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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 impact of school attachment and parental involvement on the positive mental health of 2SLGBTQ + students during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Christopher Campbell; Ley Fraser; Tracey Peter

Published: September 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Education
On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 as a pandemic. On the following day, the Ontario government (Canada’s most populous province) ordered all public schools to close. By Monday, March 16th, 2020, all public schools (and most private schools) in Canada announced plans to physically shutter schools, with a shift to remote and online learning to follow soon after. This unprecedented shift in learning environment for young Canadians came at a time when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was creating a challenging environment for the mental health of all Canadians. While all students may have struggled to cope, 2SLGBTQ + students faced an unusually complex shift, as their school and home environments may have contributed differentially to the social supports and acceptance (related to their 2SLGBTQ + identity or identities) that their cisgender heterosexual peers routinely experience in their social surroundings. This paper explores the relationship between school attachment, parental involvement and positive mental health in 2SLGBTQ + youth using data collected as part of the Second Annual School Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in Canadian Schools.
Differences in sexual health of Mexican gay and bisexual youth and adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Juan Carlos Mendoza-Pérez; Julio Vega-Cauich; Héctor Alexis López-Barrientos (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Sexual Health
This study aims to compare and analyze the implications of COVID-19 on the sexual health of Mexican gay and bisexual young and adult men (GBM). It is an online survey with 1001 GBM participants. Information was collected on sexual desire, use of mobile applications, sexual practices during the pandemic, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from August to October 2020. Young participants were compared with adults.
The Truth Gap: How misinformation and disinformation online affect the lives, learning and leadership of girls and young women
Institution: Plan International
Published: June 2022

This year’s State of the World’s Girls report, The Truth Gap, explores how adolescent girls and young women deal with misinformation and disinformation when engaging with political, civic or social topics online. 26,000 girls and young women from 26 countries were interviewed and alarming findings, including that 9 out of 10 have been harmed by false information and lies online were discovered.

Government responses to COVID-19: Lessons on gender equality for a world in turmoil
Institution: UN Women
Published: June 2022

The overlapping impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating climate disasters, and geopolitical conflict are a threat to gender equality and women’s rights across the globe. This report from UN Women and UNDP shows what governments can do now to prevent further rollbacks and recover lost ground, while enhancing resilience and preparedness for future shocks. Drawing on a unique global dataset of close to 5,000 measures adopted by 226 countries and territories in response to COVID-19, the report finds that, overall, government responses paid insufficient attention to gender dynamics. At the same time, instances of innovation and learning hold important lessons for gender-responsive policymaking in times of crisis.

Two years on: the lingering gendered consequences of COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific
Institution: UN Women, Asian Development Bank, Australian Aid
Published: June 2022

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the lingering effects of the crisis are multidimensional, even in countries where the virus did not spread widely. For women and girls, existing gender inequalities and socioeconomic barriers have only been exacerbated. To assess the gendered consequences of the pandemic, UN Women and the Asian Development Bank worked with national governments to roll out Rapid Gender Assessment Surveys in seven countries in Asia and the Pacific. The survey findings showcase that women have been more likely than men to quit their jobs to take up unpaid family responsibilities, have been disproportionately affected by food hardship and, in some countries, have been less likely than men to receive vaccines. The data provided in this report is useful for governments, civil society and international institutions to continue to design targeted crisis response and recovery programming to support women and girls across Asia and the Pacific. The report is a follow-up publication to “Unlocking the Lockdown”, which UN Women published in 2020.

