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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Mothers’ and fathers’ parenting attitudes during COVID-19

Lisa K. Forbes; Margaret R. Lamar; Megan Speciale (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Current Psychology
Attitudes about parenting are derived from early socialization of gender role norms and often include intensive parenting beliefs, which give mothers an outsized role in parenting. This study examined the differences in intensive parenting beliefs among cisgender mothers and fathers during the United States COVID-19 response. Data from a sample of 1048 mothers and fathers were collected during March and April 2020 to understand parenting beliefs. Results indicated that some demographic factors, including gender and ethnicity, impact intensive parenting beliefs. Additionally, the number of COVID-19 cases in a state, along with school closure length, was related to intensive parenting beliefs.
Perceived family adaptability and cohesion and depressive symptoms: a comparison of adolescents and parents during COVID-19 pandemic

Mengxue Li; Lili Li; Feng Wu (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

This study aimed to compare the differences of depressive symptoms and perceived family cohesion and adaptability between adolescents and parents during the pandemic; to explore the association between depressive symptoms and family cohesion and adaptability. A total of 8,940 adolescents (45.77% males; Mean age=15.31±0.018 years old) and their parents (24.34% males; Mean age=40.78±0.60 years old) from Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China, participated in the survey and completed several questionnaires online.

Subjective wellbeing in parents during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia

Elizabeth M. Westrupp; Mark A. Stokes; Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Psychosomatic Research
This paper aimed to examine (1) the subjective wellbeing of Australian parents raising children and adolescents (0–18 years) during April 2020 ‘stage three’ COVID-19 restrictions, in comparison with parents assessed over 18-years prior to the pandemic; and (2) socio-demographic and COVID-19 predictors of subjective wellbeing during the pandemic.
Emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic: parents experiences and perspectives

Ozge Misirli; Funda Ergulec

Published: March 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
he coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused an emergency transform from traditional to distance learning at all levels of education, which is called emergency remote teaching. To explore parents’ views on students’ experiences of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their experience and perspectives toward remote teaching during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to parents who have at least one child who had attended a face-to-face learning environment prior to school closures and started remote teaching during the pandemic. 983 parents participated in the study. The parents’ views on students’ experiences of remote teaching during the COVID19 pandemic, their experiences and perspectives toward remote teaching were discussed. The results suggested that the remote teaching process has been challenging for both students and parents.
A recipe for madness: parenthood in the era of Covid‐19

Laurel Elder; Steven Greene

Published: March 2021   Journal: Social Science Quarterly

This article seeks to understand the economic, mental health, and political impacts on American parents in the era of Covid‐19. It draws on survey data from a diverse national sample collected in September 2020 and employs multivariate analysis to explore how Covid‐19 has uniquely affected the attitudes and life experiences of American parents.

COVID-19 exposure and family impact scales: factor structure and initial psychometrics

Anne E. Kazak; Melissa Alderfer; Paul T. Enlow

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology
In response to the rapidly unfolding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in spring 2020, a caregiver-report measure was developed aiming to understand the extent to which children and families were exposed to events related to COVID-19 and their perceptions of its impact. This article reports on the factor structure and psychometric properties of this measure.
Psychospiritual care for parents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Randy G. Quendan; Reiner B. Lingad; Ivan Efreaim A. Gozum

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Health
In a recent article, energy poverty increases the likelihood of depression in parents. The authors responded that this situation must be given attention because parental well-being can influence child development and outcomes. With this, this paper proposes that an avenue that can be done is by providing a psychospiritual care for parents especially during the COVID-19 pandemic in which anxieties among family members arise.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on behavioral and emotional aspects and daily routines of Arab Israeli children

Rafat Ghanamah; Hazar Eghbaria-Ghanamah

Published: March 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Negative psychological effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been identified in adults and children, such as anxiety and sleep disorders. However, research about the impact of this pandemic on children from ethnical minorities is scarce. We tested the effects of COVID-19 outbreak on psychological aspects and daily routines among Arab Israeli Children. An online crosssectional survey was conducted among Arab Israeli parents, including behavioral and emotional aspects questionnaire and questions addressing using of screens, sleep, and physical activities.
Sleep and the general behavior of infants and parents during the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: comparison with 2019 data

