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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 176
Examining the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on service providers working with children and youth with neuro-developmental disabilities and their families: results of a focus group study.

David B. Nicholas; Wendy Mitchell; Jill Ciesielski (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Intellectual Disabilities
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unprecedented service interruptions in many sectors including services for children and youth with neuro-developmental disabilities (NDD). This study examined the experiences of service providers as they supported this population during the pandemic. Five focus groups were convened with 24 service providers offering support to children/youth with NDD and their families.
Zoom-delivered physical activities can increase perceived physical activity level in children with autism spectrum disorder: a pilot study.

Erkan Yarımkaya; Oğuz Kaan Esentürk; Ekrem Levent İlhan (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Although the benefits of regular physical activity are clearly expressed, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are less physically active than their typically developing peers. Recent empirical studies have revealed that the level of physical activity of children with ASD has further decreased during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has adversely affected the whole world. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential efficacy of a Zoom-delivered physical activities for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Twenty-two families (parent and child dyads) participated in the study. Families were assigned randomly to an experimental group (n = 11) and a control group (n = 11). Families in the experimental group were engaged in 10 weeks of the Zoom-delivered physical activities. Data were collected using multiple data collection strategies (Personal Information Form- Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire–Semi-Structured Interview). After the Zoom-delivered physical activities, a significant increase was observed in the physical activity level of children with ASD in the experimental group (F = 95.396, p = 0.000, Ƞ2 = 0.834). Parents reported that Zoom-delivered physical activities are a viable and useful intervention to increase the level of physical activity of children with ASD.
A longitudinal study of the mental health of autistic children and adolescents and their parents during COVID-19: Part 2, qualitative findings.

Kathryn Asbury; Umar Toseeb

Published: June 2022   Journal: Autism
Part 1 of this UK-based study, across four timepoints between March and October 2020, autistic children and young people showed higher levels of parent-reported depression and anxiety symptoms than those with other special educational needs and disabilities. This study draws on qualitative data from 478 parents/carers of autistic pupils and those with other special educational needs and disabilities to conduct a longitudinal qualitative content analysis examining stability and change in the mental health of these young people, and their parents/carers, during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worry and psychological distress were dominant categories at all timepoints and it was noted that, in line with quantitative findings, worry in autistic pupils stayed stable over time but decreased for those with other special educational needs and disabilities. The third dominant category was wellbeing and there was evidence that removing demands, especially the demand to attend school, was a driver of wellbeing for a significant minority of pupils, particularly autistic pupils, and their parents/carers.
Emotional competence, family social support and parental stress in mothers of children with autism during the pandemic

Dinie Ratri Desiningrum

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Educational, Health and Community Psychology

This study was aimed to determine the relationship between emotional competence, family social support and parental stress in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This research was a quantitative research with correlational method. Purposive sampling technique by distributing questionnaires using Google form resulted in a total of 165 participants who are mothers of children with ASD, as members of therapy centers and schools for children with special needs in Semarang, Solo and Yogyakarta. The data were analyzed using structural equation model (SEM) technique on Lisrel program. This research resulted in two models showing that there are fit model with empirical data. The first model shows that each of emotional competence and family social support had a significant effect on parental stress in mothers of children with ASD. The second model shows the influence of emotional competence on the stress of parenting of children with ASD, with family social support as a moderating variable. The implications of this study are empirical evidence on the importance of family social support and emotional competence for mothers in raising children with ASD to prevent excessive parental stress.

COVID-19 induced environments, health-related quality of life outcomes and problematic behaviors: evidence from children with syndromic autism spectrum disorders.

Corneliu Bolbocean; Kayla B. Rhidenour; Maria McCormack (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Between July 2020 and January 2021, 230 principal caregivers completed a questionnaire to measure proxy-assessed health-related quality of life outcomes (HRQoL), behavioral outcomes in children with syndromic autism spectrum disorders and COVID-19 induced changes to lifestyle and environments. HRQoL and behavioral outcomes reported earlier during the pandemic were generally worse compared to those reported later. COVID-19 induced reduction to a caregiver’s mental health appointments, and hours spent watching TV were associated with decreases in HRQoL and increased the likelihood of problematic behaviors. Increasing time outdoors and time away from digital devices were positively associated with HRQoL and behaviors and might protect children from COVID-19 induced restrictions.
Parents' satisfaction of tele-rehabilitation for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pamela Frigerio; Liliana Del Monte; Aurora Sotgiu

Published: June 2022   Journal: BMC Primary Care volume

The use of tele-rehabilitation in children was limited before the COVID-19 pandemic, due to culture, technology access, regulatory and reimbursement barriers. The study was conducted according to the CHERRIES (Checklist for reporting results of internet E-surveys) guidelines in order to provide quantitative and qualitative data about experience of patients with disabilities and their caregivers during Phase 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their level of satisfaction. An online survey was developed using Google Forms and sent via email. The outcome measures were rated using a 5-point Likert Scale. Two additional open-ended questions were used to collect qualitative data.

Loss of continuity of care in pediatric neurology services during COVID-19 lockdown: an additional stressor for parents

Serena Cesario; Consuelo Basile; Matteo Trevisan (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Children

This study aimed to investigate the consequence of the COVID 19-related lockdown on the well-being of children with neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders and the repercussion on parental stress during the period 9 March 2020–3 May 2020. A web-based survey was shared via mail with the parents of children affected by chronic neurologic disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders in the continuity of care in two Italian tertiary centers, independently by the severity of the diseases and the required frequency of controls. For each patient, they were asked to identify a single main caregiver, among the two parents, to fill in the questionnaire. Parental stress was measured via the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Statistical analysis was performed with IBM SPSS Statistics version 25. The differences between the clinical groups were performed with one way ANOVA. The dimensional effect of the clinical variables on outcome was evaluated by multiple linear regression analysis.