Work-to-family conflict and parenting practices: examining the role of working from home among lone and partnered working mothers

AUTHOR(S)
Janine Bernhardt; Claudia Recksiedler

Published: May 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Research

This study investigates associations between work-to-family conflict and parenting practices among lone and partnered working mothers and the role of working from home as a potential resource gain or drain for acting empathetically and supportively towards their children. Emerging evidence suggests that work-to-family conflict reduces responsive parenting practices, yet prior studies have rarely examined disparities by family structure. Although working from home has recently gained in importance in the workforce, there is still little research on its implications for the relationship between work-to-family conflict and the quality of parenting practices. If working from home is not used to do supplemental work during overtime hours, it may free up mothers’ time and emotional resources. In turn, this may either buffer the harmful impact of work-to-family conflict on parenting practices or indirectly enhance the quality of parenting practices by reducing work-to-family conflict. This could be particularly beneficial for lone mothers, who experience more role and time strain.

Assessing the damage: early evidence on impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on girls and women in Africa
Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
At the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there was global concern about the negative indirect impacts the crisis would have on girls and women and their human capital. Two years into the crisis, this brief summarizes the evidence to date on how the prediction of a shadow crisis has played out in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).The brief is intended as a call to action for policymakers, since available research sets off multiple alarm bells. It also proposes urgent policy responses. Evidence to date confirms that the COVID-19 crisis has had profound negative impacts on the education, health, employment and empowerment of girls and women including in SSA. Available data is still limited, but what is known to date suggests that we are seeing the tip of an iceberg. Many impacts will have long term repercussions for girls’ and women’s human capital. Decision makers are at a pivotal moment to invest now in women and girls, to neutralize immediate but also prolonged costs to individuals, societies and economies.
Lone parenthood in the COVID-19 context: Israeli single gay fathers' perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Maya Tsfati; Dorit Segal-Engelchin

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
This article focuses on Israeli single gay fathers, using the Stress Process Model (SPM) as a framework to investigate their fathering experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thematic analysis of 15 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Israeli single gay fathers during the third national lockdown revealed that their parenting experiences during the pandemic were shaped by both COVID-related stress exposure and interpersonal resources, which the fathers viewed as interactive. These fathers described three main pandemic-specific stressors: financial insecurity and workplace transformation, feelings of loneliness and isolation and health-related fears.
Gender-responsive social protection post–COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Constanza Tabbush; Maja Gavrilovic; Monica Rubio (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Science
COVID-19 has reaffirmed that in the face of crises, social and economic fall-out is gendered. From the risk of job loss and economic instability to rising care responsibilities and the experience of violence inside the home, gender inequalities have tended to widen during the pandemic (12). While countries focus on health and mortality impacts of the disease, a mounting, damaging gendered social and economic crisis threatens to roll back decades of development progress, exposing the fragility of equality gains. Social protection has been a key policy response to address pandemic-related social and economic crises; however, attention to gender has been insufficient. Less than one in five global social protection measures during COVID-19 has addressed gender, such as supporting women in informal employment, mitigating risks of violence, and confronting the unequal distribution of care work. Policy priorities (see the box) must include closing gendered research gaps in the COVID-19 recovery.
Social connectedness matters: depression and anxiety in transgender youth during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Zeynep Tüzün; Koray Başar; Sinem Akgül (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Gender-affirming and supportive relations for transgender youth are considered protective in terms of mental health. This study aims to describe how transgender youth perceived changes in their gender expression, in the course of the gender-affirming path, and the effect of social connectedness and social support on depression and anxiety during the pandemic. In this cross-sectional study, transgender youth completed an online survey developed to evaluate the perceived changes in gender expression and affirmation path that occurred during COVID-19 and the age-stratified lockdown.

Examining COVID-19 vaccine uptake and attitudes among 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness

AUTHOR(S)
Alex Abramovich; Nelson Pang; Sharumathy Kunasekaran (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. Little is known about vaccine attitudes and uptake among this population. To address this, the objectives of this study were to explore this group’s COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, and facilitators and barriers impacting vaccine uptake. 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area were recruited to participate in online surveys assessing demographic characteristics, mental health, health service use, and COVID-19 vaccine attitudes. Descriptive statistics and statistical tests were used to analyze survey data to explore variables associated with vaccine confidence. Additionally, a select group of youth and frontline workers from youth serving organizations were invited to participate in online one-on-one interviews. An iterative thematic content approach was used to analyze interview data. Quantitative and qualitative data were merged for interpretation by use of a convergent parallel analytical design.