Yasuaki Shinomiya; Arika Yoshizaki; Emi Murata (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Children
This study compared cross-sectional data from online surveys describing the sleep behavior of infants and caregivers in March 2020 (the school closure period during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic; n = 295, 23.8 ± 3.8 months old) and March 2019 (before the pandemic; n = 2017, 24.2 ± 3.8 months old).
Changes in diet, activity, weight, and wellbeing of parents during COVID-19 lockdown

Rachel G. Curtis; Timothy Olds; Ty Ferguson (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Plos One
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted lifestyle behaviour as public health initiatives aim to “flatten the curve”. This study examined changes in activity patterns (physical activity, sedentary time, sleep), recreational physical activities, diet, weight and wellbeing from before to during COVID-19 restrictions in Adelaide, Australia. This study used data from a prospective cohort of Australian adults (parents of primary school-aged children; n = 61, 66% female, aged 41±6 years).
COVID-19-related health worries compound the psychiatric distress experienced by families of high-risk infants

Cindy H. Liu; Leena Mittal; Carmina Erdei

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of Perinatology

Parents of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants are at high risk for perinatal mental health problems, which can impact infant and family outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major environmental stressor that may compound family psychiatric distress in the NICU, with heightened health-related worries predisposing NICU mothers to exacerbation of mental health issues. This study examines how COVID-19-related health worries might moderate the effect of the NICU experience on maternal mental health symptoms.

Families in the COVID-19 pandemic: parental stress, parent mental health and the occurrence of adverse childhood experiences—results of a representative survey in Germany

Claudia Calvano; Lara Engelke; Jessica Di Bella (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic is highly challenging, with parents having to meet various demands simultaneously. An increase in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) has been widely predicted, but empirical evidence is still scarce. This study aimed to (1) generate representative data on pandemic-related stress, parental stress, general stress, parental subjective and mental health, and the occurrence of ACEs; (2) identify risk factors for an increase in ACEs, and (3) provide qualitative data on parents’ experiences. A representative survey was conducted in Germany in August 2020 with 1024 parents of underage children (Mage=41.70, 50.9% female).
The effects of school closures on SARS-CoV-2 among parents and teachers

Jonas Vlachos; Edvin Hertegard; Helena B. Svaleryd

Published: March 2021   Journal: PNAS
To reduce the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), most countries closed schools, despite uncertainty if school closures are an effective containment measure. At the onset of the pandemic, Swedish upper-secondary schools moved to online instruction, while lower-secondary schools remained open. This allows for a comparison of parents and teachers differently exposed to open and closed schools, but otherwise facing similar conditions. Leveraging rich Swedish register data, this paper connects all students and teachers in Sweden to their families and study the impact of moving to online instruction on the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
Prospective examination of adolescent sleep patterns and behaviors before and during COVID-19

Stephen P. Becker; Melissa R. Dvorsky; Rosanna Breaux (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Sleep
This study aimed to prospectively examine changes in adolescent sleep before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in adolescents with and without ADHD. Participants were 122 adolescents (ages 15-17; 61% male; 48% with ADHD). Parents reported on adolescents‘ sleep duration and difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep (DIMS); adolescents reported on sleep patterns, sleep duration, delayed sleep/wake behaviors, and daytime sleepiness before (September 2019-February 2020) and during (May-June 2020) COVID-19. Adolescents also reported on their health behaviors, COVID-19-related negative affect, and difficulties concentrating due to COVID-19.
COVID‐19 impact on psychological outcomes of parents, siblings and children with intellectual disability: longitudinal before and during lockdown design

Tom Bailey; Richard P. Hastings; V. Totsika

Published: February 2021   Journal: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Parents of children with intellectual disability (ID) report comparatively lower levels of well‐being than parents of children without ID. Similarly, children with ID, and to a lesser extent their siblings, are reported to show comparatively higher levels of behaviour and emotional problems. Psychological problems may be accentuated by restrictions associated with the COVID‐19 pandemic, due to increased social, caring and economic stressors and reduced social support. However, existing studies have not been able to examine the impact of COVID‐19 restrictions accounting for pre‐COVID levels of well‐being in these families. In a naturalistic design, this study examined outcomes for parents, siblings and children with ID in a two‐wave longitudinal study where Wave 2 data were gathered for some families before and some during COVID‐19 restrictions.
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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.