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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Mental health & maltreatment risk of children with special educational needs during COVID-19

Winnie W. Y. Tso; Ko Ling Chan; Tatia M. C. Lee (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Children with special educational needs (SEN) are more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic with risk of poor mental wellbeing and child maltreatment. To examine the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of children with SEN and their maltreatment risk. 417 children with SEN studying at special schools and 25,427 children with typical development (TD) studying at mainstream schools completed an online survey in April 2020 in Hong Kong during school closures due to COVID-19.

Impact of COVID-19 on youth with ADHD: predictors and moderators of response to pandemic restrictions on daily life

Eliana Rosenthal; Sara Franklin-Gillette; Hi Jae Jung (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of attention disorders
This study examined COVID-19 symptoms and infection rates, disruptions to functioning, and moderators of pandemic response for 620 youth with ADHD and 614 individually matched controls (70% male; Mage = 12.4) participating in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study. There were no group differences in COVID-19 infection rate; however, youth with ADHD were more likely to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms (d = 0.25), greater sleep problems (d = -0.52), fear and negative emotions to infection risk (d = -0.56), trouble with remote learning (d = -0.54), rule-breaking behavior related to COVID-19 restrictions (d = -0.23), family conflict (d = -0.13), and were less prepared for the next school year (d = 0.38). Youth with ADHD were less responsive to protective environmental variables (e.g., parental monitoring, school engagement) during the pandemic and may need more specialized support with return to in-person schooling and daily activities.
Home direct-to-consumer telehealth solutions for children with mental health disorders and the impact of Covid-19

Sierra Norman; Shireen Atabaki; Kathleen Atmore (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Clinical child psychology and psychiatry
Delivery of mental health treatment in the home can close gaps in care. Telehealth also provides access to healthcare that has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2016, a home direct-to-consumer telehealth program was initiated. Mental health encounters made up a significant portion of all telehealth encounters and COVID-19 had a significant impact on accelerating the utilization of telehealth. Telemental health has been more successful at meeting targeted volumes than the overall health system. Of all the mental health diagnoses before and during COVID-19, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder were most common. The direct-to-consumer telehealth program saved patients a significant amount of travel miles and associated time, based on data from the period before COVID-19. Payment reimbursement for direct-to-consumer telehealth professional services was similar to reimbursement for in-person visits. This program demonstrates direct-to-consumer telehealth is a feasible and acceptable care modality for a variety of youth mental health disorders.
Fear, changes in routine and dental care for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in the COVID-19 pandemic: a survey with Brazilian parents

Bárbara Azevedo Machado; Juliana Silva Moro; Carla Massignam (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Special Care In Dentistry

This study aimed to report the perception of parents of children/adolescents with autism regarding the parents’ fear of the pandemic by COVID-19. Also, to report children's fear about the use of individual protective equipment (IPE) in dental appointments, and the impact on the daily routine during the pandemic. A cross-sectional study through an open online survey was addressed to parents of children/adolescents autistic, aged between 3 and 18 years. The questionnaire had questions regarding the parents’ fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parents’ perception about the children/adolescents’ fear of the use of IPEs at dental care, and the impact of the daily routine during the pandemic and social impact after the pandemic. Parents' reports on the degree of ASD (mild, moderate, and severe) of the child/adolescent. A total of 1001 responses were obtained. 50.35% of parents had high fear of the pandemic by COVID-19, 59.34% believe that children/teenagers will be afraid of the dentist's IPE and 61.64% responded that the COVID-19 pandemic had a high impact on the daily routine of children/adolescents with ASD.

Rapid health impact assessment of COVID-19 on families with children with disabilities living in low-income communities in Lusaka, Zambia

Mary O. Hearst; Lauren Hughey; Jamie Magoon (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Plos One

Worldwide, children with disabilities are a vulnerable population and at high risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. There is little information on the impact that COVID-19 had on children with disabilities and their families, particularly in low-income settings. This assessment describes the extent to which the pandemic impacted seven indicators of well-being in three low-income communities in Lusaka, Zambia. Interviews were conducted with a random selection of families participating in an existing program (n = 39), community health workers (n = 6), healthcare workers (n = 7) and government officials (n = 2). Descriptive data was summarized and qualitative responses reviewed for themes.

