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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The COVID-19 pandemic and quality of life: experiences contributing to and harming the well-being of Canadian children and adolescents

Christine Gervais; Isabel Côté; Sophie Lampron-deSouza (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
The pandemic’s restrictive measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, and the wearing of masks transformed young people’s daily lives and brought up major concerns regarding children’s and adolescents’ well-being. This longitudinal mixed study aims to identify how different experiences contributed to children’s and adolescents’ well-being through different stages of the pandemic. The sample comprises 149 Canadian youth from Quebec who shared their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children and adolescents were met virtually for semi-directed interviews about their well-being at three measurement time (T1: May 2020 lockdown, T2: July 2020 progressive reopening, and T3: beginning of the second wave). At T3, they also completed a questionnaire measuring their quality of life.
Change and continuity in preventive practices across the COVID-19 pandemic among rural and urban Latinx immigrant worker families

Sara A. Quandt; Sydney A. Smith; Jennifer W. Talton (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Hygiene
The COVID-19 pandemic has put essential workers at high risk for contracting the disease. This study documents situational compliance with public health recommendations such as masking and social distancing among rural and urban Latinx families, with the goal of understanding change over time in COVID-19 risk reduction behaviors. Respondents for 67 rural families and 44 urban families responded to repeated telephone surveys at three time points in the first year of the pandemic, providing data on use of masks and social distancing by themselves and family members while interacting with others at home, work, and in the community. Cumulative logistic regression models were employed to compare changes in risk behaviors between rural and urban groups over time.
Face masks and emotion literacy in preschool children: implications during the COVID-19 pandemic

Keri Giordano; Carleigh S. Palmieri; Richard LaTourette (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety regulations, such as face mask wearing, have become ubiquitous. Due to such regulations, many children’s interpersonal interactions occurring outside of the home now involve face coverings. The present study examined young children’s ability to identify emotions in an adult model wearing a face mask. Children (n = 77) between the ages of 3 and 5 were shown 16 different graphics of a model expressing four common emotions (happy, sad, angry, scared) across four conditions: still unmasked photo, still masked photo, masked video verbally implying the emotion, masked video verbally explicitly stating the emotion.
Impact of COVID social distancing measures on eating and exercise behaviors among a sample of Hispanic parents of young children in the United States

Christian E. Vazquez; Katherine E. Hess; Esther J. Calzada

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Public Health Research
In the United States, healthy behaviors, such as eating fruits/vegetables and exercise, are well below recommended levels, particularly for Hispanics. The COVID pandemic may have exacerbated existing health behavior disparities. The current study examines the impact of COVID social distancing measures on Hispanic parents’ eating and exercise behaviors, and how the impact may differ by socioeconomic status (SES) and distress levels. This cross-sectional logistic regression study utilized data from a sample of Hispanic parents in Texas (n = 237). COVID-related questions were collected in Summer 2020. Dependent variables included self-reported changes in exercise and eating behaviors due to the pandemic (i.e. got better or got worse). Primary independent variables included family-SES, neighborhood-SES, and distress due to COVID.
The effect of face mask wearing on language processing and emotion recognition in young children

Lorna Bourke; Jamie Lingwood; Tom Gallagher-Mitchell (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Face mask wearing was an important preventative strategy for the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. However, the effects that occluding the mouth and nose area with surgical masks could have on young children’s language processing and emotion recognition skills have received little investigation. To evaluate the possible effects, the current study recruited a sample of 74 children from the North West of England (aged 4–8 years). They completed two computer-based tasks with adults wearing or not wearing surgical face masks to assess (a) language processing skills and (b) emotion recognition ability. To control for individual differences, age, sex, receptive vocabulary, early reading skills, and parent-reported social–emotional competence were included in analyses.
Classroom language during COVID-19: Associations between mask-wearing and objectively measured teacher and preschooler vocalizations

Samantha G. Mitsven; Lynn K. Perry; Christian M. Jerry (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-wearing in classrooms has become commonplace. However, there are little data on the effect of face-masks on children’s language input and production in educational contexts, like preschool classrooms which over half of United States children attend. Leveraging repeated objective measurements, this study longitudinally examined child and teacher speech-related vocalizations in two cohorts of 3.5–4.5-year-old children enrolled in the same oral language classroom that included children with and without hearing loss.
Children's understanding of COVID-19 spread and its preventive strategies in Uganda: a cross sectional study among children aged 10 to 13 years in Hoima District

