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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 187
Internet use during COVID-19 lockdown among young people in low- and middle-income countries: Role of psychological wellbeing

AUTHOR(S)
Blossom Fernandes; Bilge Uzun; Caner Aydin (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Addictive Behaviors Reports
Problematic internet use in adolescents has been shown to significantly increase over the past few years, with COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns reinforcing this phenomena globally. This study sought to explore whether problematic internet use in specific countries was related to emotional well-being and importantly whether this is predicted by psychological distress. There is a growing number of studies showing that problematic internet use is increasingly prevalent in countries with emerging economies, however we have yet to find out to what extent other factors are influencing this behaviour in adolescents and young people. This study invited young people from countries such India, Mexico, Philippines and Turkey to complete a set of self-reports on their daily internet habits, social media use, alongside questions on psychological distress, self-esteem, loneliness and escapism.
COVID-19 pandemic and the second lockdown: the 3rd wave of the disease through the voice of youth

AUTHOR(S)
Cátia Branquinho; Anabela Caetano Santos; Catarina Noronha (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Indicators Research
Around the beginning of the 2021 new year, Europe’s COVID-19 third wave led many leaders to implement a new lockdown period, with the teaching–learning system returning to the online method once more. The present study aimed to understand the health consequences for adolescents and young adults (AYA) during the third wave’s lockdown. This mixed-method study included 592 participants between 16 and 24 years old (M = 19.01, SD = 2.32), with the majority being female (70.9%) and students (82.3%) at high school (55.1%) or university (44.9%). Negative impacts are highlighted in the categories: relationships, physical activity (as well aseno impacts), screen time and academic stress; and no impactsin health and well-being, leisure activities, sleep, diet, academic performance and relationships with teachers and peers. Overall, when compared to the opposite gender, girls report more negative impacts on leisure activities and diet, although more positive impacts on diet, as well as on academic stress; boys stand out in the negative consequences on substance use. At the academic level, students in higher education show more negative impacts on relationships, leisure activities, sleep, diet, screen time and relationships with teachers and peers. Enlightened about the impacts of the second lockdown on their lives, and showing signs of “pandemic fatigue”, this study draws attention to the need to associate psychological support measures with those implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid one year on: why children are still out of school
Institution: Save the Children
Published: September 2021

A snapshot survey carried out by Save the Children in 6 countries where schools have reopened, suggests that 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, significant numbers of the most vulnerable children are still out of school. This is not because of fear of the virus, but a result of child labour, child marriage, financial hardship, relocation and other consequences of the pandemic - and girls are particularly at risk. These briefs summarise the “out-of-school” context in these 6 countries – Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia, and Uganda.

Undertaking rapid assessments in the COVID-19 context: learning from UNICEF South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Deepika Ganju; Tom Pellens

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021
In order to quickly and repeatedly assess the COVID-19 situation and its impacts, UNICEF Country Offices across South Asia conducted a variety of rapid assessments or/and similar real-time evidence generating exercises from the start of the pandemic in 2020. This resulted in innovation and learning to adapt evidence generation to the context, needs and data collection constraints imposed by the pandemic. Drawing on the documented experiences of nine rapid assessments, covering six countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), insights with regard to the design and implementation of rapid assessments in a pandemic context have been documented to facilitate cross-country learning. The focus was on: data collection and analysis methodology, sampling strategy, partnership and stakeholder involvement, agility and timeliness, and the dissemination and use of the findings. Nine case study briefs were produced as well as a cross-case synthesis report.
Targeted social protection in Arab countries before and during the Covid-19 crisis
The present technical paper provides an overview of targeted social protection programmes in selected Arab countries and discusses recent reforms these programmes have been undergoing, focusing on the approaches to identify poor and vulnerable population groups and management information systems utilized to administer these programmes. Additionally, the paper touches upon, how governments in the Arab region used social protection programmes and their respective delivery mechanisms to cushion the socio-economic fallout of Covid-19 prevention measures.
“I Must Work to Eat”: Covid-19, poverty, and child labor in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda
Institution: Human Rights Watch
Published: September 2021

