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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 330
Mental health and social support of caregivers of children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disorders during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Chongying Wang

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports

Previous studies showed that caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disorders had higher levels of parenting stress, anxiety and depression. In the present study, the author examined the caregivers’ mental health and investigated the mediating role of social support between symptoms severity and parenting stress during COVID-19. During 20 March to 8 April 2020, 1932 caregivers of children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disorders from China were enrolled to fill in a sociodemographic questionnaire, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and Social Support Rating Scale. The author also collected children's disability severity symptoms and behavioral problems.

Innovative methods for remote assessment of neurobehavioral development

AUTHOR(S)
Hanna C. Gustafsson; Anna S. Young; Gayle Stamos (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, research institutions across the globe have modified their operations in ways that have limited or eliminated the amount of permissible in-person research interaction. In order to prevent the loss of important developmentally-timed data during the pandemic, researchers have quickly pivoted and developed innovative methods for remote assessment of research participants. This manuscript describes methods developed for remote assessment of a parent child cohort with a focus on examining the perinatal environment, behavioral and biological indicators of child neurobehavioral development, parent-child interaction, as well as parent and child mental and physical health.
Pandemic-related parental distress: examining associations with family meals and child feeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Caroline E. West; Clarissa V. Shields; Kara V. Hultstrand (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Children's Health Care
The present study examined associations between COVID-19-related negative impact and parental distress and aspects of the home food environment. Parents (N= 189) of children ages 7–17 completed an online survey assessing COVID-19-related impact and distress, household meals, feeding practices, and weight concern. Results suggested an inverse association between impact and distress and structured meals and positive associations with both restrictive feeding practices and weight concern. Food insecurity significantly moderated the association between impact and structured meals and remains a necessary target for intervention. Future research should explore factors that may mitigate the impact of COVID-19-related distress on the home food environment.
The impact of COVID-19 on child welfare-involved families: implications for parent–child reunification and child welfare professionals

AUTHOR(S)
Abbie E. Goldberg; David Brodzinsky; Jacqueline Singer (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children and parents involved in the child welfare system and the professionals working with these families. Using survey data collected August–September of 2020, this mixed-methods study examined the perspectives of 196 child welfare-involved professionals (77 attorneys, 99 caseworkers, and 20 therapists) in the United States about the impact of COVID-19 on parents of origin, children, foster parents, and child welfare professionals. Particular attention was paid to the implications of COVID-19 and associated challenges for parent–child contact and reunification. With respect to professional stresses, more than half of participants worried about their own personal safety and health amidst COVID-19, and more than three-quarters expressed concerns about the safety and well-being of child welfare-involved families.
Mothers’ preferences for their children’s format for return to school during the Coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic: are there differences between full-time employed mothers and mothers who are not employed?

AUTHOR(S)
Christine A. Limbers; Christina L. Pavlov

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
The present study assessed factors associated with maternal preferences for their children’s educational format (i.e., completely in-person, completely online/remote, or hybrid of in-person and online/remote) for return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether these associations differed between full-time employed mothers and mothers who were not employed. Participants were 911 mothers of school-aged children from the United States (full-time employed, n = 650; not employed, n = 261). Recruitment took place online via social media during Summer 2020. Questionnaires on school modality preference, maternal work status, and demographic characteristics were filled out online through Qualtrics.
Family disruption and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kammy K. Schmeer; Britt Singletary; Kelly M. Purtell (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
Using unique data from an economically and racially diverse sample of 448 caregivers with young children (ages 4–9 years) in Ohio, this study assesses multiple sources of family social and economic disruptions and their associations with parenting activities during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Caregivers reported extensive social and economic challenges during this time, while also increasing (on average) their time spent in play/learning activities. Time spent in discipline was less likely to increase during this period.
Parent–student relational turbulence, support processes, and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Timothy R. Worley; Madison Mucci-Ferris

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
In Spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced unexpected transitions for college students and their families. Informed by Relational Turbulence Theory, we examined associations among relational turbulence processes in students’ relationships with parents, social support seeking and reception, and mental health. Seven hundred forty-seven college students living at home with a parent completed an online survey during June 2020. Students’ self uncertainty, interference from parents, and relational turbulence were negatively associated with their support seeking and perceptions of support from parents, whereas facilitation from parents predicted increased support seeking and perceptions of support. In turn, support seeking and perceived support were negatively associated with students’ anxiety, depression, and stress. Finally, support processes mediated the association of turbulence with depression.
How parents share and limit their child’s access to information about COVID-19: a mixed methods online survey study

AUTHOR(S)
Marla A. Garcia de Avila; Bernie Carter; Lucy Blake (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Child Health Care
This study aimed to understand the role that parents play in sharing or limiting their child’s access to information about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A subset of data from an international mixed methods online survey study was analysed to elucidate the findings from Brazil. An online survey, conducted between April and June 2020, gathered closed and open text views from parents of children aged 7–12 years old. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative open text data were analysed using the three stages of the Bardin content analysis framework: pre-analysis (data organisation and initial full-content reading); exploration of the material (thematic coding to identify major motifs and develop thematic categories) and interpretation (treating the data as significant and valid). The sample consisted of 112 (89%) mothers and 14 (11%) fathers. The analysis of the parents open text resulted in two categories: ‘How parents share information with their children about COVID-19’ and ‘How parents limit information to their children about COVID-19’. Some parents reported adopting an honest and open approach on how they shared information with their children, whilst some parents chose to minimise their child’s access to information about the pandemic over concerns of the mortality related to COVID-19.
Small steps and stronger relationships: parents' experiences of homeschooling children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

