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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The change in children's subjective relational social cohesion with family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multinational analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Oliver Nahkur; Dagmar Kutsar

Published: December 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Sociology
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, social-distancing measures have been implemented worldwide, including school closures. Previous studies indicated that children's relational social cohesion with family (RSC-Fa) and friends (RSC-Fr) may have decreased during the pandemic, but some children described that positive experiences were gained from the confinement measures of social distancing. Mostly, these studies are qualitative or capture a single country and have an exploratory character. Using data collected in 2021 of more than 20,000 children primarily aged 9–13 years as part of the International Children's Worlds COVID-19 Supplement Survey from 18 countries (Germany, Turkey, Bangladesh, Italy, Albania, Romania, Chile, Wales, Taiwan, Belgium, Algeria, Israel, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia, Estonia, Finland, and Spain), this study aimed to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected children's RSC-Fa and RSC-Fr and explore the role of relational factors. RSC-Fa and RSC-Fr are measured through satisfaction in relationships with family members and friends before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. This study employed descriptive statistics, cluster analysis, and multinomial logistic regression analysis.
When Peppa Pig and Confucius meet, joining forces on the battlefield of health literacy–a qualitative analysis of COVID-19 educational materials for children and adolescents from China, the USA, and Europe

AUTHOR(S)
Maria Świątkiewicz-Mośny; Anna Prokop-Dorner; Magdalena Ślusarczyk (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Plos One
In times of pandemic, health literacy (HL) is very important, as it helps to find, understand, and use essential health information and services. According to WHO, HL is pivotal in fighting infodemic effectively, and education is a vital tool for developing it. The presented work analyzed 247 educational materials dedicated to children, adolescents, and their carers explaining the pandemic, prepared by the Chinese, American, German, Italian and Polish governments and international non-governmental organizations. Focusing on the textual and visual side of the documents, it investigated how the pandemic is explained and what discursive measures were used to inform young citizens about the risks and consequences of pandemic restrictions. Additionally, it verified whether the materials helped developing critical thinking, which is crucial to prevent spreading fake news and conspiracy theories. Although the analyzed materials were prepared in different cultural contexts, this research identified that all of them contained simple instructions on the desired behaviours during the pandemic. Key messages relating to the importance of hygienic behaviors were often supplemented with guidelines on how to successfully complete each action.
A pan-European review of good practices in early intervention safeguarding practice with children, young people and families: evidence gathering to inform a multi-disciplinary training programme (the ERICA project) in preventing child abuse and negle

AUTHOR(S)
J. V. Appleton; S. Bekaert; J. Hucker (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
Child maltreatment has detrimental social and health effects for individuals, families and communities. The ERICA project is a pan-European training programme that equips non-specialist threshold practitioners with knowledge and skills to prevent and detect child maltreatment. This paper describes and presents the findings of a rapid review of good practice examples across seven participating countries including local services, programmes and risk assessment tools used in the detection and prevention of child maltreatment in the family. Learning was applied to the development of the generic training project. A template for mapping the good practice examples was collaboratively developed by the seven participating partner countries. A descriptive data analysis was undertaken organised by an a priori analysis framework. Examples were organised into three areas: programmes tackling child abuse and neglect, local practices in assessment and referral, risk assessment tools.
A multi-country study on the impact of sex and age on oral features of COVID-19 infection in adolescents and young adults

AUTHOR(S)
Heba Jafar Sabbagh; Wafaa Abdelaziz; Maryam Quritum (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: BMC Oral Health

Oral diseases are features of COVID-19 infection. There is, however, little known about oral diseases associated with COVID-19 in adolescents and young adults (AYA). Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess oral lesions’ association with COVID-19 infection in AYA; and to identify if sex and age will modify these associations. Data was collected for this cross-sectional study between August 2020 and January 2021 from 11-to-23 years old participants in 43-countries using an electronic validated questionnaire developed in five languages. Data collected included information on the dependent variables (the presence of oral conditions- gingival inflammation, dry mouth, change in taste and oral ulcers), independent variable (COVID-19 infection) and confounders (age, sex, history of medical problems and parents’ educational level). Multilevel binary logistic regression was used for analysis.

