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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 36
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.
Children’s judgments of interventions against norm violations: COVID-19 as a naturalistic case study

Young-Eun Lee; Julia Marshall; Paul Deutchman (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of experimental child psychology
The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant influence on social interactions, introducing novel social norms such as mask-wearing and social distancing to protect people's health. Because these norms and associated practices are completely novel, it is unknown how children assess what kinds of interventions are appropriate under what circumstances and what principles they draw on in their decisions. We investigated children's reasoning about interventions against individuals who failed to adhere to COVID-19 norms. In this pre-registered study (N = 128), 4- to 7-year-olds heard stories about a norm violator, that is, a person who refuses to wear a mask in class (COVID condition) or wear indoor shoes in class when his or her shoes are muddy (Muddy Shoes condition). Children evaluated four different interventions-giving a mask/indoor shoes (Giving), preventing the person from entering (Exclusion), throwing a paper ball at the person (Throwing), and not intervening (Doing Nothing)-in terms of their rightness, niceness, and effectiveness.
Mask mandates for children during the COVID-19 pandemic: an international human rights perspective

Stephen Thomson

Published: March 2022   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Epidemiological and physical safety issues form the core of the debate on whether children should be mandated to wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Largely absent from this debate are the crucial implications of international human rights law. Although the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund have different mask-wearing recommendations for children aged 0-5 years, 6-11 years, and 12+ years, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to children of all ages. Children's human rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other treaties require decision makers to tread particularly carefully when deciding whether to mandate mask-wearing for children. Special consideration must be given to the potential for any detrimental impact of mask-wearing on children's physical, psychological and psychosocial health and wellbeing. Other non-pharmaceutical interventions for children, such as physical distancing, good hand hygiene and improved indoor ventilation do not engage the legal complexities of mask-wearing and are a safer policy option for reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Orthodontic adolescent patients’ attitudes toward protective face mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jessica Olivia Cherecheș; ,Luminița Ligia Vaida; Abel Emanuel Moca (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Medicina
The COVID-19 pandemic led to restrictive measures, which aimed to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These restrictions impacted all areas of life, including the activity of dental offices. For patients with orthodontic appliances, closing the dental offices was a major issue, as most orthodontic treatments last for more than a year and require regular checkups. The aim of this research was to assess the impact that the restrictive measures that were imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, especially, wearing a face mask had on a sample of Romanian teenagers undergoing fixed orthodontic treatment. Material and Methods: The study group consisted of 277 orthodontic patients, with ages between 12 and 17.9 years, from North-Western Romania. They completed a 9-item questionnaire.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 58 | Issue: 3 | No. of pages: 15 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: adolescent health, adolescent well-being, COVID-19 response, face masks, lockdown, social distance | Countries: Romania
COVID-19 mitigation measures in primary schools and association with infection and school staff wellbeing: an observational survey linked with routine data in Wales, UK

Emily Marchant; Lucy Griffiths; Tom Crick (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Plos One

School-based COVID-19 mitigation strategies have greatly impacted the primary school day (children aged 3–11) including: wearing face coverings, two metre distancing, no mixing of children, and no breakfast clubs or extra-curricular activities. This study examines these mitigation measures and association with COVID-19 infection, respiratory infection, and school staff wellbeing between October to December 2020 in Wales, UK. A school staff survey captured self-reported COVID-19 mitigation measures in the school, participant anxiety and depression, and open-text responses regarding experiences of teaching and implementing measures. These survey responses were linked to national-scale COVID-19 test results data to examine association of measures in the school and the likelihood of a positive (staff or pupil) COVID-19 case in the school (clustered by school, adjusted for school size and free school meals using logistic regression). Linkage was conducted through the SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) Databank.

Face masks disrupt holistic processing and face perception in school-age children

Andreja Stajduhar; Tzvi Ganel; Galia Avidan (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications
Face perception is considered a remarkable visual ability in humans that is subject to a prolonged developmental trajectory. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-wearing has become mandatory for adults and children alike. Recent research shows that mask-wearing hinders face recognition abilities in adults, but it is unknown if the same holds true in school-age children in whom face perception is not fully developed. This study tested children (n = 72, ages 6–14 years old) on the Cambridge Face Memory Test – Kids (CFMT-K), a validated measure of face perception performance. Faces were presented with or without masks and across two orientations (upright/inverted). The inclusion of face masks led to a profound deficit in face perception abilities.
Using community–academic partnerships and a creative excpression contest to engage youth in the development of communication materials for promoting behaviors that prevent COVID-19

Jacob Szeszulski; Ghadir Helal Salsa; Paula Cuccaro (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Health Promotion Practice
Youth can transmit COVID-19 to adults, but few communication materials exist for engaging youth in COVID-19 prevention behaviors. This study describes the process of leveraging a community–academic partnership in a rapid response initiative to engage youth in a contest (i.e., Youth-Led Creative Expression Contest to Prevent COVID-19 across Texas) to develop creative public health messaging centered on the prevention of COVID-19 transmission and infection for their peers. Core activities included developing a request for applications that solicited submission of creative expression materials promoting the use of COVID-19 prevention behaviors (mask-wearing, social distancing, handwashing, not touching the face) from Texas youth in elementary, middle, and/or high school; sending the request for applications to 48 organizations in Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio in summer 2020; and recruiting a youth advisory board to score submissions and award prizes.
Adolescent compliance with anti-COVID measures. Is it related to substance use?

