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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 34
Concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic among justice-involved and low-income youth

AUTHOR(S)
Caitlin Cavanagh; Isabelle Clough; April Gile Thomas

Published: December 2021   Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense change and stress among adolescents. Yet, little is known about youths’ concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly true among youth who have been highly impacted by the pandemic—namely, justice system-involved youth, low-income youth, and youth who consider themselves to be low status. Youth from the community, youth on probation, and incarcerated youth completed a survey describing their concerns related to COVID-19 across three concern domains: economic, social concerns, and COVID-19 itself.
COVID-19 and the social determinants of health and health equity: evidence brief
Institution: World Health Organization
Published: December 2021
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age and people’s access to power, money and resources. The social determinants are the major drivers of health inequities – unfair, avoidable and remediable differences in health between social groups. This evidence brief examines the influence of the social determinants of health on the current COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the inequities of impact. The findings are drawn from a rapid systematic review of global evidence.
The impact of COVID-19 on the dietary diversity of children and adolescents: evidence from a rural/urban panel study

AUTHOR(S)
Yi Cui; Wei Si; Qiran Zhao (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: China & World Economy
This paper offers the first empirical evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on dietary diversity among children and adolescents in urban and rural families by using panel data collected in 2019 (before COVID-19) and 2020 (during COVID-19) in northern China. This study uses panel data from 2,201 primary school students and 1,341 junior high-school students to apply the difference in differences (DID) method to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on dietary diversity among students in urban and rural families.
The perceptions of female breadwinner parents regarding their children’s distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Hibah Khalid Aladsani

Published: November 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
Covid-19 has affected the everyday educational lives of students, teachers, administrators, and parents. Parents who are living in low-income and disadvantaged communities are probably more likely than others to have been affected by the pandemic in relation to their children’s distance learning. This study focused on the perceptions, predictions, and suggestions of female breadwinner parents from low-income families regarding their children’s distance learning. Data were collected from 12 mothers who participated in a three-stage focus group study. The data from the focus group discussions were thematically analyzed into three categories: (1) financial issues, (2) social and cultural issues, and (3) educational issues. Additionally, the findings presented the breadwinners’ general and technological reasons for their predictions for enhancing education in the future if schools return to face-to-face learning or pursue a blended learning approach. The breadwinners suggested three approaches to teaching and learning for the following academic year. The findings of this study may be useful in the development of educational policies and training programs to provide essential social and technological support to low-income families to address their needs in the online learning environment and to improve digital equity for low-income families who are likely to be educationally disadvantaged.
Growing up in the Covid-19 pandemic: An evidence review of the impact of pandemic life on physical development in the early years

AUTHOR(S)
Max Stanford; Pippa Davie; James Mulcahy

Institution: Early Intervention Foundation
Published: November 2021
This report is a brief review of emerging international and UK evidence on seven key factors associated with children’s early physical health and development, and the extent to which the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic (such as lockdowns and social distancing) have impacted on these factors and affected children’s early physical development, including children from low-income and UK ethnic minority families.
Psychological status associated with low quality of life in school-age children with neurodevelopmental disorders during COVID-19 stay-at-home period

AUTHOR(S)
Riyo Ueda; Takashi Okada; Yosuke Kita (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

This study seeks to ascertain how the COVID-19 stay-at-home period has affected the quality of life (QOL) of children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) who had experienced sleep schedules alteration and clarify what psychological status predicted low QOL in children with and without altered sleep patterns. Study participants were 86 children between 8 and 17 years of age (mean age, 11.7 years; 70 boys, 16 girls; mean intellectual quotient, 83.6). QOL was evaluated using the self-assessment KINDLR. Participants answered questions regarding depression and anxiety on a visual analog scale (VAS) for temporary mood. Their parents answered questionnaires regarding their maladaptive behaviors and differences in sleep patterns before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The student's t-test was performed to examine the presence or absence of sleep changes in the children, which affected QOL, temporary mood, and maladaptive behaviors. Multiple or simple linear regression analyses were also performed to identify the psychogenic factors that significantly affected decreased QOL for each group with and without changes in sleep schedule.

Predictors of family violence in North Carolina following initial COVID-19 stay-at-home orders

AUTHOR(S)
Laura Machlin; Meredith A. Gruhn; Adam Bryant Miller (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Although there is evidence that family violence increased in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, few studies have characterized longitudinal trends in family violence across the course of initial stay-at-home orders. The purpose of the present study is to investigate patterns and predictors of family violence, such as child maltreatment and harsh punishment, during the first eight weeks of the pandemic after initial stay-at-home orders in North Carolina. Participants included 120 families with children ages 4–11 (53% non-White, 49% female) and a primary caregiver (98% female) living in rural and suburban areas in North Carolina. Participants were recruited based on high risk of pre-pandemic family violence exposure.

Child internalizing symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic among maltreating and non-maltreating families: examining the effects of family resources and the reminiscing and emotion training intervention

AUTHOR(S)
Brigid Behrens; Katherine Edler; Kreila Cote (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on child functioning have been especially pronounced among low-income families. Protective factors, including sensitive reminiscing and sufficient family resources, may reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on child adjustment. The current study investigated how family resources during the pandemic, race, maltreatment, and pre-pandemic involvement in an emotion socialization intervention (Myears ago = 4.37, SD = 1.36) were associated with child internalizing symptoms during the pandemic. The study utilized longitudinal data following 137 maltreating and low-income nonmaltreating mother–child dyads (Mage = 9.08, SD = 1.88; 54.7% Male).