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe had made remarkable progress in reducing child labor. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of children in child labor decreased by approximately 94 million between 2000 and 2016, representing a drop of 38 percent. But as the pandemic caused massive school closures and unprecedented loss of jobs and income for millions of families, many children have entered the workforce to help their families survive, while others have been forced to work longer hours or enter more precarious and exploitative situations. Some have become their families’ primary breadwinners after losing a caregiver to Covid-19. Some despair of ever going back to school. This report examines the rise in child labor and poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic in three countries: Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda, the impact on children’s rights, and government responses. Each of the three countries has made significant progress reducing poverty and child labor in recent decades. Each has also made an explicit commitment as a “pathfinder” country to accelerate efforts to eradicate child labor in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Changes in adolescents’ psychosocial functioning and well-being as a consequence of long-term COVID-19 restrictions

AUTHOR(S)
Nóra Kerekes; Kourosh Bador; Anis Sfendla (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This work studied self-reports from adolescents on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their behaviors, relationships, mood, and victimization. Data collection was conducted between September 2020 and February 2021 in five countries (Sweden, the USA, Serbia, Morocco, and Vietnam). In total, 5114 high school students (aged 15 to 19 years, 61.8% females) responded to our electronic survey. A substantial proportion of students reported decreased time being outside (41.7%), meeting friends in real life (59.4%), and school performance (30.7%), while reporting increased time to do things they did not have time for before (49.3%) and using social media to stay connected (44.9%). One third of the adolescents increased exercise and felt that they have more control over their life. Only a small proportion of adolescents reported substance use, norm-breaking behaviors, or victimization. The overall COVID-19 impact on adolescent life was gender-specific: we found a stronger negative impact on female students. The results indicated that the majority of adolescents could adapt to the dramatic changes in their environment. However, healthcare institutions, municipalities, schools, and social services could benefit from the findings of this study in their work to meet the needs of those young people who signaled worsened psychosocial functioning, increased stress, and victimization.
Cumulative risk exposure and social isolation as correlates of carer and child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: an online study with families from various Europeans countries

AUTHOR(S)
Ana Isabel Pereira; Peter Muris; Magda Sofia Roberto (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
This study adopted a cumulative risk approach to examine the relations between various domains of risk factors (i.e., social isolation and home confinement, other pandemic-related risk factors, and pre-existing psychosocial risk factors) and carers’ and children’s mental health during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. The sample consisted of 1475 carers of 6- to 16-year-old children and adolescents residing in five European countries (Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania, Spain, and The Netherlands) who completed an online survey.
Global characteristics and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents with cancer (GRCCC): a cohort study

AUTHOR(S)
Sheena Mukkada; Nickhill Bhakta; Guillermo L. Chantada (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: The Lancet Oncology

Previous studies have shown that children and adolescents with COVID-19 generally have mild disease. Children and adolescents with cancer, however, can have severe disease when infected with respiratory viruses. In this study, we aimed to understand the clinical course and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents with cancer. We did a cohort study with data from 131 institutions in 45 countries. We created the Global Registry of COVID-19 in Childhood Cancer to capture de-identified data pertaining to laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and adolescents (<19 years) with cancer or having received a haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. There were no centre-specific exclusion criteria. The registry was disseminated through professional networks through email and conferences and health-care providers were invited to submit all qualifying cases. Data for demographics, oncological diagnosis, clinical course, and cancer therapy details were collected.

The genes road: impact of migration on newborn screening and health amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Mediterranean region

AUTHOR(S)
Abdullahi Tunde Aborode; Christos Tsagkaris; Ajagbe Abayomi Oyeyemi (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Nearly two-thirds of migrants residing in camps in Europe are women and children. Many of these children, being born on the way without essential newborns screening, are at some point admitted to pediatric wards in asylum countries. With hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, taking appropriate care of newborns becomes a considerable burden. In this frame, prevention, in the form of adequate newborn screening, emerges as a better and more feasible strategy than healing.
SARS-CoV-2 infection risk during delivery of childhood vaccination campaigns: a modelling study

AUTHOR(S)
Simon R. Procter; Kaja Abbas; Stefan Flasche (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: BMC Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of immunisation services globally. Many countries have postponed vaccination campaigns out of concern about infection risks to the staff delivering vaccination, the children being vaccinated, and their families. The World Health Organization recommends considering both the benefit of preventive campaigns and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission when making decisions about campaigns during COVID-19 outbreaks, but there has been little quantification of the risks. This study modelled excess SARS-CoV-2 infection risk to vaccinators, vaccinees, and their caregivers resulting from vaccination campaigns delivered during a COVID-19 epidemic. It used population age structure and contact patterns from three exemplar countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Brazil). It combined an existing compartmental transmission model of an underlying COVID-19 epidemic with a Reed-Frost model of SARS-CoV-2 infection risk to vaccinators and vaccinees. It explored how excess risk depends on key parameters governing SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, and aspects of campaign delivery such as campaign duration, number of vaccinations, and effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) and symptomatic screening.

Neonatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic - a global survey of parents’ experiences regarding infant and family-centred developmental care

AUTHOR(S)
Johanna Kostenzer; Julia Hoffmann; Charlotte von Rosenstiel-Pulver (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affect provision and quality of neonatal care. This global study explores parents’ experiences regarding the impact of the restrictions on key characteristics of infant and family-centred developmental care (IFCDC) during the first year of the pandemic. For this cross-sectional study, a pre-tested online survey with 52 questions and translated into 23 languages was used to collect data between August and November 2020. Parents of sick or preterm infants born during the pandemic and receiving special/intensive care were eligible for participation. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and statistical testing based on different levels of restrictive measures.
Building resilient education systems beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: second set of considerations: version July 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Laetitia Antonowicz; Parmosivea Soobrayan; Sarah Fuller

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2021

Education has been significantly disrupted in Europe and Central Asia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unequal access to and varied quality of remote and hybrid learning during the first 18 months of the pandemic have slowed students’ learning and widened equity gaps between students. The pandemic has also significantly impacted the well-being and mental health of students, teachers and parents. UNICEF has advocated for schools to be among the last institutions to close and the first to reopen when it is safe to do so and has called for joint coordination across sectors and partners to keep schools open and children, teachers and families safe. This document, Building resilient education systems beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: Second set of considerations for school reopening, aims to support education decision-makers at national, local and school levels to plan for education recovery and normalisation following the 2020 school closures and continuing education disruption in 2021. It provides a set of considerations to address the most pressing priorities and mitigate the most significant risks to ensure that all children and young people participate in high-quality, inclusive and safe learning. The Considerations apply to access, learning, well-being, safety in schools and nutrition.

COVID-19 behavioural drivers and patterns: a longitudinal assessment from the South Asia region

AUTHOR(S)
JohnBaptist Bwanika; Tom Pellens; Esther Kaggwa

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: July 2021
In response to the need for social and behavioural data to inform risk communication and community engagement during COVID-19, the community rapid assessment (CRA) initiative was implemented by UNICEF in four countries in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan). Through a time-series approach, the CRAs aim to provide rapid and consistent data on citizen perceptions and behaviours; underlying drivers and barriers; access to information and trust; vaccine acceptance; coping strategies; and evolving needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data across countries were synthesized and analysed to measure associations between outcomes of interest (e.g. behavioural practices) and a set of respondent characteristics. Initial analysis used data from Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan covering the period August to December 2020 (presented in an interim report with early findings). This was next expanded to also cover the India CRA and data up to April 2021.
School closures and regional policies to mitigate learning loss due to COVID-19: a focus on the Asia-Pacific
Institution: UNESCO - Institute of Statistics
Published: July 2021

Global school closures as a result of COVID-19 have caused learning losses for millions of children despite efforts to deploy remote learning options. Greater economic insecurity among families may also affect school enrolment as many struggle to pay school fees, or require children to work to supplement family income. Ultimately, this will lead to rising dropout rates, estimated to be as much as 4% in a region where 128 million children and young people were already out of school before COVID-19. The largest number of learners at risk reside in South and West Asia. Together, the education and economic fallout from the pandemic threaten progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal for education (SDG 4). Even prior to the COVID-19 disruptions, progress towards SDG 4 was lagging in many countries in the Asia-Pacific and without significant contributions to education finance, the pandemic threatens to push the region even further behind. This report breaks down the effects of school closures. It considers, for example, how many schools were closed, and when, across the Asia-Pacific, and the effects on different levels of education from early childhood education, through to primary and secondary school. The report analyses country efforts to implement remote learning, and strategies to mitigate learning losses as the proportion of students expected to fall below minimum proficiency levels is expected to rise.

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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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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.