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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Effects of Covid-19 lockdown on parental functioning in vulnerable families

AUTHOR(S)
Maren Sand Helland; Torkild Hovde Lyngstad; Tonje Holt (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Marriage and Family

The aim of this study was to increase the knowledge about how the initial Covid-19 lockdown influenced parental functioning in vulnerable families. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major changes to family life. Using a natural experiment design can potentially adjudicate on former inconclusive findings about the effects of lockdown on parental functioning in vulnerable families. Responses from parents in a sample of potentially vulnerable families in Norway were divided into a lockdown group if participating at baseline and during the initial Covid-19 lockdown (n = 820 responses) or into a control group if participating at baseline and before lockdown (n = 1368 responses). Mixed model regression analyses were used to mimic a wait-list design investigating direct lockdown effects on mental health, parenting stress, and three aspects of interparental conflicts, as well as moderation effects.

From the pandemic to the pan: the impact of COVID19 on parental inclusion of children in cooking activities – a cross-continental survey

AUTHOR(S)
Tony Benson; Blain Murphy; Amanda McCloat (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

This study aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on time spent cooking and parental inclusion of children in cooking. A secondary aim was to investigate differences between those who frequently included their children in cooking activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and those that included their children less, on a number of factors such as working from home, parents’ diet quality and cooking skills confidence. Cross-continental survey with Wilcoxon signed ranks, Independent t-tests, Mann Whitney-U, Chi2, and a binomial logistic regression used for assessment.

Gender intersectionality and family separation, alternative care and the reintegration of children
Institution: Save the Children
Published: May 2021
Family Care First (FCF) and Responsive and Effective Child Welfare Systems Transformation (REACT), facilitated by Save the Children, is a multi-donor supported network of organizations working together to support children to live in safe, nurturing family-based care. FCF|REACT works collaboratively with the government, local and international NGOs, academic institutions and UN agencies, to promote and strengthen family-based care. With approximately 60 member organizations, some of whom are funded, FCF|REACT is working to prevent children from being separated from their families and increase the number of children that are safely and successfully integrated into family care. A key element of FCF|REACT is integrating learnings from good practice research into interventions. Given the lack of previous studies covering gender intersectionality for vulnerable children in Cambodia, FCF|REACT is trying to understand the effects of gender, identity, and institutional practices on the well-being of children in alternative care.
Consensually nonmonogamous parent relationships during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa H. Manley; Abbie E. Goldberg

Published: May 2021   Journal: Sexualities
During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents in consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships navigated public health directives to social distance and avoid contact between households. Many parents practicing CNM share romantic, sexual, and coparenting relationships across households, and the pandemic introduced challenges and opportunities for innovation in maintaining connection. This qualitative study sought to explore the experiences, challenges, and adaptations of CNM parents, using survey and interview data from 70 US parents collected between May and December 2020. Thematic analysis highlighted that many parents spent less time with non-cohabiting partners and more time with cohabiting partners and children, but also adapted via creative strategies such as incorporating partners into a quarantine pod, inviting partners to move in, or connecting over technology. These data illuminate the diverse ways that CNM parents engaged in and “queered” family and partner relationships during the pandemic.
Unpaid work and care during COVID-19: subjective experiences of same-sex couples and single mothers in Australia

AUTHOR(S)
Lyn Craig; Brendan Churchill

Published: March 2021   Journal: Gender & Society
This paper draws on data from Work and Care During COVID-19, an online survey of Australians during pandemic lockdown in May 2020 (n = 2,722). It focuses on how sub-samples of lesbian, gay, and bisexual mothers and fathers in couples (n = 280) and single mothers (n = 480) subjectively experienced unpaid work and care during lockdown compared with heterosexual mothers and fathers in couples, and with partnered mothers, respectively. During the pandemic, non-heterosexual fathers’ subjective reports were less negative than those of their heterosexual counterparts, but differences between heterosexual and lesbian/bisexual mothers were more mixed. Unlike their partnered counterparts, more single mothers reported feeling satisfied than before with their balance of paid and unpaid work and how they spent their time overall during the pandemic, perhaps because they avoided partnership conflicts and particularly benefited from relaxed commuting and child care deadlines.
Child and pet care‐planning during COVID‐19: considerations for the evolving family unit

AUTHOR(S)
Britni L. Adams; Jennifer W. Applebaum; Michelle N. Eliasson (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Family Relations

Using a mixed‐methods design, this paper aimed to understand household dynamics and choices in hypothetical planning for child and pet care if an individual is faced with hospitalization for COVID‐19. As the COVID‐19 public health crisis persists, children and pets are vulnerable to caregiver hospitalization.

