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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Lebanese crisis forcing youth out of learning, robbing them of their futures: UNICEF survey
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

As Lebanon’s triple crisis continues to worsen, youth are struggling to find hope, support and opportunities amid mounting despair. The combined impact of an economic meltdown, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Beirut Port explosions are forcing youth from all backgrounds to take on responsibilities beyond their ages, with detrimental impacts on their mental health and on access to opportunities. More and more young people are dropping out of education or any type of learning to engage in ill-paid, irregular and informal work to generate whatever income they can to help their families cope with the mounting challenges. UNICEF’s new assessment shows that 3 in 10 young people in Lebanon have stopped their education, while 4 in 10 reduced spending on education to buy essential items like basic food and medicine. The combined impact of the crises has led to a significant increase in mental health issues among young people, resulting in risky behaviour and substance abuse, as well as an increase in gender-based violence (GBV). Approximately one in four adolescents in Lebanon suffers from a psychiatric disorder. Alarmingly, 94 per cent of adolescents with a mental disorder have not sought any treatment. In September 2021, UNICEF conducted a Youth-Focused Rapid Assessment (YFRA), interviewing around 900 youth and adolescents aged 15 to 246 across Lebanon. One in four reported often feeling depressed and just over half the respondents said their lives worsened over the past year.

Effect of subjective economic status during the COVID-19 pandemic on depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation among South Korean adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Jong Min Han; Hyunjong Song

Published: December 2021   Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management
This study identified the relationships between perceived household economic status and household economic downturn due to COVID-19 and adolescent depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. Participants for this study were extracted from the 13th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey, conducted from August to November 2020. The participants comprised 54,948 middle and high school students selected by stratified random cluster sampling.
Caregivers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and their children’s behavior

AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie M. Reich; Melissa Dahlin; Nestor Tulagan (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
The COVID-19 pandemic has financial and emotional impacts on families. This study explored how caregivers’ financial strain and mental health are associated with changes in their young children’s behavior during the pandemic. It additionally considered whether having a sense of purpose moderated these associations. Caregivers (n = 300) in the emergency department of a children’s hospital were surveyed anonymously about changes to their employment (e.g., reduced/increased hours and job loss), ability to pay for expenses and whether their child’s behavior had changed. Aligned with the Family Stress Model, caregivers’ financial strain was associated with poor mental health, inconsistent sleep routines, and changes in children’s problematic and prosocial behaviors. A sense of purpose buffered some of these relationships. Families are differently affected by the pandemic and our findings underscore the need for supporting caregivers’ mental health and connecting them with resources.
Parents’ self-reported psychological impacts of COVID-19: associations with parental burnout, child behavior, and income

AUTHOR(S)
Margaret L Kerr; Kerrie A. Fanning; Tuyen Huynh (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology

The current study investigates associations between parents’ perceived coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) psychological impacts and experiences of parental burnout, children’s behaviors, and income. Data were collected during an online survey of parents’ (N = 1000) pandemic experiences in April 2020. Parents (M = 36.5 years old, SD = 6.0; 82.1% White) with at least one child 12 years or younger reported on measures of mental health, perceived COVID-19 impacts, parental burnout, and perceived increases in children’s stress and positive behaviors.

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.
Ties in tough times: how social capital helps lower-income Jewish parents weather the economic hardship of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Ilana M. Horwitz; Sasha Lascar

Published: July 2021   Journal: Contemporary Jewry
This exploratory study examined how social ties helped lower-income Jewish parents in the Greater Philadelphia area weather the COVID-19 pandemic. 36 parents who self-identified as Jewish, had at least one school-age child, and earned less than the median Jewish household income in the Philadelphia area were interviewed. The data were analyzed through the lens of social capital, focusing on three forms: bonding, bridging, and linking social capital. Unlike in weather-related disasters, where social capital yields crucial physical help, the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic changed how social capital functions. Parents with strong social ties in the Jewish community were able to connect to people and institutions of power, such as rabbis and Jewish organizations, who provided valuable material resources while families sheltered in place.
Child and family factors associated with child mental health and well-being during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Brae Anne McArthur; Nicole Racine; Sheila McDonald (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Understanding the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the current generation of youth is critical for post-pandemic recovery planning. This study aimed to identify the most salient child (i.e., connectedness to caregivers, screen time, sleep, physical activity, peer relationships, and recreational activities) and family (i.e., COVID-19 financial impact, maternal depression and anxiety) factors associated with children’s mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, after controlling for pre-pandemic mental health. This study included 846 mother–child dyads (child age 9–11) from the All Our Families cohort.
What we have learnt about trauma, loss and grief for children in response to COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Dominic A. Fitzgerald; Kenneth Nunn; David Isaacs

Published: May 2021   Journal: Paediatric Respiratory Reviews
The disruption of daily life resulting from COVID-19 and its precautions has taken an enormous emotional toll on children and families. The consequences of disrupted schooling, changed social interactions and altered family dynamics has had some unanticipated positives such as improved on-line educational upskilling and personal resilience. However, the potential longer term implications for educational outcomes, economic impacts of job loss and prolonged financial insecurity, physical wellbeing and mental health remain unclear. The potential for post-traumatic stress disorders from what is experienced by children with imposed isolation from friends and extended family, domestic violence and death of relatives remains concerning.
The risk to child nutrition during and after COVID-19 pandemic: what to expect and how to respond

AUTHOR(S)
James Ntambara; Minjie Chu

Published: April 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

This study aimed to address the key areas of concern for child nutrition, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and proposes strategic responses to reduce child undernutrition in the short and long term. A descriptive literature review was performed. The search of the literature was conducted through using electronic databases including PubMed, Web of science, google scholar, and Cochrane library.

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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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Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.

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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.