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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 impact of financial and psychological wellbeing on children’s physical activity and screen-based activities during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Louise C. Mâsse; Iyoma Y. Edache; Mark Pitblado (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health measures to combat it, have strained the finances of many families. While parents transitioned to working from home, children transitioned to learning virtually, limiting their organized social and physical activities. Families also reduced the frequency and size of gatherings, impacting psychological wellbeing. This study sought to understand the influence of financial wellbeing on children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities via mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing. In May and June of 2020, 254 Grade 7 Canadian children and their mothers completed separate online surveys assessing family financial wellbeing, mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing, and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the indirect effects of mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing on the relationship between financial wellbeing and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Final models were adjusted for potential confounders.
Play behaviors in children during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review of the literature

AUTHOR(S)
Anastasia Kourti; Androniki Stavridou; Eleni Panagouli (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Children
Play is a key factor for children’s healthy psychological, emotional, social, and cognitive development. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been postulated that children’s play was affected, not only regarding the time children spent playing but also in terms of the qualitative characteristics of play. The aim of this review was to investigate how children’s play has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A review was conducted in the PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE, SCOPUS, ERIC, PsycInfo, and JSTOR databases up to 6 December 2020. Furthermore, references of eligible studies as well as of relevant articles were searched using a snowballing technique.
Leisure and problem gaming behaviors among children and adolescents during school closures caused by COVID-19 in Hong Kong: quantitative cross-sectional survey study

AUTHOR(S)
Shimin Zhu; Yanqiong Zhuang; Paul Lee (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: JMIR Serious Games
School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated students’ loneliness, addictive gaming behaviors, and poor mental health. These mental health issues confronting young people are of public concern. This study aimed to examine the associations between loneliness and gaming addiction behaviors among young people in Hong Kong and to investigate how familial factors, psychological distress, and gender differences moderate these relationships.
Development and evaluation of a new measure of children's play: the Children's Play Scale (CPS)

AUTHOR(S)
Helen F. Dodd; Rachel J. Nesbit; Laura R. Maratchi

Published: May 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health
There is increasing recognition of the importance of children’s play from a public health perspective, given the links between play and children’s physical and mental health. The present research aimed to develop and evaluate a new parent-report questionnaire that measures the time children spend playing across a range of places and includes a supplement to evaluate how adventurously children play.
Depression and anxiety symptoms associated with internet gaming disorder before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Zhaojun Teng; Halley M. Pontes; Qian Nie (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of behavioral addictions
The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profoundly impacted aspects of human life globally. Playing videogames has been encouraged by several organizations to help individuals cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures. This longitudinal study was the first to examine gaming in the context of the pandemic and its association with depressive and anxiety symptoms. The sample comprised 1,778 children and adolescents (50.7% male) who were part of the Project of School Mental Health in Southwest China.
Loss of childcare and classroom teaching during the Covid-19-related lockdown in spring 2020: A longitudinal study on consequences on leisure behavior and schoolwork at home

AUTHOR(S)
Tanja Poulain; Christof Meigen; Carolin Sobek (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Plos One

In spring 2020, the first Covid-19-related lockdown included the closing of kindergartens and schools. Home schooling, the lack of social contacts with peers and the care of the children at home posed an enormous challenge for many families. The present study investigated the leisure behavior of 285 one- to 10-year-old German children at two time points (t1 and t2) during the Covid-19-related lockdown in spring 2020. In the subsample of primary school children (n = 102), we also explored children’s attitudes towards schoolwork at home. Analyses focused on the change of behavior from t1 to t2, on differences in these changes depending on socio-economic status (SES), and on associations of behavior with SES, the number of children at home, and the frequency of receiving learning materials from school.