Adolescent mental health problems in early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic were masked by lockdown measures and restrictions

AUTHOR(S)
Franziska Rockstroh; Michael Kaess

Published: November 2022   Journal: BJPsych Open
In the BJPsych Open Wong et al examined the influence of lockdown stringency during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychiatric emergency presentations among children and adolescents from ten countries. Data from March and April 2019 were compared with the same time frame in 2020, with particular focus on self-harm admissions. In this editorial, the publication is summarised and potential implications for the field and future studies are discussed.
Associations between breastfeeding intention, breastfeeding practices and post-natal depression during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multi-country cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Yan‐Shing Chang; Kan M. C. Li; Li‐Yin Chien (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Maternal & Child Nutrition
Associations between breastfeeding intention, duration and post-natal depression (PND) have been shown in pre-COVID-19 studies. However, studies during COVID-19 have not examined the associations between breastfeeding intention, breastfeeding practices, and PND in an international sample of post-natal women, taking into consideration COVID-19 related factors. This is the first study to address this gap as both PND and breastfeeding may be affected by COVID-19, and have important long-term effects on women's and infant's health. A cross-sectional internet-based survey was conducted with 3253 post-natal women from five countries: Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom from July to November 2021.
Establishing communities of practice to improve health policy, systems and reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in West Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Nana Efua E. Afun; Grace E. Aye; Linda L. Yevoo (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Ghana Medical Journal
This study aimed to explore and analyse factors that facilitate and inhibit the initiation and functioning of a national and transnational Community of Practice (CoP) for health policy and systems (HPS) and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) in West Africa and to identify lessons for CoP interventions in similar multilingual low and middle-income contexts. A case study, with the case defined as processes, enablers and barriers to the initiation and functioning of a national and transnational CoP for HSP and RMNCAH in West Africa and drawing on a review and analysis of secondary data from the program, workshop, country team and project reports, and training sessions.
Inclusive education with differentiated instruction for children with disabilities: a guidance note
Published: October 2022   Journal: Asian Development Bank
This guidance note explains how policymakers and practitioners can more effectively integrate children with disabilities into mainstream education and give them the individualized support they need. COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation for marginalized children with disabilities who make up around 5% of the global child population but encompass over half of those excluded from schools. Drawing on case studies from the Kyrgyz Republic, the Marshall Islands, and Nepal, this publication shows how adopting a holistic stance and building multistakeholder partnerships can help ensure children with disabilities receive an inclusive, quality education.
Confirming—and testing—bonds of trust: A mixed methods study exploring community health workers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh, Haiti and Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Pooja Sripad; Ann Gottert; Timothy Abuya (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Plos Global Public Health
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and national responses, trust (one’s belief that a system acts in one’s best interest) is important to consider. In community health systems, trust is embedded in relationships between clients, CHWs, and health system stakeholders. This mixed-methods study explores trust through the evolving COVID-19 crisis in Bangladesh, Haiti, and Kenya, where multi-country community health research was underway. It investigates the extent and ways trust between communities, community health workers (CHWs), and health system actors shift, including its relation to community fear and hostility, through self-reported positive and negative experiences of CHWs and policy/program stakeholders on a phone-based survey with 2,025 CHWs and 72 key informant interviews, including CHWs, in late 2020.
Adolescent girls’ and boys’ experiences of violence: evidence from gender and adolescence: global evidence

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Erin Oakley; Shoroq Abu Hamad (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: October 2022

Age- and gender-based violence during adolescence is widespread, and the risks permeate all spheres of adolescents’ lives – family and marriage, schools, peer networks and communities. Yet this violence affects girls and boys very differently within and across low- and middle-income country (LMIC) contexts. Midway through the Sustainable Development Agenda, data from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) research programme reinforces the urgency of investing in a tailored, adequately resourced package of interventions, coordinated across sectors and development actors. This would allow the global community to make meaningful progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 and 16 to eliminate all forms of violence affecting young people. This brief draws on data collected in three of GAGE’s core countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Jordan using mixed-methods research. GAGE findings highlight that adolescent girls – and boys – regularly face myriad forms of age- and gender-based violence. Risks are context-dependent, which in some cases means adolescent girls and boys do not perceive what they are experiencing as violence, and in other cases leads them to embrace such behaviour because it demonstrates to their peers and communities that they are conforming to social norms. Critical to tackling this violence is a recognition that age-based violence is often deeply gendered; that gender norms leave girls and boys at heightened risk of different types of violence; and that sometimes the best way to support girls to lead lives free of violence is to ensure that the boys in their environments are also free of violence.