Joaquín Rodríguez-Ruiz; Izabela Zych; Vicente J. Llorent

Published: January 2022   Journal: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Prevalence rates of compliance with anti-COVID measures have been widely studied, but little is known about this issue in early adolescence. Moreover, the relation between substance use and compliance with anti-COVID regulations is still unexplored. Thus, this study aimed to determine the level of compliance with anti-COVID measures by adolescents and the link between substance use and compliance with anti-COVID regulations. This was a cross-sectional study including 909 participants (Mage = 12.57; SD = 0.81). The most complied measure was mask-wearing, followed by avoiding hug/kiss friends and, finally, social distancing. All substance use negatively correlated with compliance with measures. However, strong alcohol and tobacco were the only substances significantly related to less compliance of anti-COVID measures after controlling for covariates.
Masking for school-age children with epilepsy: we do have consensus!: masking for children with epilepsy

Anthony I. Fine; Lily C. Wong-Kisiel; Katherine C. Nickels (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of child neurology

This study was designed to assess current recommendations from child neurologists and epileptologists on masking for school-age children with epilepsy. A 7-item survey was created and sent out to members of the Child Neurology Society and Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium in August of 2021 to assess current practice and provider recommendations on masking.

Association between mask wearing and anxiety symptoms during the outbreak of COVID 19: a large survey among 386,432 junior and senior high school students in China

Qingqing Xu; Zhenxing Mao; Dandan Wei (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Psychosomatic Research

This study aims to evaluate the association between mask wearing practice and the risk of anxiety symptoms during the COVID-19 epidemic among Chinese students aged 12–18 years old. Totally, 386,432 junior and senior high school students were recruited using a cluster sampling method across three cities of Henan Province in China during February 4–12, 2020. Mask wearing practice was defined according to its type and the behavior exhibited in relation to wearing a mask. Presence of anxiety symptoms was determined by Generalized Anxiety Disorder tool (GAD-7). Multiple logistic regression was performed to estimate the association between mask wearing and anxiety symptoms.

Children and parents' preferences about the appearance of dentists with respect to personal protective equipment in pediatric dentistry

Ipek Arslan; Sema Aydinoğlu

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Personal protective equipment (PPE) gained importance during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a global hot topic for all healthcare staff. This study aims to assess children and parents preferences about dentists’ appearance concerning their PPE and to determine the relationship between the preferences of the children and their parents. A total of 250 children aged 6-12 years and their parents were enrolled in the study. Standardised pictures with different sexes, attires, eye protectors, hair protectors, masks and gloves were shown to children and their parents separately and they were asked to chose their preferences. The dental anxiety of the children and their parents were determined using the MCDASf and MDAS, respectively. Decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) indices were employed for the children.

Prospective pilot study evaluating SARS-CoV-2 transmission-limiting measures in an on-site school

Shilpa G. Jani; Jasmin Ma; Uma Pulendran (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Academic Pediatrics

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and reliability of a comprehensive set of preventive measures in limiting secondary transmission of COVID-19 in schools. A prospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 transmission in an independent K-8 school in San Mateo County, California. The research was conducted between September 14, 2020 through March 22, 2021 and consisted of: (1) demographic and epidemiological questionnaires; (2) daily symptom reporting; (3) weekly RT-PCR testing; and (4) periodic on-site qualitative observations.

Assessment of respiratory function in children wearing a N95 mask with or without an exhalation valve: data compared

Riccardo Lubrano; Silvia Bloise; Alessia Marcellino (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Data in Brief

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, universal face masking represents one of the most important strategies to limit the spread of infection. However, their use in children is still highly debated (Esposito and Principi, 2020; Esposito et al., 2020) and there are few data (Lubrano et al., 2021a, 2021b) describing their possible effects on respiratory function in children. A dataset in this paper presents a comparison of the data related to the effects on respiratory function of children wearing a filtering facepiece 2 (N95 mask) with or without exhalation valve. 22 healthy children were randomly assigned to two groups, both groups wearing an N95 mask: one without an exhalation valve (group A), another with an exhalation valve (group B).

Dynamic masking: a proposal of burden-based metrics for masking in K-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

Leah C. Rowland; Martin D. Klinkhammer; Dana W .E. Ramirez

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of School Health

Ongoing masking of K-12 children has not been universally accepted despite recommendation from public health authorities. In states without universal mask mandates for schools, district administrators are forced to make masking decisions under significant local political pressures. There is a call for endpoints to masking to allow communities to tailor mitigation while keeping schools safe, focusing on harm reduction. This study reviewed existing measures for the safe opening of schools and designed a stepwise, accessible approach to the removal of masks in the K-12 setting.

Community attachments are associated with COVID-19 public health behaviors among adolescents in Pakistan

Faiza Nisar; Sadaf Zeb; Benjamin Oosterhoff (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child & Youth Care Forum

Community attachments are thought to promote adolescents’ engagement in public health behaviors. To date, past research has exclusively examined the social benefits of community attachments among adolescents in the United States and less is known about these benefits among youth in low-income adolescent-dense countries such as Pakistan. The present study examined associations between Pakistani adolescents’ community attachments and COVID-19 public health behaviors, including social distancing, disinfecting, hoarding, news monitoring. Adolescents living in Pakistan (N = 1,110; 13–18 years; M = 16.70) reported on their COVID-19 public health behavior (social distancing, disinfecting behaviors, hoarding behaviors, news monitoring) and community attachments (social responsibility values, social trust, self-interest values).

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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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