.
Persistent inequality and COVID-19 holding back young people in Vietnam: evidence from the Listening to young lives at work COVID-19 phone survey

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Nguyen Thang; Le Thuc Duc

Published: August 2021

This policy brief looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of young people in Vietnam, particularly those from poor households, remote and rural communities, and ethnic minority groups. While Vietnam was successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 during 2020, the recent surge in infection rates and new restrictions are likely to have significant and worsening economic and social impacts for young people. This brief focuses on the broader economic and social impacts of the pandemic, presenting findings from the Listening to Young Lives at Work COVID-19 phone survey conducted in the second half of 2020 (Favara, Crivello et al. 2021). It highlights findings from Vietnam alongside comparative analysis with the other three Young Lives study countries (Ethiopia, India and Peru), to ensure that lessons learned from countries grappling with different stages of the pandemic inform the policy recommendations. Three key areas of impact are covered: interrupted education and inequality in learning outcomes; increased domestic work, particularly for girls and young women; and current and potential longer-term mental health and well-being implications.

The challenges of inequality and COVID-19 for young people in Peru: evidence from the listening to young lives at work COVID-19 phone survey

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Santiago Cueto; Alan Sanchez

Published: August 2021

This policy brief looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of adolescents and young people in Peru as they transition into adulthood, focusing on how widening inequalities are hitting those from disadvantaged backgrounds hardest. Peru continues to suffer one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world, despite an initial strict national lockdown between March and June 2020, and subsequent regional lockdowns between July and September 2020. A second set of regional lockdowns, and new related restrictions, have been introduced since January 2021, in response to an even more devastating second wave of infections. This brief investigates the broader economic and social impacts of the pandemic, presenting policy recommendations based on findings from the Listening to Young Lives at Work COVID-19 phone survey, conducted in the second half of 2020. It focuses on five key areas of impact: interrupted education and inequality in learning outcomes; unequal access to decent jobs; worsening mental health and well-being; specific implications for girls and young women, including increased domestic work burdens; and increasing risk of domestic violence. It is part of a series of national policy briefs drawing on findings from our 2020 COVID-19 phone survey.

Revitalizing child health: lessons from the past

AUTHOR(S)
Kathleen L. Strong; Jennifer Requejo; Ambrose Agweyu (et al.)

Published: July 2021
Essential health, education and other service disruptions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic risk reversing some of the hard-won gains in improving child survival over the past 40 years. Although children have milder symptoms of COVID-19 disease than adults, pandemic control measures in many countries have disrupted health, education and other services for children, often leaving them without access to birth and postnatal care, vaccinations and early childhood preventive and treatment services. These disruptions mean that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, along with climate change and shifting epidemiological and demographic patterns, are challenging the survival gains that we have seen over the past 40 years. We revisit the initiatives and actions of the past that catalyzed survival improvements in an effort to learn how to maintain these gains even in the face of today’s global challenges.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 14 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 7 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19 response, economic crisis, health services, lockdown, social distance
Parenting during COVID-19: a study of parents' experiences across gender and income levels

AUTHOR(S)
Margaret L. Kerr; Hannah F. Rasmussen; Kerrie A. Fanning (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Family Relations

This study describes parenting experiences at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and examines differences across parent gender and family income level. The COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented impacts on families. Many parents faced employment changes, including job loss, reduced pay, and working remotely, while simultaneously experiencing increased childcare responsibilities due to school and childcare closures. Research is needed to document the ongoing impact of these changes on parents and families. An online convenience sample of parents (N = 1,009) reported on their parenting experiences during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020) in an online survey.

1 - 15 of 103

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.