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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Play and learn: children's agency through the COVID-19 pandemic in Mozambique

Marina Di Napoli Pastore; Francesca Salvi

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children & Society
Social distancing, one of the measures adopted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, profoundly impacted on the lives of children. The consequences were, however, not homogenous. By focusing on the daily practices of 41 Mozambican children aged 3–10, this study considers how differences in socioeconomic backgrounds led children to respond to the social restrictions in ways that made sense to them. Inspired by Abebe (2019), it identifies how the interruptions of daily routines enabled specific instances of agency on children's part.
Playgroup families' experiences of play-based remote learning

Victoria Minson; Karen McLean

Published: November 2022   Journal: Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
This qualitative study aimed to investigate enablers and barriers facing community-playgroup families in the provision of play opportunities for children throughout periods of lockdown restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study used a capabilities approach, focussing specifically on the concepts of resources, capabilities and functionings. Using case study methodology, the study comprised two case studies and involved five community-playgroup families. Data methods included semi-structured interviews with playgroup families and the use of audio data from Zoom™ workshops conducted with families in each case study. A thematic approach to data analysis identified seven themes characterising identified enablers and barriers. These were: internet and networked technologies, ideas and information, routines and structure, relationships, space, everyday life, and support. Implications for how playgroups can support children and families in post pandemic times are discussed.
Adolescent psychological well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown: the role of leisure activities and online peer communication

Anna Di Norcia; Chiara Mascaro; Dora Bianch (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Current Psychology
The present study investigated the effects of leisure activities and online peer relationships on the development of psychological difficulties in adolescents during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Data were collected in April and May 2020. The parents of 1,020 Italian adolescents aged 14–18 (51.9% girls) completed questionnaires about the experiences and behaviors of their children before and during the lockdown. A moderation regression analysis was applied to test the research hypotheses.
Young children's lives in East London through the pandemic: relationships, activities and social worlds

Claire Cameron; Hanan Hauari; Katie Hollingworth (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Children & Society
Children's lives in the Covid-19 pandemic were subject to unparalleled restrictions on and disruption to their daily lives. This paper explores the day-to-day relational, social participation and activities of young children in one East London borough in early 2021, as told through qualitative interviews with their parents. This study adopts a social-ecological model of children's development, a child rights focused understanding of well-being, underpinned by an agentic view of both parents and children.
Children playing video games during COVID-19 in Spain

Carolina Escudero

Published: September 2022   Journal: Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal
As has been verified, those who spend more time playing video games are children and adolescents. The lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic increased the prolonged use of video games in this population. In this context it is possible to observe some risks of this use, one of them the symptoms of gaming disorder (GD). The objective of this study is to analyze video game habits and the possible impacts on children - aged between 7 and 10 years – gaming for more than 4 hours daily during confinement - the lockdown was announced on March 14, 2020 and lasted approximately three months.- in Spain.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 9 | Issue: 9 | No. of pages: 388-403 | Language: English | Topics: Mental Health | Tags: child mental health, COVID-19 response, lockdown, new media, play, social distance | Countries: Spain
Loot boxes use, video gaming, and gambling in adolescents: Results from a path analysis before and during COVID-19-pandemic-related lockdown in Italy

Caterina Primi; Francesco Sanson; Marta Vecchiato (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Loot Boxes (LBs), i.e., virtual items embedded within video games with numerous features reminiscent of gambling, are increasingly widespread among adolescents. LB use is associated with problem gambling in youth, but few studies have been conducted on the association between LB use and gambling behavior considering adolescents. Thus, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are not clear. As LB use is a significant and positive risk factor for video gaming severity, and video gaming is associated with problem gambling, we hypothesized that LB use would be related to gambling frequency and problem gambling through the intermediary role of video gaming frequency and problem video gaming.
The relationship of parents' parenting patterns with online game addiction during the Covid-19 pandemic at SMK Mekanika Cirebon

Siti Lia Amaliah; Iman Permana

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal Eduvest

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the activities of parents and children have changed, many parents who experience stress due to their business experiencing a decrease in income and even going out of business, while some have to work at home using the WFH (Work From Home) system set by other companies and institutions. . Stress conditions experienced by parents have a relationship with the parenting style given by parents to their children, there is a statistically significant relationship between the stress conditions of parents and the parenting style of parents for their children The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between parenting and online game addiction at SMK Mekanika Cirebon. The method used is descriptive quantitative with survey research. Data collection by questionnaire. 220 Participants were taken by proportional random sampling. Data analysis with simple regression test method with the help of SPSS.

Game‐related behaviors among children and adolescents after school closure during the COVID‐19 pandemic: a cross‐sectional study

Naoki Yamamoto; Yoshiro Morimoto; Hirohisa Kinoshita (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences Reports

Increased exposure to digital gaming content among youth in recent years has raised serious health concerns. Social restrictions such as school closures, imposed worldwide because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, may increase exposure to gaming and lead to addictive gaming behavior in young people. This study investigated gaming behaviors among Japanese students during COVID-19 school closures. Students completed questionnaires regarding their living conditions, game-related behaviors, diagnosis of Internet addiction, psychological difficulties, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents perceptions of online physical activity and leisure with early years children during Covid-19 and beyond