Prosocial skills development in children and social value creation during COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
Ahmad Arslan; Lauri Haapanen; Shlomo Tarba

Published: March 2021   Journal: Strategic Change
Development of prosocial skills in children in their middle childhood and the role of computer games is analyzed in our case study based on an entrepreneurial venture (School of Gaming, Oulu). This venture was launched almost at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe. It has operated successfully during COVID-19, not only in Finland but also has expanded to Indonesia in this limited time period. It created social value by offering the children a possibility to be with their friends during the lockdown as well as develop skills like empathy, sharing, and trust. The case study further revealed that affordable pricing, the use of professional gaming instructors and adaptation played an important role in organizational success during this tough time period.
Physical activity, screen time and the COVID-19 school closures in Europe – an observational study in 10 countries

AUTHOR(S)
Viktoria A. Kovacs; Gregor Starc; Mirko Brandes (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: European Journal of Sport Science
To date, few data on how the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions affected children’s physical activity in Europe have been published. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of physical activity and screen time from a large sample of European children during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform strategies and provide adequate mitigation measures. An online survey was conducted using convenience sampling from 15 May to 22 June, 2020.
The impact of COVID-19 on playwork practice

AUTHOR(S)
Pete King

Published: January 2021   Journal: Child Care in Practice
This study used a semi-structured approach interviewing 22 participants currently working in playwork. Participants were asked what they thought was the purpose of playwork and comment on their playwork practice because of the lockdown from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom (UK). Using thematic analysis, three purposes of playwork practice were identified: advocacy; compensatory and facilitation. In relation to their playwork, the lockdown resulted in playwork practice stopped and staff being furloughed. For others, playwork practice continued which was either non-face--to face by providing resources or there was a change of focus, for example providing online play sessions or working in a “hub” located in schools reflecting the three themes identified as the purpose of playwork. This study identified the adaptable and versatile nature of playwork that has enabled some form of playwork practice to still operate being facilitated more as a compensatory outreach provision, whether virtually or supplying or resources during the COVID-19 lockdown and the importance of maintaining relationships with the children and families in the communities where playwork provision so continuing to advocate the importance of play in children's lives.
A rapid review of the impact of quarantine and restricted environments on children's play and the role of play in children's health

AUTHOR(S)
Kelsey M. Graber; Elizabeth M. Byrne; Emily J. Goodacre (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Child: Care, Health and Development
Amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic, there is uncertainty regarding potential lasting impacts on children's health and educational outcomes. Play, a fundamental part of childhood, may be integral to children's health during crises. We undertook a rapid review of the impact of quarantine, isolation and other restrictive environments on play and whether play mitigates adverse effects of such restrictions. Fifteen peer‐reviewed studies were identified, spanning hospitals, juvenile and immigration detention and refugee camps. We found evidence of changes in children's access to play in crises and quarantine. These studies indicated how play might support children enduring isolation but lacked robust investigations of play as an intervention in mitigating impacts of restriction.
COVID-19 social isolation in Brazil: effects on the physical activity routine of families with children

AUTHOR(S)
Cristina dos Santos Cardoso De Sá; André Pombo; Carlos Luz (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Revista paulista de pediatria
This study aims to identify how Brazilian families with children aged under 13 years face the period of social isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially regarding the time spent on physical activity (PA), intellectual activity, games, outdoor activities and screen. An anonymous online survey was launched on March 24, 2020 in Brazil to assess how families with children aged up to 12 years are adjusting their daily routines to this situation. In the survey, each family reported the daily time each child spent in sedentary activity (sum of intellectual activities, play time on screen, playing without PA) and PA (sum of playing with PA and PA).
A rapid review of the impact of quarantine and restricted environments on children’s play and the role of play in children’s health

AUTHOR(S)
Kelsey M. Graber; Elizabeth M. Byrne; Emily J. Goodacre (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Child: Care, Health and Development

Amidst the COVID‐19 pandemic, there is uncertainty regarding potential lasting impacts on children’s health and educational outcomes. Play, a fundamental part of childhood, may be integral to children’s health during crises. This paper undertook a rapid review of the impact of quarantine, isolation, and other restrictive environments on play and whether play mitigates adverse effects of such restrictions.

Every child is a national (playing) asset: a portrait of a Soweto boy's contradictory worlds of play and performance before and during the Covid-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Shafika Isaacs

Published: September 2020   Journal: Southern African Review of Education
This paper deliberately places under a microscope, a township boychild named Kabelo, who is labelled in the formal education system as underperforming, learning-disabled and cognitively challenged. Kabelo epitomises the pattern of boy academic underperformance in South Africa and worldwide, particularly in reading and literacy. This pattern feeds a dominant narrative about systemic learning deficits that risks the stigmatisation of academically underperforming children whose lives intersect with stubborn structural inequality, and renders them invisible as capable, playful children.
Cite this research | Vol.: 26 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 116-133 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: child education, play, social inequality | Countries: South Africa
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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.