Exploring challenges and support structures of mothers with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United Arab Emirates

Nishtha Lamba; Angelique Van Tonder; Anita Shrivastava (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

Mothers with children with ASD, often being primary caregivers, experience high levels of parenting stress and hold essential information about their children’s wellbeing. There is however lack of information about their experiences in the UAE. The study aims to explore challenges and support structures of mothers with children with ASD in the UAE. 17 expat mothers (Age range = 33-58 years) with a child with ASD were interviewed about their experiences with diagnoses, therapeutic interventions, support networks, and the pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic containment measures on families and children with moderate and high-functioning ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Margarita Saliverou; Maria Georgiadi; Dimitra Maria Tomprou (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Education Sciences
The present study focuses on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) transmission prevention measures and, in particular, home confinement of families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Greece. It is assumed that the implemented new measures during the pandemic constitute a profound change for children on the spectrum, considering that the core ASD symptoms include the persistence and adherence to routine and stability, a condition that also directly affects the children’s parents. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted. Participants were 10 caregivers with a child diagnosed with ASD of medium or high functioning in Greece. The ages of the children range from 6.5 to 15 years old.
Risk and protective factors of quality of life for children with autism spectrum disorder and their families during the COVID-19 lockdown: an Italian study

Maria Grazia Logrieco; Laura Casula; Giuseppe Niccolò Ciuffreda (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult period for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and their families. The aim of this study was to investigate the predictors of the quality of life (QoL) of children with ASD and their parents throughout the first lockdown, providing a snapshot of the impact of the pandemic on these families life. A cohort of 243 parents of children with ASD (2–15 years old) completed an original online survey regarding the modification of ASD cores symptoms during lockdown, the type of interventions they had done before and during lockdown and the activities performed by the child. Respondents filled the PedsQL for themselves and their children.

The COVID-19 pandemic: an assessment of the emergency remote education program based on providing at-home support to parents of children with down syndrome

S. Çelika; G. Tomris; D. M. Tuna

Published: December 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
With the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing emergency remote education programs for young children with “Down Syndrome” who have learning difficulties and intense health problems and their parents has become a necessity. The present study examines how parents and children were affected by the “applied emergency remote education program”, which was prepared to address the needs of parents who have children with Down Syndrome and to offer them at-home support. It is a case study that utilizes quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods and includes 11 parents of children with Down Syndrome whose ages range between 11 and 35 months.
An analysis of admissions to a refugee child mental health unit in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Hatice Ünver; Neşe Perdahlı Fiş

Published: November 2021   Journal: Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

This study aims to examine the admissions to a refugee child outpatient mental health unit in the COVID-19 pandemic and to compare them with the pre-pandemic period. This retrospective observational study, planned through the hospital information system and patient files, included the 1-year number of outpatient unit admissions, sociodemographic, and clinical data. Before the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2019–February 2020), a total of 2322 patients (local and refugee) applied to the same unit, and 236 (10.1%) of these patients were refugees. Since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey (March 2020–February 2021), 1209 patients applied, and 10.4% (n = 126) of them were refugees. While 19.66 ± 6.31 refugees applied per month in the pre-pandemic period, this number decreased to 10.50 ± 5.31 during the pandemic period (p = 0.01). During the pandemic period, there was a significant decrease in the number of female refugee patient admissions. In addition, while admissions for external disorders increased significantly during the pandemic period (x2 = 13.99, p = 0.001), admissions for internal disorders decreased significantly (x2 = 4.54, p = 0.03).