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.

The effectiveness of psychoeducation to improve the well-being of parents having children with autism during the pandemic

Nurussakinah Daulay; Nefi Darmayanti

Published: May 2022   Journal: Journal An-Nafs: Kajian Penelitian Psikologi
This study aimed to determine the role of group-based parenting support training with the psychoeducational method in improving the well-being of parents having children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) during the pandemic. The participants were 10 parents divided into the psychoeducational group and 12 parents in the control group in one State Special School for Autism in Medan. The instrument used a scale based on seven aspects of subjective well-being, as expressed by White (2010). Furthermore, data analysis was carried out using an independent sample t-test.
The role of family counseling in handling autistic children during at-home learning periods

Imam Mujahid; Irwan Abdullah; Minsih (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Psikohumaniora: Jurnal Penelitian Psikologi

The creation of good relations between family members during the COVID-19 pandemic is  considered  important  to  accommodate  the  learning needs  of  autistic  children  as  during  the pandemic,  they  are  not  able  to  learn  optimally.  This  study  aims  to  establish  the  role  of  family counseling  in  handling  autistic  children  during  at-home learning. The research uses  a qualitative case  study  design.  The  informants  were  parents  and core  families  of  autistic  children,  and  data collection  involved interviews,  observations,  and  documentation.  The  data  analysis  techniques employed were inductive analysis through reduction, data description, data coding, interpretation, and  conclusions.

Animation based instructional approach for learning attainment and cognitive functioning of Indian children with ADHD during COVID-19 crisis

Jaishree Devi; Ananta Kumar Jena

Published: May 2022   Journal: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
Animation based online instructional sessions were organised for enhancing learning attainment and cognitive functioning skills for children diagnosed with ADHD symptoms. The study aimed to examine the effectiveness of animation-based instruction for the empowerment of learning attainment in relation to the cognitive functioning in students with ADHD during COVID-19 crisis. Quasi-experimental design was done on students with ADHD (n = 75, 11–12 years) from three different schools of Assam, India.
Second wave of the study of Taiwanese caregivers of children with ADHD in the COVID-19 pandemic: intentions to vaccinate their children for COVID-19, and related factors

Ching-Shu Tsai; Liang-Jen Wang; Ray C. Hsiao (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Vaccines
The second wave of the Study of Taiwanese Caregivers of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the COVID-19 Pandemic was conducted at the time of a severe COVID-19 outbreak. The aims of this study were to compare the level of the intentions of caregivers of children with ADHD to vaccinate their children between the first and second waves of study, as well as to examine the COVID-19 pandemic and non-COVID-19 pandemic factors related to caregivers’ intentions. In total, 252 caregivers of children with ADHD completed the structured questionnaires, including the Drivers of COVID-19 Vaccination Acceptance Scale; the Risk Perception of the COVID-19 Scale; caregivers’ Difficulties in Asking Their Children to Adopt Self-Protective Behavior Scale; the Brief Symptom Rating Scale; the Parental Bonding Instrument; the Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham version IV Scale; and the questionnaires for the intentions to vaccinate their children and child’s medication use for treating ADHD.
"I'm the family ringmaster and juggler": autistic parents' experiences of parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Melanie Heyworth; Simon Brett; Jacquiline den Houting (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Autism in Adulthood

Little is known about autistic parenthood. The literature that exists suggests that autistic parents can find it difficult to manage the everyday demands of parenting and domestic life. While emerging research has also highlighted more positive parenting experiences, greater understanding of autistic parenthood is needed. This study sought to understand autistic parents' parenting experiences during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-five Australian autistic parents (95% women) of autistic children (aged 4–25 years) took part in semi-structured interviews designed to elicit their experiences of life during lockdown.

Environmental and social determinants of leisure-time physical activity in children with autism spectrum disorder

Jihyun Lee; Sean Healy; Justin A. Haegele (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Disability and Health Journal

It is increasingly recognized that children's physical activity behaviors are shaped by neighborhood environment factors and their parent's support. However, these factors have been scarcely studied among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a population at risk of inactivity. This cross-sectional survey study was designed to examine how neighborhood environmental factors and parental support are related to physical activity levels of children with ASD. Also, this study examined if the relationship between the environment and physical activity is modified by demographic factors and COVID-19 related concerns.

Pandemic parenting: a pilot study of in-person versus internet-DOCS K-5 for caregivers of school-age children with disruptive behaviors

Heather Agazzi; Holland Hayford; Nicholas Thomas (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Clinical child psychology and psychiatry
Behavioral parent training (BPT) programs are needed to address disruptive behavior disorders among school-aged children. Given the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and associated mental health consequences, adapting BPTs to telehealth modalities is necessary to ensure continued services to children and families. This pilot study evaluated the use of a telehealth vs in-person modality to deliver the Developing Our Children's Skills K-5 (DOCS K-5) BPT. Participants were caregivers of children enrolled in elementary school exhibiting disruptive behaviors who participated in either in-person DOCS K-5 (n = 21) or internet-DOCS K-5 (i-DOCS K-5; n = 34).
1 - 15 of 176

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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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.