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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Exploring the role of COVID-19 pandemic-related changes in social interactions on preschoolers' emotion labeling

Stephanie Wermelinger; Lea Moersdorf; Simona Ammann (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
During the COVID-19 pandemic people were increasingly obliged to wear facial masks and to reduce the number of people they met in person. In this study, we asked how these changes in social interactions are associated with young children's emotional development, specifically their emotion recognition via the labeling of emotions. Preschoolers labeled emotional facial expressions of adults (Adult Faces Task) and children (Child Faces Task) in fully visible faces. In addition, we assessed children's COVID-19-related experiences (i.e., time spent with people wearing masks, number of contacts without masks) and recorded children's gaze behavior during emotion labeling. We compared different samples of preschoolers (4.00–5.75 years): The data for the no-COVID-19-experience sample were taken from studies conducted before the pandemic (Adult Faces Task: N = 40; Child Faces Task: N = 30). The data for the with-COVID-19-experience sample (N = 99) were collected during the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland between June and November 2021.
The COVID‐19 pandemic, mask‐wearing, and emotion recognition during late‐childhood

Maia Chester; Rista C. Plate; Tralucia Powell (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Social Development
Face masks are an effective and important tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including among children. However, occluding parts of the face can impact emotion recognition, which is fundamental to effective social interactions. Social distancing, stress, and changes to routines because of the pandemic have also altered the social landscape of children, with implications for social development. To better understand how social input and context impact emotion recognition, the current study investigated emotion recognition in children (7–12 years old, N = 131) using images of both masked and unmasked emotional faces.
Investigating children's ability to express internal states through narratives and drawings: two longitudinal studies during pandemic

Giulia Vettori; Costanza Ruffini; Martina Andreini (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 pandemic emergency has challenged children’s socio-affective and cognitive development. It is essential to capture the modulation of their emotional experience through ecological and children-friendly tasks, such as written narratives and drawings. This contribution investigates the impact of pandemic experience (2020–2021 waves) on the internal states and emotions of the primary school age children, according to a longitudinal research approach through narratives (study 1 n = 21) and drawing tasks (study 2 n = 117). 138 Italian children were examined during COVID-19 three (study 1) or two waves (study 2). Children’s written narratives were codified on the basis of narrative competence and psychological lexicon. Children’s drawings were codified based on social/emotional, physical, and environmental elements.
Ensuring emotional and psychological wellbeing in children through bibliotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sophia Adeyeye; Opeyemi Oboh

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Librarianship
Sudden lifestyle changes and disruption necessitated by the COVID-19 precautionary measures resulted in children becoming frightened, bored, isolated and anxious which automatically posed a threat to their emotional and psychological wellbeing. These set of children could be helped through therapeutic reading of books. Reading stories provides children with opportunities to gain insight and learn healthier ways to face the uncertainty caused by their inability to do things that they normally do like going to school, visit friends, go to parties, visit parks, visit the library and so on. The study used a prestest - posttest quasi- experimental methodology which lasted for a duration of 10 weeks, the study population were twenty-five (25) within the age bracket of 7-16 years old.
The emotional lockdown: how social distancing and mask wearing influence mood and emotion recognition in adolescents and adults

Louisa Kulke; Theresia Langer; Christian Valuch

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
During the COVID-19 pandemic, government-mandated protection measures such as contact restrictions and mask wearing significantly affected social interactions. The current preregistered studies hypothesized that such measures could influence self-reported mood in adults and in adolescents between 12 and 13 years of age, who are in a critical phase of social development. This study found that mood was positively related to face-to-face but not to virtual interactions in adults and that virtual interactions were associated with negative mood in adolescents. This suggests that contact restrictions leading to a decrease in face-to-face compared to virtual interactions may be related to negative mood. To understand if prolonged exposure to people wearing masks during the pandemic might be related to increased sensitivity for subtle visual cues to others’ emotions from the eye region of the face, this study also presented both age groups with the same standardized emotion recognition test.
Mental health and health-related quality of life in German adolescents after the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Justine Hussong; Eva Möhler; Anna Kühn (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Children
Evaluations after the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany showed an increase in mental health problems and a reduction in health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim of the study was to assess those aspects after the third wave of COVID-19 in adolescents who decided to receive a vaccination. In students aged 12–17 years recruited from schools in one German region, mental health (by the strengths and difficulties questionnaire, SDQ) and HRQoL (by KIDSCREEN-10) were assessed by both a self- and parental report. Data from 1412 adolescents (mean age 14.3 years, SD = 1.64) and 908 parents were collected. The mean self-reported HRQoL was T = 53.7 (SD = 11.2), significantly higher in boys than in girls and higher in younger (12–14 years) than in older (15–17 years) adolescents. In total, 18.7% of adolescents reported clinically relevant psychological symptoms, especially peer problems (23.5%), emotional problems (17.4%), and hyperactivity (17.1%). Comparing the present data to evaluations after the first and second waves of COVID-19, adolescents rated a higher HRQoL and reported less mental health problems after the third wave. After 1.5 years of living with the pandemic, adolescents have adapted to the changes in everyday life. Further, the relaxation of restrictions, better school organization, and the prospect of the vaccination may have increased optimism, wellbeing, and contentment, leading to declining but still alarming rates of psychological symptoms.
Associations of childhood neglect, difficulties in emotion regulation, and psychological distresses to COVID-19 pandemic: an intergenerational analysis

Yeqing Zhang; Nalan Zhan; Mengyuan Long (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Child abuse & neglect

Although individuals' psychological responses to trauma are varied, significant associations between parental and offspring's reactions have been documented among trauma-exposed families. Common susceptible factors originated from intergenerational transmission may be underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon. This study aimed to investigate the intergenerational transmission of depression and anxiety during early outbreak of COVID-19 and further examined whether the transmission of child neglect and difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) was associated with the transmission of psychological distresses.

