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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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.
Humanitarians and the women, peace and security agenda during Covid-19
Institution: Gender and development network
Published: December 2021

The Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda’s call to transform crisis response by coordinating across the “triple nexus” is more important than ever. Gender justice is intimately linked to peace and disarmament, economic prosperity and recovery, and human rights, so breaking down divisions between humanitarianism, peacebuilding and development will further efforts at a more peaceful and just world. At this pivotal moment for carving out an agenda beyond 2021, the UK can take leadership by making WPS a foundational part of gender-responsive humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery in the wake of Covid-19. This briefing, produced by the GADN Humanitarian Working Group in collaboration with the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), Fe-Male, the Gender Equality Network and the Gender Violence Recovery Centre, sets out key themes emerging from the panel discussion among women humanitarians in Myanmar, Kenya and Lebanon. We demonstrate first that the WPS agenda is key to putting gender at the heart of effective humanitarian response, and second that responses led by women, girls and gender-diverse people are critical for truly gender-responsive humanitarian action.

Women and girls left behind: glaring gaps in pandemic responses
Institution: UN Women
Published: December 2021

This publication compiles and analyses the results of Rapid Gender Assessment surveys (RGAs) on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in 45 countries, produced by UN Women in partnership with national statistical offices, governmental entities, international partners, or private sector. The report confirmed uneven pandemic impacts for women on five key areas of concern: 1) participation in the workforce; 2) unpaid care and domestic work; 3) emotional and physical well-being; 4) access to goods and services; and 5) relief and social protection measures. The report also draws on the findings from the UNDP-UN Women Gender Response Tracker, which provides information on how countries are integrating gender equality in their policy responses. Country cases on how the RGA results have been used to inform critical gender-responsive policies and recovery plans to build back better are also provided in the report.

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

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.
Gendered health, economic, social and safety impact of COVID-19 on adolescents and young adults in Nairobi, Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Michele R. Decker; Shannon N. Wood; Mary Thiongo (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Plos One
Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 and their mitigation measures can exacerbate underlying gender disparities, particularly among adolescents and young adults in densely populated urban settings. An existing cohort of youth ages 16–26 in Nairobi, Kenya completed a phone-based survey in August-October 2020 (n = 1217), supplemented by virtual focus group discussions and interviews with youth and stakeholders, to examine economic, health, social, and safety experiences during COVID-19, and gender disparities therein.
Changes in mental health and well-being are associated with living arrangements with parents during COVID-19 among sexual minority young persons in the U.S.

AUTHOR(S)
J o h n P . S a l e r n o; L o n g D o a n; L i a n a C . S a y e r (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Sexual minority young persons may be at risk for compounding mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic due to their existing vulnerabilities for psychological inequities. Indeed, recent research has documented that sexual minority young persons are experiencing compounding psychiatric effects associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, researchers and practitioners have hypothesized that sexual minority youth and young adults may experience unique hardships related to their sexual and gender identities and familial conflict as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and living arrangement changes with their parents and families. This study aims to investigate whether there are changes in sexual minority (and nonsexual minority) young adults’ (SMYAs’) mental health and well-being among those living with and living without their parents before and after the start of COVID-19. Among a cross-sectional sample of SMYAs (n = 294; Mage = 22 years; age range = 18–26) and non-SMYAs (n = 874; Mage = 22 years; age range = 18–26) defined by whether they were living with or living without their parents before and after the start of COVID-19, we retrospectively analyzed changes in psychological distress and well-being. SMYAs who returned to their parents’ homes during post-onset of COVID-19 reported greater mental distress and lower well-being, followed by those who were living with their parents both before and after the start of COVID-19. Patterns were not consistent among non-SMYAs, and lower magnitudes of change were seen. There is a significant public health need for mental health services and family education resources for supporting SMYAs in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Seeing rainbows through the storms of a health condition: making space for LGBTQ+ young people to have their identity acknowledged

AUTHOR(S)
Jaymie Huckridge; Asher Arnold; James McParland

Published: September 2021   Journal: Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
LGBTQ+ youth accessing healthcare settings manage the ‘storms’ of health conditions (e.g. pain, fatigue, social isolation, etc.) while navigating emerging identity exploration and understandings in settings which may have historically overlooked or disaffirmed these identities. The launch of National Health Service Rainbow Badges across the paediatric division of an inner-city hospital provided a context for staff to begin thinking about their practice, development needs and dilemmas in working with LGBTQ+ youth. Through a programme of activity that included staff training, surveys, focus groups and youth engagement, caregivers gained insight into current practice in supporting LGBTQ+ youth and families. This paper presents their findings, ideas for responding to challenges, and areas for future development, including implications in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
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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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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.