AUTHOR(S)
Shannon Ludgate; Clair Mears; Carolyn Blackburn

Published: September 2021   Journal: Jorsen
During the current global pandemic, parents and carers in England and across the UK have been asked by the Government to ‘home school’ their child/ren, and a plethora of resources have been produced and made available to assist with this. The perceived detrimental effects of being absent from school have been a driver for the Government in ensuring that schools remain open for as long as possible, and the current pandemic situation is replete with narratives of ‘loss’. Little attention has been paid to any potential benefits for children and families of homeschooling or the opportunities it provides. This paper reports on a small-scale online survey that explored the experiences of parents’ homeschooling their child/ren with SEND during a global pandemic in England.
Rethinking autism spectrum disorder assessment for children during COVID-19 and beyond

AUTHOR(S)
Lonnie Zwaigenbaum; Somer Bishop; Wendy L. Stone (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Autism Research
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique challenges for families and caregivers, as well as for autism-focused clinicians, who are faced with providing a thorough and accurate evaluation of children's specific needs and diagnoses in the absence of in-person assessment tools. The shift to telehealth assessments has challenged clinicians to reconsider approaches and assumptions that underlie the diagnostic assessment process, and to adopt new ways of individualizing standard assessments according to family and child needs. Mandates for physical distancing have uncovered deficiencies in diagnostic practices for suspected autism and have illuminated biases that have posed obstacles preventing children and families from receiving the services that they truly need. This Commentary outlines several considerations for improving diagnostic practices as we move forward from the current pandemic and continue to strive to build an adaptable, sustainable, equitable, and family-centered system of care.
Strengthening lower-income families: Lessons learned from policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy B. Kanter; Deadric T. Williams; Amy J. Rauer

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Process
Families are navigating an unstable economy due to COVID-19. Financial stressors have the potential to strain intimate relationships and exacerbate prior inequities across lower-income families. Notably, the economic impact of COVID-19 disproportionately influenced Black and Latinx families. As a response to families' economic adversity during the pandemic, the federal government initiated the CARES Act. This type of federal response to lower-income families, however, is not new. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize and historicize previous and current efforts to mitigate the consequences of financial hardship on families by comparing the assumptions and efficacy of the Healthy Marriages Initiative and the CARES act.
Chaos during the COVID-19 outbreak: predictors of household chaos among low-income families during a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anna D. Johnson; Anne Martin; Anne Partika (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Relations

The objective of this study was to explore whether household chaos measured during the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted by prepandemic parental and household characteristics. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered children's home environments and routines due to stay-at-home orders, school closures, and economic shocks. These disruptions have been especially challenging for low-income families who have limited resources and have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Household chaos, which captures routines, organization, stability, noise, and crowding in the home, is a documented threat to parent functioning and positive child development. The pandemic has likely exacerbated household chaos, especially for low-income families.

Italian adolescents’ adjustment before and during the coronavirus disease 2019: A comparison between mothers’ and adolescents’ perception

AUTHOR(S)
Alessandra Babore; Mara Morelli; Carmen Trumello

Published: September 2021   Journal: British Journal of Clinical Psychology
The current cross-sectional study aimed to analyse adolescents’ adjustment during and before the lockdown caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, by evaluating levels of emotional problems and hyperactivity as referred by adolescents themselves. A further purpose was to compare adolescents’ and mothers’ perception about adolescents’ adjustment. Participants comprised 206 adolescents (50.5% females; mean age = 12.2; SD = 3.3) and their mothers (mean age = 43.9; SD = 5.9).
Analysis of the SPARK study COVID-19 parent survey: Early impact of the pandemic on access to services, child/parent mental health, and benefits of online services

AUTHOR(S)
Anjana Bhat

Published: September 2021   Journal: Autism Research
Children with ASD receive a multitude of educational, medical, and therapeutic services. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of these services came to a complete halt following strict lockdowns. Many services have resumed in a hybrid format using face to face and virtual modes of delivery. This study describes findings from the COVID-19 impact survey administered at the onset of the pandemic in a subgroup of families from the SPARK cohort (N = 6393), one of the largest ASD cohorts in the US. The differential early impact of COVID-19 on various subgroups of children with ASD and their families was examined. Caregivers of children and adolescents with ASD between 19 months and 18 years completed an online survey inquiring about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on access to services, parent concerns about the same, impact on child's ASD-related behaviors, child, and parent mental health, and the benefits/potential benefits of online/future online services.
The impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of caregivers of autistic children and youth: A scoping review

AUTHOR(S)
Vivian Lee; Carly Albaum; Paula Tablon Modica (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Autism Research
Caregivers and families of autistic people have experienced stress and increase in demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic that may have long-term negative consequences for both their own and their children's mental health. A scoping review was conducted to identify pandemic related demands experienced by caregivers and families of autistic children and youth. The review also consolidated information on coping strategies and parenting-related guidelines that have emerged to help parents meet these demands. Search strategies were approved by a research librarian and were conducted in peer-reviewed and gray literature databases between May 2020 and February 2021. Additional resources were solicited through author networks and social media. All articles were published between December 2019 and February 2021. Article summaries were charted, and a thematic analysis was conducted with confirmation of findings with our knowledge users. Twenty-three published articles and 14 pieces of gray literature were included in the review.
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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.