Christine Nalwadda Kayemba; Lydia Kabwijamu; Maxencia Nabiryo (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Journal of Interventional Epidemiology and Public Health

The control of COVID-19 among children is mainly dependent on preventive strategies including proper use of facemask s, hand hygiene etiquette and social distancing. Despite ongoing risk communication, it is not clear how children understand COVID-19 and the control measures. We described children's understanding of COVID-19 transmission and the preventative strategies in Uganda. This cross-sectional study was conducted between July and September 2020, among a random sample of 372 children (10 to 13 years) in Hoima district. It collected data using a structured questionnaire and observation checklists to elicit information on children's knowledge on COVID-19 transmission, its symptoms, preventive strategies and also their practices on handwashing and wearing a facemask. Descriptive analysis was conducted to summarize and describe children's knowledge and performance of COVID-19 preventive strategies.

Support for mask use as a COVID-19 public health measure among a large sample of Canadian secondary school students

Karen A. Patte; Terrance J. Wade; Adam J. MacNeil (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

Youth voice has been largely absent from deliberations regarding public health measures intended to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission, despite being one of the populations most impacted by school-based policies. To inform public health strategies and messages, this study examined the level of student support of mask use in public spaces and school mask requirements, as well as factors associated with students’ perspectives. It used cross-sectional survey data from 42,767 adolescents attending 133 Canadian secondary schools that participated in the COMPASS study during the 2020/2021 school year. Multinomial regression models assessed support for i) wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and ii) schools requiring students to wear masks, in association with COVID-19 knowledge, concerns, and perceived risk.

Unravelling the role of the mandatory use of face covering masks for the control of SARS-CoV-2 in schools: a quasi-experimental study nested in a population-based cohort in Catalonia (Spain)

Ermengol Coma; Martí Català; Leonardo Méndez-Boo (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of mandatory use of face covering masks (FCMs) in schools during the first term of the 2021–2022 academic year. It is a retrospective population-based study conducted in the schools of Catalonia (Spain).

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.
How middle and high school students wear their face masks in classrooms and school buildings

Gerald Jarnig; Reinhold Kerbl; Mireille N. M. van Poppel

Published: August 2022   Journal: Healthcare
In addition to other mitigation measures, face masks have been used in schools worldwide as a precondition for allowing school attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The quality and habits of mask wearing have, however, not been evaluated thus far, leaving uncertainty about the efficacy of this measure. It was the aim of this study to assess the accuracy of face mask wearing by children and adolescents in different school situations. In May and June 2022, students of two selected Austrian schools were asked to provide information about the different variations in wearing a face mask in different situations at school (in classrooms with or without the presence of a teacher, and in school buildings outside classrooms without the presence of a teacher).
The attitudes of children undergoing orthodontic treatment toward face mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross sectional study

Jessica Olivia Chereches; Gabriela Ciavoi; Abel Emanuel Moca (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Children
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the protective face mask has proven to be essential. The protective face masks cover the lower part of the face, including teeth and, for orthodontic patients, the orthodontic appliances. The aim of this study was to assess the impact that the restrictive measures that were imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic and, especially, wearing a protective face mask had on a sample of Romanian children, and to compare the results previously obtained on a sample of Romanian teenagers with the results obtained after investigating children under the age of 12 years. The cross-sectional survey was conducted in two orthodontic offices from the city of Oradea, Romania. The study sample included children with ages between 8 and 11.9 years that were undergoing an orthodontic treatment with removable or fixed orthodontic appliances.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 9 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 13 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, disease prevention, face masks, infectious disease, pandemic, respiratory diseases | Countries: Romania
The effect of online education on knowledge about Covid-19 masks in high school students in Jakarta: a pre-experiment study

Kholis Ernawati Ernawati; Fathul Jannah; Faras Qodriyyah Sani (et al.)

Published: July 2022
One way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to wear a mask in public. The purpose of the research is online education with videos and their influence on knowledge of the use of masks and how to dispose of them as an effort to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The research design was a pre-experiment with one group pre-test and post-test design. A pre-test was carried out in the study, then counseling with video media, a question-and-answer session, and a post-test. Respondents were high school students in Jakarta with a sample size of 50 people taken by quota sampling. Data collection techniques used google form and intervention with videos shared online via Whatsapp in July 2020. Analyze data with mean difference test.
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.
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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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