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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 1392
Testing a coping scale in Mexican families in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: exploring the psychometric properties

Xolyanetzin Montero-Pardo; Marla Naiví Toiber-Rodríguez; Joaquín Alberto Padilla-Bautista (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Saludd mental

The rapid spread of the pandemic due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, more commonly known as COVID-19, required sanitary measures, such as social distancing and quarantining, which represented non-normative stressors for Mexican families. This study aimed to obtaini evidence of the validity and reliability of a family coping scale in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was developed containing 48 items, and responses were collected using Google forms with a total of 558 participants. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to obtain the reliability and validity of the scale.

What matters for adolescent suicidality: Depressive symptoms or fixed mindsets? Examination of cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between fixed mindsets and suicidal ideation.

Shimin Zhu; Paul W. C. Wong

Published: June 2022   Journal: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

Fixed mindsets or beliefs about the non-malleability of self-attributes are linked to a wide range of negative psychological outcomes. Its association with suicidal ideation (SI) among young people has not been explored. This study aimed to examine the association of fixed mindsets of depression, anxiety, and stress and SI; and its mediating role underlying the association between depression and SI. A sample of 1393 adolescents (Mage = 13.04, SD = 0.85, 640 boys) from 11 middle schools voluntarily participated in a two-wave longitudinal study before and during the COVID-19 pandemic with a 9-month interval.

Adolescents' mental health and maladaptive behaviors before the Covid-19 pandemic and 1-year after: analysis of trajectories over time and associated factors

Laura Pedrini; Serena Meloni; Mariangela Lanfredi (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

Adolescents have been deeply exposed to negative consequences of social distancing imposed by Covid-19. There is a lack of longitudinal studies regarding the impact on adolescents of this unfavorable condition, and their results are controversial. The aim of the present prospective study is to assess psychopathological symptoms in adolescent students over time and to evaluate what type of impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on adolescents. Moreover, the association between mental health indexes, potential risk and resilience factors is explored. Psychopathological symptoms (i.e., anxiety, depression, stress, emotional dysregulation, maladaptive behaviours), and potential risk and resilience factors (i.e., childhood trauma, emotional regulation skills, family function, personality traits) were assessed among a sample of 153 students (72% female; mean age 16.1 ± 0.49), living in a medium-size city in the north of Italy, at two time points: before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic (November 2019–January 2020) and 1 year later (April–May 2021).

The emotional lockdown: how social distancing and mask wearing influence mood and emotion recognition in adolescents and adults

Louisa Kulke; Theresia Langer; Christian Valuch

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
During the COVID-19 pandemic, government-mandated protection measures such as contact restrictions and mask wearing significantly affected social interactions. The current preregistered studies hypothesized that such measures could influence self-reported mood in adults and in adolescents between 12 and 13 years of age, who are in a critical phase of social development. This study found that mood was positively related to face-to-face but not to virtual interactions in adults and that virtual interactions were associated with negative mood in adolescents. This suggests that contact restrictions leading to a decrease in face-to-face compared to virtual interactions may be related to negative mood. To understand if prolonged exposure to people wearing masks during the pandemic might be related to increased sensitivity for subtle visual cues to others’ emotions from the eye region of the face, this study also presented both age groups with the same standardized emotion recognition test.
Rate of adolescent inpatient admission for psychosis during the COVID-19 pandemic: a retrospective chart review.