Rebuilding human capital amidst the pandemic - A global analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on school-aged children and youth
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: October 2022
This joint study by the Research, Assessment and Monitoring (RAM) Division and the School–Based Programme (SBP) Service aimed to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted school–aged children and youth through a global web survey conducted across seven countries Cambodia, Colombia, Ghana, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya and Zimbabwe from May to July 2021.
Forest communities in the face of COVID-19 crisis

AUTHOR(S)
J. Covey; A. Bolin

COVID-19 continues to have severe impacts on the societies, economies and environment of forest communities. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on forest communities have been shaped by pre-existing social, economic en environmental vulnerabilities. Despite existing vulnerabilities, forest communities have shown a great deal of resilience. Forest communities have not been passive in the face of these significant impacts. Key responses have included the use of informal and formal social protection programmes. Reflecting on past crisis and building on the initial COVID-19 responses found in the case studies and lessons from producer organisations, this working paper identifies seven key pathways and 14 strategic actions for forest communities to recover and building back better from COVID-19.
Family still matters: human social motivation across 42 countries during a global pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Cari M. Pick; Ahra Ko; Alexandra S. Wormley (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Evolution and Human Behavior
The COVID-19 pandemic caused drastic social changes for many people, including separation from friends and coworkers, enforced close contact with family, and reductions in mobility. This study assesses the extent to which people's evolutionarily-relevant basic motivations and goals—fundamental social motives such as Affiliation and Kin Care—might have been affected. To address this question, it gathered data on fundamental social motives in 42 countries (N = 15,915) across two waves, including 19 countries (N = 10,907) for which data were gathered both before and during the pandemic (pre-pandemic wave: 32 countries, N = 8998; 3302 male, 5585 female; Mage = 24.43, SD = 7.91; mid-pandemic wave: 29 countries, N = 6917; 2249 male, 4218 female; Mage = 28.59, SD = 11.31). Samples include data collected online (e.g., Prolific, MTurk), at universities, and via community sampling.
Effects of COVID-19 on pediatric cancer care: a multicenter study of 11 Middle Eastern Countries

AUTHOR(S)
Mahmoud M. Elzembely; Abdulhakim Al Rawas; Abdulqader Al-Hebshi (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
During the COVID-19 pandemic, major challenges are facing pediatric cancer centers regarding access to cancer centers, continuity of the anti-cancer therapy, hospital admission, and infection protection precautions. Pediatric oncologists actively treating children with cancer from 29 cancer centers at 11 countries were asked to answer a survey from May 2020 to August 2020 either directly or through the internet. COVID-19 pandemic affected the access to pediatric cancer care in the form of difficulty in reaching the center in 22 (75.9%) centers and affection of patients’ flow in 21 (72.4%) centers. Health care professionals (HCP) were infected with COVID-19 in 20 (69%) surveyed centers. Eighteen centers (62%) modified the treatment guidelines. Care of follow-up patients was provided in-hospital in 8(27.6%) centers, through telemedicine in 10 (34.5%) centers, and just delayed in 11 (38%) centers. Pediatric oncologists had different expectations about the future effects of COVID-19 on pediatric cancer care. Seventy-six percent of pediatric oncologists think the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the use of telemedicine.
Children's access to dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multi-country survey

AUTHOR(S)
Heba Mohamed Elkhodary; Heba Jafar Sabbagh; Omar Abd El Sadek (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Children's Health Care
This study assessed the impact of COVID-19 on children’s access to dental care and determine factors associated with problems in accessing dental care. A multi-country cross-sectional survey collected data from caregivers of children from August 2020 to February 2021. The questionnaire was developed guided by the framework of the Andersen’s model of factors (predisposing, enabling and need). Multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the association between access-to-dental care problem and predisposing, enabling and need factors. A total of 4,843 caregivers from 20-countries reported on their children (52.3% males, mean age = 8.4 years) with 29.2% having access to care problem. A significantly greater percentage of caregivers from lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) than low-income countries (LICs), upper-middle-income countries (UMICs) and high-income countries (HICs) reported an access-to-dental care problem (P < .001). Caregivers living in LICS, university-educated caregivers, caregivers with older children and caregivers whose children had more frequent pain during the pandemic had higher odds of reporting an access to dental care problem.
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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.