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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Rapid Review Protocol - Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

While there has been a global rush to generate rapid evidence on COVID-19 mental health impacts among adults, limited evidence exists on the potential impacts on children.

This is the protocol for our rapid review that seeks to (i) understand the immediate impact of COVID-19’s first wave on the mental health of children and adolescents (0–19 years); and (ii) apply lessons learned from this pandemic to mitigate the impacts of future health crises.

The key research questions of this review are: 

  • What has been the immediate impact of COVID-19 and associated containment measures on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children and adolescents?
  • How and which risk and protective factors have affected mental health during COVID-19 and have they varied across subgroups of children and adolescents?

Mind Matters: Lessons from past crises for child and adolescent mental health during COVID-19

COVID-19 is a crisis like no other in modern times. It has reached every population and community. While the evidence base is still nascent, this report looks at the impacts of disasters and past epidemics – such as Ebola, HIV, SARS/MERS and Zika – on child and adolescent mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, and examines how these insights can guide policies and progammes to support children, their families and communities during the current pandemic.

COVID-19 – its associated public health responses and social and economic impacts – is likely to have multiple deleterious effects on mental health, including elevated risks of anxiety and depression, trauma, loss of family and friends, violence, loneliness and social isolation. However, this pandemic also offers opportunities for positive coping and resilience.

While there is no magic formula to address the mental health and psychosocial impacts of crises, there are proven and promising interventions from past experiences to mitigate the impact today – especially for the most vulnerable children and adolescents. These include social protection, caregiver skills and support, community and social support, life skills and school based programmes, and specialized care, to name a few.



Cite this research | No. of pages: 70 | Language: English | Topics: Mental Health | Tags: mental health | Publisher: UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
Mood and emotional reactivity of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: short-term and long-term effects and the impact of social and socioeconomic stressors

AUTHOR(S)
Kayla H. Green; Suzanne van de Groep; Sophie W. Sweijen (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Scientific Reports
Adolescence is a formative period for socio-emotional development which is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The current longitudinal study examined two aims: (1) the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic on young people’s mood (i.e. vigor, tension, and depression levels) and emotional reactivity (i.e. fluctuations in daily mood), and (2) the impact of stressors on mood, emotional reactivity, self-oriented (i.e. maladaptive behavior towards COVID-19 rules) and other-benefitting behaviors (i.e. behavior aimed at helping and comforting others).
Interplay between long-term vulnerability and new risk: young adolescent and maternal mental health immediately before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Wright; Jonathan Hill; Helen Sharp (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: JCPP Advances

This study examines whether there has been an increase in young adolescent and maternal mental health problems from pre- to post-onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children aged 11–12 years and their mothers participating in a UK population-based birth cohort (Wirral Child Health and Development Study) provided mental health data between December 2019 and March 2020, and again 3 months after lockdown, 89% (N = 202) of 226 assessed pre-COVID-19. Emotional and behavioural problems were assessed by self- and maternal reports, and long-term vulnerability by maternal report of prior child adjustment, and maternal prenatal depression.

Implications of COVID-19 and lockdown on internet addiction among adolescents: data from a developing country

AUTHOR(S)
Kristiana Siste; Enjeline Hanafi; Lee Thung Sen (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Physical distancing policy during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic requires adolescents to spend most of their time at home, thus increasing Internet use duration. Limited social interaction with their peers may lead to loneliness and an increased risk of mental health among adolescents. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of Internet addiction (IA) among adolescents and analyze the influence of psychosocial factors toward the heightened risk of IA during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey comprising sociodemographic questionnaire, Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (KDAI), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was distributed. Overall, a total of 2,932 adolescents (mean age, 17.38 ± 2.24 years old; female, 78.7%), originating from 33 of 34 provinces in Indonesia, completed the survey.