The COVID‐19 pandemic and families in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Tazuko Shibusawa; Chikako Ishii; Shinichi Nakamura (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy
This paper, which is authored by members of the Japanese Association of Family Therapy (JAFT), describes the COVID‐19 pandemic in Japan from a family systems perspective. It describes the course of the pandemic and the ways in which government policies to mitigate the pandemic have affected Japanese families. Challenges that affect Japanese families include the inability to participate in family and social rituals, prescribed gender roles that specifically affect women, high suicide rates, and prejudice against those who are at risk of spreading the infection. The need to shelter in place has also forced family homes to function as a workplace for parents, classrooms for children, and day care services for frail elders, which has resulted in psychological distress among individuals and conflicts among families.
‘Private family arrangements’ for children in Ireland: the informal grey space in-between state care and the family home

AUTHOR(S)
Kenneth Burns; Conor O’Mahony; Rebekah Brennan

Published: February 2021   Journal: The British Journal of Social Work
The literature on alternative care focuses overwhelmingly on formal, court-ordered placements; voluntary care placements are discussed less frequently. Least attention of all has been given to informal kinship care placements, where a child is cared for by relatives but is not formally in the legal care of state authorities. In Ireland, these placements, when facilitated by state authorities in lieu of a care order or voluntary care agreement, are known by professionals as ‘private family arrangements’. This article explores evidence which shows that the use of such arrangements is motivated partly by a concern for subsidiarity, and partly by necessity: they provide a source of placements in cases where regulatory requirements and a lack of resources would otherwise make the placement challenging or impossible.
A survey on the attitudes of parents with young children on in-home monitoring technologies and study designs for infant research

AUTHOR(S)
Laurel A. Fish; Emily J. H. Jones

Published: February 2021   Journal: Plos One
Remote in-home infant monitoring technologies hold great promise for increasing the scalability and safety of infant research (including in regard to the current Covid-19 pandemic), but remain rarely employed. These technologies hold a number of fundamental challenges and ethical concerns that need addressing to aid the success of this fast-growing field. In particular, the responsible development of such technologies requires caregiver input.
Sleep and psychological difficulties in Italian school-age children during COVID-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Cellini; Elisa Di Giorgio; Giovanna Mioni (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology
On March 10, 2020, the Italian Government ordered a national lockdown to limit the viral transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 infections. This study investigated how these restrictive measures have impacted sleep quality, timing, and psychological difficulties in school-age children and their mothers during the lockdown. In an online survey, 299 mothers reported their sleep habits, experience of time, and psychological difficulties as well as those of their children (6–10 years old) during and, retrospectively, before the lockdown.
Parental stress, food parenting practices and child snack intake during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
E. Jansen; G. Thapaliya; A. Aghababian (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Appetite
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to the lives of families. This study aimed to investigate the impact of pandemic-associated stress on food parenting practices including interactions surrounding snacks, and child diet.
A little autonomy support goes a long way: daily autonomy‐supportive parenting, child well‐being, parental need fulfillment, and change in child, family, and parent adjustment across the adaptation to the COVID‐19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Andreas B. Neubauer; Andrea Schmidt; Andrea C. Kramer (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Child Development
This study examined the effects of daily parental autonomy support on changes in child behavior, family environment, and parental well‐being across 3 weeks during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Germany. Day‐to‐day associations among autonomy‐supportive parenting, parental need fulfillment, and child well‐being were also assessed.
Assessment of parent-child relationship in Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Halil Uzun; Nezahat Hamiden Karaca; Şermin Metin

Published: January 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
COVID-19, which emerged in 2019 and spread rapidly around the world, has made a great change in the daily lives of individuals and has created a basis for social-emotional-psychological problems. It is thought that the individuals that are affected by this situation the most are children, and therefore it will be significant to re-examine the factors of the epidemic experienced today affecting the family-child relationship. Accordingly, present study aims to evaluate the parent–child relationship during the pandemic process in terms of a number of variables. This is a study aimed at describing the relationship of parents with children between the ages of 4–6, with their children during the Covid-19 process, based on the views of parents.
Does the COVID-19 pandemic impact parents’ and adolescents’ well-being? An EMA-study on daily affect and parenting

AUTHOR(S)
Loes H. C. Janssen; Marie-Louise J. Kullberg; Bart Verkuil (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: PLoS One
Due to the COVID- 19 outbreak in the Netherlands (March 2020) and the associated social distancing measures, families were enforced to stay at home as much as possible. Adolescents and their families may be particularly affected by this enforced proximity, as adolescents strive to become more independent. Yet, whether these measures impact emotional well-being in families with adolescents has not been examined. The COVID-19 pandemic affected positive and negative affect of parents and adolescents and parenting behaviors (warmth and criticism) are investigated in this ecological momentary assessment study.
Helping siblings of children with behavioral health disorders weather the COVID‐19 storm

AUTHOR(S)
Wendy Plante

Published: October 2020   Journal: The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter
As schools and outpatient clinics shut their doors in the spring of 2020 in response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, children with developmental disabilities were being taught at home, with their parents helping to facilitate their education and many of their special services, sometimes with professionals on the other end of a screen and sometimes not. While it is too soon to know from empirical research how these circumstances have affected typically developing, healthy siblings, we can use the existing research on sibling needs to help parents, schools, medical and behavioral providers, and community supports to predict impact on siblings and put supports into place.
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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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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.