Mental health outcomes and experiences of family caregivers of children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bolivia

Guido G. Urizar Jr.; Ivonne Ramírez; Brianna I. Caicedo (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Community Psychology

This study examined whether certain demographic characteristics, caregiver strain, and coping behaviors were associated with the mental health outcomes of family caregivers of children with disabilities in Bolivia during the COVID‐19 pandemic. A mixed‐methods convergent study design was used with virtual interviews to quantitatively assess caregivers' demographic characteristics, caregiver strain, coping behaviors, and mental health outcomes, as well as qualitatively assess how the pandemic affected their family. Approximately 32%–71% of caregivers experienced poor mental health outcomes (stress, anxiety, and depression), especially among those experiencing poor health,high caregiver strain, and those using maladaptive coping strategies.

mes, aswell as qualitatively assess how the pandemic affected theirfamily. Approximately 32%71% of caregivers experiencedpoor mental health outcomes (stress, anxiety, and depres-sion), especially among those experiencing poor health,high caregiver strain, and those using maladaptive copingstrategies.
COVID-19 mental health impact among children with early brain injury and associated conditions

Tricia S. Williams; Angela Deotto; Samantha D. Roberts (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Child Neuropsychology
This study describes the impact of COVID-19 among a clinical research sample of children with early brain injury and associated conditions. Between March 2020 and March 2021, 64 children and their parents participated. Children ranged in age between 3 and 14 years (M = 6 years, 3 months; SD = 2 years, 4 months) with a range of diagnoses (i.e., neonatal stroke, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), congenital heart disease (CHD) and preterm birth (<32 weeks)). The abbreviated CoRonavIrus Health Impact Survey (CRISIS) was completed by parents as part of their child’s routine intake for neuropsychological services. Questions included COVID-19 specific ratings of child mental health impact, child, and parent stressors, with open-ended questions regarding negative and positive COVID-19 related changes. Over 40% of parents described moderate to extreme influence of COVID-19 on their child’s mental health. Common child stressors reported included restrictions on leaving the home and social isolation. Among parents, the most common stress reported was caring for their child’s education and daily activities. Children’s mental health impact was associated with social isolation, parent mental health, COVID-19 economic concern, and number of siblings in the home.
Physical activity and sedentary behaviour among children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 lockdown in China

Y. Q. Yuan; J. N. Ding; N. Bi (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, preliminary research has reported a significant decline in physical activity (PA) and an increase in sedentary behaviour (SB) among typically developed children and adolescents. Limited research has looked at the current situation of PA and SB during this pandemic among children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID). This study investigated the situations about PA and SB among school-aged children and adolescents with ID on China's mainland during the COVID-19 outbreak. In total, 837 parents of children and adolescents (ages 6–18 years) with ID from 15 special education schools of Shandong Province in China were recruited through convenience sampling in the study. Parents reported PA and SB among children and adolescents with ID through the Children's Leisure Activities Study Survey-Chinese version (CLASS-C) online questionnaires.

Care in COVID: a qualitative analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the health and care of children and young people with severe physical neurodisability and their families.

Jill Cadwgan; Jane Goodwin; Tomoki Arichi (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Child: Care, Health and Development

This paper aims to evaluate clinicians’ perspectives on the impact of “lockdown” during the COVID-19 pandemic for children and young people with severe physical neurodisability and their families. Framework analysis of comments from families during a recent service review was used to code the themes discussed according to the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and interpreted into emergent themes to summarise the impact of lockdown (Stage 1). They were presented to a clinician focus group for discussion (consultants and physiotherapists working in a specialist motor disorders service, [Stage 2]).

Anxiety and depression in parents of children with autism spectrum disorder during the first COVID-19 lockdown: report from the ELENA cohort

Ela Miniarikova; Christelle Vernheta; Marianne Peries (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Psychiatric Research

The Covid-19 pandemic had a strong impact on mental health in the general population. This study conducted during the first lockdown in France considered parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prospectively followed in the ELENA Cohort. This study aimed to (1) compare the Anxiety and Depression (AaD) levels during the lockdown between mothers and fathers, (2) compare the parent's AaD between the lockdown and the last ELENA follow-up visit, and (3) identify risk factors for parental AaD during lockdown among socio-demographic and children's clinical characteristics.

1 - 15 of 121

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.