Adolescent well-being and learning in times of COVID-19: A multi-country study of basic psychological need satisfaction, learning behavior, and the mediating roles of positive emotion and intrinsic motivation

AUTHOR(S)
Julia Holzer; Selma Korlat; Christian Haider (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Plos One
The sudden switch to distance education to contain the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered adolescents’ lives around the globe. The present research aims to identify psychological characteristics that relate to adolescents’ well-being in terms of positive emotion and intrinsic learning motivation, and key characteristics of their learning behavior in a situation of unplanned, involuntary distance education.
Web-based, second-best togetherness: psychosocial group intervention with children of holocaust survivors during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Irit V. Felsen

Published: May 2021   Journal: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Evidence from multiple samples of trauma-exposed populations across the globe suggests that intergenerational trauma constitutes a biopsychological risk factor which manifests itself throughout the life cycle of offspring of trauma survivors. Prior empirical studies have shown that adult children of Holocaust survivors (OHS, also referred to in select quotes as 2G for “Second Generation”) are vulnerable to life-threatening situations. This study aimed to examine the reactions of OHS to the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed a serious threat to the lives of many, in particular to older adults.
Anxiety and depressive symptoms of women in the perinatal period during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Shefal Y. Shorey; Esperanza D. Ng; Cornelia Y. I. Chee

Published: May 2021

The prevalence of perinatal anxiety and depressive symptoms have been speculated to increase during an infectious disease outbreak but remains unknown in the context of the COVID-19 situation. Therefore, this review aimed to examine the prevalence of antenatal and postnatal anxiety and depressive symptoms among pregnant women and postpartum mothers during the COVID-19 period. Six electronic databases were systematically searched for articles from November 2019 to December 2020. Twenty-six observational studies and brief reports were included in the meta-analysis.

Development and evaluation of a new measure of children's play: the Children's Play Scale (CPS)

AUTHOR(S)
Helen F. Dodd; Rachel J. Nesbit; Laura R. Maratchi

Published: May 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health
There is increasing recognition of the importance of children’s play from a public health perspective, given the links between play and children’s physical and mental health. The present research aimed to develop and evaluate a new parent-report questionnaire that measures the time children spend playing across a range of places and includes a supplement to evaluate how adventurously children play.
The role of trauma in mothers' COVID-19 vaccine beliefs and intentions

AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie Milan; Ana Luısa B. T. Dau

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology
Research on COVID-19 vaccine beliefs has focused primarily on adults’ intentions to vaccinate themselves; however, many parents will also face decisions about vaccinating their children. This study examines how maternal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma history relate to mothers’ beliefs and intentions about the COVID-19 vaccine for themselves and their children
The Covid 19 outbreak: maternal mental health and associated factors

AUTHOR(S)
Refika Genç Koyucu; Pelin Palas Karaca

Published: May 2021   Journal: Midwifery
Evaluation of the mental health of pregnant women during the early and peak stages of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Adolescent psychopathological profiles and the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal findings from the UK Millennium cohort study

AUTHOR(S)
Cecilia A. Essau; Alejandro de la Torre-Luque

Published: May 2021   Journal: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

Public health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in adverse effects, including high level of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression. This study explored adolescent psychopathological profiles at age 17, and their role in predicting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at age 19.

Loneliness, social relationships, and mental health in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Cooper; Emily Hards; Bettina Moltrecht (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders
Loneliness is a common experience in adolescence and is related to a range of mental health problems. Such feelings may have been increased by social distancing measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to investigate the effect of loneliness, social contact, and parent relationships on adolescent mental health during lockdown in the UK. Young people aged 11–16 years (n = 894) completed measures of loneliness, social contact, parent-adolescent relationships, and mental health difficulties during the first 11 weeks of lockdown and one-month later (n = 443).
Association of stress-related factors with anxiety among Chinese pregnant participants in an online crisis intervention during COVID-19 epidemic

AUTHOR(S)
Fangfang Shangguan; Ruoxi Wang; Xiao Quan (et al.)

Published: April 2021

Previous systematic review indicated the prevalence of prenatal anxiety as 14–54%. Pregnant women are a high-risk population for COVID-19. However, the prevalence of anxiety symptoms and related factors is unknown in Chinese pregnant women during COVID-19 outbreak. To investigate the prevalence of anxiety symptoms and the related factors in Chinese pregnant women who were attending crisis intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data of this cross-sectional study were collected in about 2 months (February 28 to April 26, 2020). Data analysis was performed from April to May 2020.

Continued participation of Israeli adolescents in online sports programs during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with higher resilience

AUTHOR(S)
Keren Constantini; Irit Markus; Naomi Epel (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research Public Health
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced adolescents to adapt rapidly to a new reality of physical and social distancing, while introducing a range of new sources of stress and adversity. This research primary aim was to study the relationship between adolescents’ resilience and their participation in online sports programs during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period. Its secondary aims were to assess the associations between the organized sports programs’ determinants and resilience.
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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.