Barbara Deren; Katherine Matheson; Paula Cloutier (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Early Intervention in Psychiatry

Given the concerns for mental health (MH) impacts on children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the relative paucity of research in this field, this retrospective study compares the rate of paediatric inpatient MH admissions for psychosis for a period of 11 months before and during the pandemic. This study used administrative data to compare the rate and clinical characteristics of patients (<18 years) admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit for a psychotic illness before (March 17, 2019 to February 17, 2020) and during (March 17, 2020 to February 17, 2021) the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact of COVID-19-related stress on preschool children's internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors: the indirect effect of mother's depression and parenting behavior

Young Sun Joo; Woon Kyung Lee

Published: June 2022   Journal: Child Indicators Research
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting families and children worldwide. Experiencing the pandemic leads to stress in families resulting from fear of infection and social isolation derived from social distancing. For families raising preschoolers, the prolonged closure of childcare centers puts additional childcare burden on family members, especially mothers. Due to the limited research exploring the impact of COVID-19 on preschool children’s problem behaviors, this study examines the association between stress due to COVID-19 and preschool children’s internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors related to mother’s depression and parenting behavior. The study sample included data collected from 316 South Korean mothers raising preschool-aged children aged 3 to 5.
Loneliness, emotional eating, and COVID-19 in youth

Humaira Jamshed; Jamshed Arslan

Published: June 2022   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

Negative emotions, such as the feeling of loneliness, are significantly associated with emotional eating. As a coping mechanism to regulate and reduce negative emotions, adolescents and young adults are found to lose control and binge. The global pandemic and enforced lockdowns have imposed psychological changes, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress. COVID-19 has led to psychiatric morbidity and dietary changes in youth. This study was designed to see if the feeling of loneliness and emotional eating is associated with contraction COVID-19. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted using internationally validated questionnaires such as the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), UCLA loneliness scale, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). An online survey comprised of these questionnaires and the history of diagnosed COVID-positive contractions was administered among undergraduate and graduate students in Karachi, Pakistan.

A national survey of U.S. adolescent sleep duration, timing, and social jetlag during the COVID-19 pandemic

Katherine L. Wesley; Emily H. Cooper; John T. Brinton (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Behavioral Sleep Medicine

To assess changes in duration, timing, and social jetlag in adolescent sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate the impact of mood, physical activity, and social interactions on sleep. An online survey queried adolescents’ sleep before (through retrospective report) and during the initial phase of COVID-19 in May 2020. Adolescents (N = 3,494), 13–19 years old, in the United States (U.S.) answered questions about their current and retrospective (prior to COVID-19) sleep, chronotype, mood, and physical and social activities. Linear regression models were fit for time in bed, reported bed and wake times, and social jetlag during COVID-19, accounting for pre-COVID-19 values.

Effects of COVID-19-related anxiety and sleep problems on loneliness and feelings of school refusal in adolescents

Isa Okajima; Yukako Honda; Osamu Semba (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Front. Psychiatry

COVID-19-related anxiety, sleep problems, and loneliness may be risk factors for school refusal in children and adolescents. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms by which these risk factors cause school refusal. This study examined the process by which COVID-19-related anxiety, sleep problems, and loneliness cause school refusal, using structural equation modeling. In this cross-sectional questionnaire-based study, 256 (109 male, 147 female, mean age: 15.37 ± 0.48 years) senior high school students were asked to complete the Stress and Anxiety associated with Viral Epidemics-6 questionnaire to assess COVID-19-related anxiety, the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS), Sleep Debt Index (SDI), and chronotype (MSFsc) to assess sleep problems, the Three-Item Loneliness Scale (TILS) to assess loneliness, and Feelings of School-Avoidance Scale (FSAS) to assess school refusal.

Body mass index and Edinburgh postnatal depression scale score of pregnant women & breastfeeding mothers during COVID-19 pandemic

Ummu Erliana; Alyce Fly; Pengcheng Xun

Published: June 2022   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition,

A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the association between BMI and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score among pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. An online survey was used to obtain sociodemographic data and EPDS scores from pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers in Indiana from July 27, 2020 until July 30, 2021. Potential participants were invited through a Facebook group. The inclusion criteria were pregnant women and exclusive breastfeeding mothers,18 years of age or older, with a singleton pregnancy, who intended to breastfeed after delivery, and used English as a primary language. Data were collected using Qualtrics and descriptive statistics, including mean, standard deviation (SD) and percentages, were used to characterize demographic variables. Multiple linear regression was performed to examine the association [beta coefficient (β) with 95% confidence interval (CI)] between BMI and EPDS with adjustment for potential confounding factors (e.g., sociodemographic factors).