Spanish youth at the crossroads of gender and sexuality during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Miguel Ángel López-Sáez; R. Lucas Platero

Published: January 2022   Journal: European Journal of Women's Studies
This study examines some of the perceptions amongst Spanish LGBTQ+ youth during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent confinement and lockdown measures, between March and May 2020. During this time, many of these young people were forced to return to their family homes and restrict their social relations. This new situation often exposed them to forms of violence from which there was no escape, with negative consequences for their psychosocial health. The study evaluates the correlations between perceived social support, burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness and the people with whom LGBTQ+ youth lived during confinement. A descriptive and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and bivariate correlations is used to examine the responses of 394 LGBTQ+ youth, between 17 and 21 years of age, residing in Spain.
Better today: COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of youth activists in Asia Pacific
Institution: Plan International
Published: January 2022

The news encouraged people to see all the global, regional and national responses by the governments and various organizations. There are local efforts by the agents of change that also deserve the spotlight - young people. Plan International advocates for youth-led movements and seeks to ensure that girls and young women experience significant improvement in their ability to make decisions that concern their lives and engage in collective action to shape the world around them. In two years, the pandemic has negatively affected our progress on gender equality and girls’ rights, but young people decided not to surrender. Plan International is proud to accompany them in the journey supporting community recovery. This report will show the global pandemic through different lenses of young people. There are inevitably various hardships, even loss and pain from the devastating negative effects that COVID-19 brings to the region. But the spirit here is apparent, that youth activists in Asia Pacific won’t wait for the storm to pass, instead they fight the pandemic hard and start to build a better today. Stepping out of the “battle”, young activists in the region are invited to come together, listen to the personal stories and experiences of their peers in a series of Focus Group Discussions, write each other letters that are full of empathy and encouragement and see the world they long to visit through a collection of photo voices.

COVID-19 feminist framework and biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective for social workers and mental health practitioners to manage violence, abuse, and trauma against children, women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ during and post-COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Sonia Mukhtar

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Social Work
This article explains the integrated implementation of a COVID-19 Feminist Framework (CFF) and biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective (BPSS-P) on the inclusive equitability of social service providers, practitioners, and policy-developers on global platforms. Mechanisms of CFF and BPSS-P entail the process to address/mitigate institutional inequities, mental health issues, violation of human rights, race/sex/gender-based violence, abuse, and trauma amid COVID-19. This discourse is about raising consciousness, collective liberation, wellbeing, and equality for women, children, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and gender-diverse people. This article further discusses social workers and mental health practitioners’ uniqueness for short-term and long-term support for emotional, cognitive-behavioral, and psychosocial repercussions on the individual and community levels.
Finding home in online community: exploring TikTok as a support for gender and sexual minority youth throughout COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Alexa Hiebert; Kathy Kortes-Miller (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of LGBT Youth
In March 2020, with the global number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, many people were advised to stay at home and leave only for necessities. Across the globe, people were on lockdown. Very little is known about how this period of quarantine due to the pandemic has impacted the lives of gender and sexual minority youth. Between February and June of 2020, TikTok—a short- video sharing platform—was the most downloaded social media app. The purpose of this study was to use a digital ethnographic approach on TikTok to explore the experiences of gender and sexual minority youth during COVID-19. Thematic analysis of the data collected resulted in an overarching theme of TikTok as a supportive community. Additionally, four sub themes were examined including support with family relationships, identity formation, community and belonging and sharing knowledge and information. This study demonstrates the need for further research into gender and sexual minority youth social media cultures and highlights the resilience and resourcefulness of gender and sexual minority youth when faced with unprecedented circumstances.
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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.