Georgia Allen; Philippa Velija

Published: August 2022   Journal: Leisure Studies
Prior to Covid-19, businesses offering enrichment activities for pre-school aged children were saturating the early years (0–5 years) market. However, the pandemic caused sudden changes to family routines with regular leisure activities cancelled. Using Lareau’s theory of concerted cultivation as a framework, this study explored how physical activity (PA) was managed by parents of pre-school children and how routines changed during the pandemic. A UK national online survey was completed by 925 parents. Sixteen tailored, follow-up semi-structured interviews were undertaken with parents.
Parents' attitudes regarding their children's play and sport during COVID-19

Monika Szpunar; Leigh M. Vanderloo; Brianne A. Bruijns (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Health Education & Behavior
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures have interrupted the daily routines of parents and children. The purpose of this study was to explore parents’ attitudes regarding their children’s play/sport during COVID-19. A secondary objective was to explore the influence of parent demographics and parent-reported physical activity levels and risk tolerance on these attitudes. Ontario parents of children aged 12 and younger completed an online survey (August—December 2020) that assessed their attitudes (grouped by support, safety and socialization-related attitudes; n = 14 items) regarding their child(ren)’s play/sport, their physical activity levels (n = 2 items), and demographic details (n = 16 items). Two open-ended items were used to gather a deeper understanding of attitudes. Parents’ tolerance for risk was measured via the validated Tolerance of Risk in Play Scale. Descriptive statistics were calculated to describe attitudes and risk tolerance. Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator regressions were conducted to examine factors influencing parents’ attitudes. Multiple linear models were computed using the identified predictors for each attitude category. Deductive content analysis was undertaken on open-ended responses. Participants (n = 819) reported the highest scores for safety-related attitude items (M = 3.54, SD = .63) followed by socialization and support, which all influenced attitudes regarding children’s play/sport (p < .05).
Game over? Perceptions of children's and adolescents' play and leisure during the COVID-19 lockdown

Laura Camas; María del Prado Martín-Ondarza; Silvia Sánchez-Serrano

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Play
The restrictions adopted due to the COVID-19 health crisis established a new normality in the lives of children and adolescents in Spain. This study aims to explore the perception of adult caregivers and children and adolescents (from now CAs) regarding time, space, company, activities, screen time, and those aspects missed and desired during the lockdown. To do so, two online questionnaires were designed and distributed through foundations, schools and social networks. The sample consists of 270 adult caregivers and 126 CAs.
On what tasks did children between the ages of 3 and 12 years spend their time during the COVID-19 pandemic? An international comparative study between Ibero-America and Europe

Alberto Sanmiguel-Rodríguez; Luisa Zagalaz-Sánchez; Víctor Arufe-Giráldez (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Children
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 meant, in many countries, the establishment of a period of confinement in which families were forced to restrict movement and social contacts with the consequent risk of inactivity. Our objective as to analyze the degree of psychosocial well-being, sociodemographic aspects and use of technological means depending on the educational level of the parents. The sample consisted of 2316 children aged between 3 and 12 years (M = 7.70; SD = 2.86). For the analysis and treatment of the data, the statistical software SPSS 25.0 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY, USA) was used.
Child's play: examining the association between time spent playing and child mental health

Helen F. Dodd; Rachel J. Nesbit; Lily FitzGibbon

Published: May 2022   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
It is theorised that adventurous play offers learning opportunities that help to prevent mental health problems in children. In this study, data from two samples is used to examine associations between the time that children aged 5–11 years spent playing adventurously and their mental health. For comparison, time spent playing unadventurously and time spent playing outdoors are also examined. Study 1 includes a sample of 417 parents, Study 2 includes data from a nationally representative sample of 1919 parents. Small, significant associations between adventurous play and internalising problems, as well as positive affect during the first UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown, were found; children who spend more time playing adventurously had fewer internalising problems and more positive affect during the Covid-19 lockdown. Study 2 showed that these associations were stronger for children from lower income families than for children from higher income families.
Shifts in self-reported physical activity, sedentary behavior, and play among lower-socioeconomic children during the COVID-19 pandemic: a repeated cross-sectional study

Kylie Wilson; Annette Schmidt; Aaron Hess (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: American Journal of Health Promotion

The lack of in-person schooling and participation in structured recreation activities during the COVID-19 pandemic may have altered children’s movement behaviors. This study assessed changes in children’s self-reported in school and out of school physical activity, sedentary behavior, and play before and during the pandemic. A repeated cross-sectional online survey was administered in February 2020 (pre-pandemic, in-person) and 2021 (during pandemic, remote). Children attended an urban public school district in Phoenix (AZ) serving a low-income population. Students in grades 4–8 completed the survey in 2020 (n = 253, 62% response rate) and 2021 (n = 261, 77% response rate). The survey included items from the Youth Activity Profile and three additional questions about play.

Hiding and seeking: children's lived experiences during COVID-19

Donna Koller; Maxime Grossi; Meta van den Heuvel (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Children & Society
A qualitative study explored the perspectives and lived experiences of school-age children during COVID-19 using a child rights lens. Twenty children between the ages of 7 and 12 participated in open-ended, virtual interviews. Our hermeneutic analysis found children's right to play and education were severely compromised leaving children to navigate between two worlds: the adult world of public health restrictions and that of their childhood. Despite challenges and lost childhood opportunities, children emerged as competent social agents and responsible citizens. Planning for future pandemics should include policies and practices that balance public health needs with the protection of children's rights.
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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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