Maternal depressive symptoms and early childhood temperament before and during the COVID‐19 pandemic in the United Kingdom

Abigail Fiske; Gaia Scerif; Karla Holmboe

Published: June 2022   Journal: Infant and Child Development
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unexpected and major global event, with the potential to have many and varied impacts on child development. However, the implications of the pandemic for maternal depressive symptoms, early childhood temperament dimensions, and their associations, remain largely unknown. To investigate this, questionnaires were completed by mothers (N = 175) before and during the pandemic when their child was 10- and 16-months old (Study 1), and by an extended group of mothers with young children (6–48 months; 66 additional mothers) during the first and second national lockdowns in the United Kingdom in 2020 (Study 2).
Mental health profiles of autistic children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marina Charalampopoulou; Eun Jung Choi; Daphne J. Korczak (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Paediatrics & Child Health

Canadian province-wide lockdowns have challenged children’s mental health (MH) during the COVID-19 pandemic, with autistic children being at particular risk. The purpose of this study was to identify sub-groups of autistic children with distinct mental health change profiles, to understand the child-, parent-, and system-specific factors associated with such profiles in order to ultimately inform future interventions. Data were drawn from a large Canadian cohort (N=1,570) across Ontario, resulting in 265 autistic children (mean age=10.9 years, 76% male). K-means clustering analyses were employed to partition distinct MH profiles in six MH measures (mood, anxiety, OCD symptoms, irritability, inattention, hyperactivity) and group differences were examined with reference to the above factors.

Mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with underlying health and disability issues, and their families and health care providers

David B. Nicholas; Rosslynn T. Zulla; Olivia Conlon (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Paediatrics & Child Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted mental health at a population level. Families of children with health vulnerabilities have been disproportionately affected by pandemic-related policies and service disruptions as they substantially rely on the health and social care system. This study elicited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with health and disability-related vulnerabilities, their families, and their health care providers (HCPs).
Self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions among Jewish Israeli adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Yaniv Efrati; Marcantonio M. Spada

Published: June 2022   Journal: Addictive Behaviors Reports
This study examined self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions among Israeli adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic across different sociodemographic categories. The sample comprised 2,074 adolescents (40% males, 60% females) aged 12–19 years who completed the survey anonymously and with parental consent. The study examined what is the prevalence of self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions in this population in the COVID-19 pandemic context. Participants reported self-perceived addictions to social networks (70%), shopping (46%), binge eating (34%), gaming (30%), sex-related behavior (15%), psychoactive substance (31%, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and/or cocaine), and gambling (3%). Moreover, differences were found to be directly related to age, biological sex, religiosity, socioeconomic status, and immigration status. From a lay epidemiological perspective, the current research expands our knowledge about self-perceived addiction among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering better understanding of the likelihood probability factors for self-perceived addiction among adolescents and its related negative outcomes, including increased risk factors for later adult life.
Psychosocial well-being of Flemish foster children residing in their foster homes during the COVID-19 lockdown

Camille Verheyden; Frank Van Holen; Delphine West (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The measures implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly affected the lives of children and families all around the world, probably affecting children’s psychosocial well-being. The negative consequences of lockdowns are presumed to hit even harder on vulnerable groups such as foster children who already struggle with their psychosocial well-being in normal circumstances and who face specific challenges during lockdowns such as: additional help that is no longer available or only offered digitally and physical contact with birth parents that is forbidden. Nevertheless, some scholars point to the positive side of lockdowns (e.g.: relief due to closure of schools). This study aims to asses the psychosocial well-being of Flemish foster children residing in their foster homes during the COVID-19 lockdown and the factors that are associated with the change in their psychosocial well-being.
16 - 30 of 1392

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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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.