Changes in accessibility to emergency and community food services during COVID-19 and implications for low income populations in Hamilton, Ontario

AUTHOR(S)
Christopher D. Higgins; Antonio Páez; Gyoorie Kim (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Social Science & Medicine
This paper analyzes the changes in accessibility to emergency and community food services before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the City of Hamilton, Ontario. Many of these food services are the last line of support for households facing food insecurity; as such, their relevance cannot be ignored in the midst of the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic. This analysis is based on the application of balanced floating catchment areas and concentrates on households with lower incomes (<CAD40,000, approximately the Low Income Cutoff Value for a city of Hamilton's size).
Strengthening lower-income families: Lessons learned from policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy B. Kanter; Deadric T. Williams; Amy J. Rauer

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Process
Families are navigating an unstable economy due to COVID-19. Financial stressors have the potential to strain intimate relationships and exacerbate prior inequities across lower-income families. Notably, the economic impact of COVID-19 disproportionately influenced Black and Latinx families. As a response to families' economic adversity during the pandemic, the federal government initiated the CARES Act. This type of federal response to lower-income families, however, is not new. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize and historicize previous and current efforts to mitigate the consequences of financial hardship on families by comparing the assumptions and efficacy of the Healthy Marriages Initiative and the CARES act.
Chaos during the COVID-19 outbreak: predictors of household chaos among low-income families during a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anna D. Johnson; Anne Martin; Anne Partika (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Relations

The objective of this study was to explore whether household chaos measured during the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted by prepandemic parental and household characteristics. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered children's home environments and routines due to stay-at-home orders, school closures, and economic shocks. These disruptions have been especially challenging for low-income families who have limited resources and have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Household chaos, which captures routines, organization, stability, noise, and crowding in the home, is a documented threat to parent functioning and positive child development. The pandemic has likely exacerbated household chaos, especially for low-income families.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on caregiver mental health and the child caregiving environment in a low-resource, rural context

AUTHOR(S)
Helen O. Pitchik; Fahmida Tofail; Fahmida Akter (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Development
Early child development has been influenced directly and indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these effects are exacerbated in contexts of poverty. This study estimates effects of the pandemic and subsequent population lockdowns on mental health, caregiving practices, and freedom of movement among female caregivers of children 6–27 months (50% female), in rural Bangladesh. A cohort (N = 517) was assessed before and during the pandemic (May–June, 2019 and July–September, 2020). Caregivers who experienced more food insecurity and financial loss during the pandemic reported larger increases in depressive symptoms (0.26 SD, 95% CI 0.08–0.44; 0.21 SD, 0.04–0.40) compared to less affected caregivers. Stimulating caregiving and freedom of movement results were inconsistent. Increases in depressive symptoms during the pandemic may have consequences for child development.
SNAP participation among low-income US households stays stagnant while food insecurity escalates in the months following the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati; Francesco Acciai; Robin S. DeWeese

Published: September 2021   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased food-insecurity rates, particularly among low-income households. Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was expected to rise in response. This study surveyed 931 US residents from households with annual incomes below $50,000 to collect information on food security and food assistance program participation in the year prior to the pandemic and in the first four months of the pandemic, along with household and individual-level demographics. Food insecurity increased from 31% prior to the pandemic to 39% in the first four months of the pandemic, while SNAP participation stagnated. Even more alarmingly, among low-income households that were also food-insecure, 47% participated in SNAP prior to the pandemic but only 39% did so in the first four months following the pandemic’s onset. In particular, Black households, households with children, and those in the lowest income category experienced the largest declines in SNAP participation. Food assistance programs designed to alleviate hunger should facilitate participation among the most vulnerable, especially when these groups are faced with multiple challenges, like during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parents’ self-reported psychological impacts of COVID-19: associations with parental burnout, child behavior, and income

AUTHOR(S)
Margaret L Kerr; Kerrie A. Fanning; Tuyen Huynh (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology

The current study investigates associations between parents’ perceived coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) psychological impacts and experiences of parental burnout, children’s behaviors, and income. Data were collected during an online survey of parents’ (N = 1000) pandemic experiences in April 2020. Parents (M = 36.5 years old, SD = 6.0; 82.1% White) with at least one child 12 years or younger reported on measures of mental health, perceived COVID-19 impacts, parental burnout, and perceived increases in children’s stress and positive behaviors.

Understanding patterns of food insecurity and family well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic using daily surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Steimle; Anna Gassman-Pines; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Development
This paper investigates economic and psychological hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse sample (61% Latinx; 16% White; 9% Black; 14% mixed/other race) of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents (90% mothers; mean age = 35 years) and their elementary school-aged children (ages 4–11; 49% female) in rural Pennsylvania (N = 272). Families participating in a local food assistance program reported on food insecurity (FI) and parent and child mood and behavior daily from January to May 2020. Longitudinal models revealed that FI, negative parent and child mood, and child misbehavior significantly increased when schools closed; only FI and parent depression later decreased. FI decreased most among those who received the local food assistance program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receipt uniquely predicted decreases in child FI.
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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.