Lifestyle and behavior of children during COVID-19

Kavitha Muthukumaran; Vani Haridasan

Published: April 2022   Journal: ECS Transactions
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the term "change in children's lifestyle behavior" is currently a hot topic in society. Children's lifestyle behaviors may have been altered by home confinement during the epidemic, although evidence is still emerging and limited, which talks about SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being. The present study focuses on the important factors that lead to change in lifestyle of children, to examine the effects of COVID-19 confinement, and to suggest preventive measures. The design used for this study is descriptive and an online survey was conducted within Tamilnadu with a sample size of 105. Correlation, chi-square are the tools used for testing the variables.
Drawing the COVID-19 pandemic: how do children incorporate the health crisis and its consequences into their everyday thinking?

Nahia Idoiaga Mondragon; Amaia Eiguren Munitis; Naiara Berasategi Sancho (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Psychology & Health

The general objective of this research was to explore how children understand and represent COVID-19 health crisis in their everyday thinking.This research is based on a qualitative interpretive research methodology that uses 6-12 years children’s drawings from San Sebastian (Basque Country, northern of Spain) to collect data. This technique allows children to visualize how they face this situation through a tool that promotes expression of their feelings and representations.

Prospective examination of adolescent emotional intelligence and post-traumatic growth during and after COVID-19 lockdown

Wanjie Tang; Zhouxingyu Yan; Yi Lu (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of affective disorders
While there have been some studies examining the post-traumatic growth (PTG) responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, few have been longitudinal studies exploring the changes over time or examining the underlying psychological PTG mechanisms. This study examined whether baseline perceived emotional intelligence (EI) predicted PTG through self-esteem and emotional regulation (ER) in a five-month follow-up study conducted on Chinese adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caregivers’ perceived changes in engaged time with preschool-aged children during COVID-19: Familial correlates and relations to children's learning behavior and emotional distress

Xiao Zhang

Published: April 2022   Journal: Early childhood research quarterly
The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting containment measures have forced many children and their caregivers around the world to spend unprecedented amounts of time at home. Based on a sample of 764 households with preschool-aged children in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began, this study examined how primary caregivers perceived changes in the amount of time spent engaging with their children (i.e., engaged time) from the start of the pandemic and whether these changes were associated with children's learning behavior and emotional distress.
Mood, emotions, and behaviors of children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Laura Cohen Arazi; Mariela García; Débora Berdecio Salvatierra (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Archivos argentinos de pediatría

Changes in daily routine and social fabric resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on children and adolescents. The objective of this study was to know the mood, emotions, and behaviors of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 lockdown. This was a prospective, descriptive, cross-sectional study. Parents and/ or caregivers of children and adolescents aged 3-15 years in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires were asked about their perceptions of the mood, behaviors, and emotions of children and adolescents during the lockdown.

The relationship between adolescent risk perception and emotions during the COVID-19: a short-term longitudinal study

Tong-tong Xin; Xiu-jun Li; Lei-Shen (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Current Psychology
This study explores the relationship between adolescents’ perceptions of epidemic risk and their emotions through three follow-up surveys during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic on February 11th (T1), 18th (T2), and 25th (T3), 2020. Three hundred and four adolescents in different academic stages (junior high middle school, senior high middle school, and university) participated in the online survey, and cross-lag analysis was used to examine the causal relationship between epidemic risk perceptions and positive and negative emotions.
Addressing equity in schools: youth participatory action research and transformative social and emotional learning during COVID-19

Chastity L. Owens; Annette H. Johnson; Aubrey Thornton

Published: December 2021   Journal: Children & Schools
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and rise in racial injustices signaled the need to engage students in macro-level interventions to maximize their contributions to their schools, communities, and society. School social workers are uniquely positioned to elevate student voices, hone their critical thinking skills, and capitalize on their strengths and assets. Critical thinking skills can help students analyze the world around them by engaging them in addressing equity issues in their schools and communities. This article introduces the concept of transformative social and emotional learning (TSEL) within the context of youth-led participatory action research (YPAR) and a critical service learning (CSL) framework for school social workers to promote student empowerment. Through CSL, students cultivate advocacy skills by identifying, investigating, and taking action to address concerns. Authors include a case example demonstrating TSEL and YPAR, using CSL as a school social work intervention that recognizes and promotes students’ strengths and assets.
Cybervictimization and well-being among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: The mediating roles of emotional self-efficacy and emotion regulation

Fabian Schunk; Franziska Zeh; Gisela Trommsdorff

Published: October 2021   Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
Cybervictimization has been linked to adverse psychological consequences but little is known about the mechanisms linking cybervictimization to lower well-being. Two studies examined emotional self-efficacy and distinct emotion regulation strategies as potential mediators in the relationship between cybervictimization and lower well-being among German adolescents during the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. In Study 1, 107 adolescents (Mage = 15.76) reported their cybervictimization frequency, emotional self-efficacy beliefs, and aspects of well-being (i.e., self-esteem, perceived social support, and subjective well-being during the COVID-19 related school closures). Emotional self-efficacy mediated the link between cybervictimization and all well-being measures. Specifically, cybervictimization was related to lower well-being through lower self-efficacy for managing negative emotions. For further examination, in Study 2, 205 adolescents (Mage = 15.45) were asked to report their cybervictimization experiences, use of specific emotion regulation strategies (rumination, reappraisal, and suppression), and well-being (i.e., self-esteem and life satisfaction).
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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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