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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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31 - 45 of 62
Children’s indoor and outdoor play as potential correlates of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran: a brief report on national survey

Mohse Rajabi; G. Ali Afrooz; Gulfisha Qureshi (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Play
Over the past 16 months, Iranian children have had their schools closed. Prolonged COVID-19-related restrictions and limited play activities can have significant mental health consequences in children. Using a cross-sectional design, a sample of Iranian parents (n = 1182) of children aged between 5 and 11 years completed an online survey including: Children's Play Scale (CPS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule Short Form (I-PANAS-SF), and the Strength and Difficulties Questionaries (SDQ). Parents reported that their child spent significantly longer time playing outside at home and inside at home than anywhere else. Children were also reported to spend the minimum number of hours at indoor play centres, near water, green spaces, and playgrounds. Compared to the pre-COVID-19 context, significant declines in outdoor play activities during the pandemic were reported for 83% of children.
‘Stranger-danger’* – Israeli children playing with the concept of ‘Corona’ and its’ impact during the COVID-19 pandemic

Esther Cohen; Esther Bamberger

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Play
This study examines reports of 118 parents about the play activities of Israeli children aged 3-9 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents responded to online questionnaires describing children's play, creative activities and the family's situation. Qualitative analyses revealed changes in both the nature of the children's play activities and in the expressed themes. Findings highlight positive gains in children's development and family relationships. The varied and expansive nature of play seemed to support the children's coping with lockdown and social distancing restrictions. Themes emerging from socio-dramatic play show attempts to deal with fear of coronavirus by seeking imaginary protection and refuge from it, and by attempts to defeat it. Of note are the use of humor and cynicism alongside acts of concern and altruism towards grandparents. This study contributes evidence as to the adaptive abilities of children and the self-healing functions of play, and denote the need to promote them.
‘It was peers and playgrounds that were missing, not play’: young children in Northern Indian homes during the pandemic

Nandita Chaudhary; Shraddha Kapoor; Punya Pillai

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Play
Play during early years gives rhythm to children’s lives, and although we make many investments in children’s play in our modern world, it is also true that children play under all conditions, even the most difficult ones. In recent times, social encounters and physical mobility have become impacted, and fear and uncertainty have become constant companions. This article explored children’s play during the pandemic through a series of interviews with adults and children in Northern Indian families, to understand the ways in which their activities had changed. It found that socio-economic context played a key role in defining how and how much children’s play had been impacted and reported. Whereas the vocal middle-class, educated parent recounted many adjustments and anxieties, semi-urban, rural, and urban poor families mostly believed that their children played as usual, slipping out onto the street to play with other children by avoiding scrutiny.
Parental perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 and returning to play based on level of sport

Michael B. Edwards; Jason N. Bocarro; Kyle S. Bunds (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Sport in Society
This study examined the impact of COVID-19 on youth sport parents based on competition level to understand how the pandemic affected youth sport and factors associated with youth returning to sport. Survey data were collected from samples of US sport parents in two waves - early in the pandemic (N = 751) and as programs began to resume (N = 707). Data showed elite sport parents were more willing to return. Although most participants returned to play, significant numbers had not resumed participation. Parent comfort was the most important factor associated with resuming. However, parents allowed children to resume play due to perceived external pressure, potentially creating stress among parents regarding sport participation decisions. Attending school in person and household income were associated with the ability to resume sport suggesting the need to provide school sport environments and consider the financial impacts of COVID-19 on sport families.
Families playing animal crossing together: coping with video games during the COVID-19 pandemic

Katy E. Pearce; Jason C. Yip; Jin Ha Lee (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Games and Culture
The COVID-19 pandemic was stressful for everyone, particularly for families who had to supervise and support children, facilitate remote schooling, and manage work and home life. We consider how families coped with pandemic-related stress using the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Combining a family coping framework with theorizing about media as a coping tool, this interview study of 27 families (33 parents and 37 children) found that parents and children individual coped with pandemic-related stress with media. Parents engaged in protective buffering of their children with media, taking on individual responsibility to cope with a collective problem. Families engaged in communal coping, whereby media helped the family cope with a collective problem, taking on shared ownership and responsibility. We provide evidence for video games as coping tools, but with the novel consideration of family coping with media.
Leisure time use and adolescent mental well-being: insights from the COVID-19 Czech spring lockdown

Alina Cosma; Jan Pavelka; Petr Badura

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
As leisure—one of the crucial life domains—was completely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, this study aimed to investigate how adolescents spent their leisure time during the Spring 2020 lockdown. Secondly, it aimed to investigate the associations between the perceived changes in leisure time use, the leisure activities adolescents engaged in, and the associations with well-being during the Spring 2020 lockdown in Czechia. Data from 3438 participants were included in this study (54.2% girls; mean age = 13.45, SD = 1.62).
Preparing for the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of youth

Eileen R. O’Shea; Kathryn E. Phillips; Kathleen N. O’Shea (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: NASN School Nurse
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have long-term and global effects that the vaccine may not ease. Children and adolescents endured unprecedented periods of loneliness, social isolation, financial stressors, in-home conflicts, changes in living circumstances, and variable access to healthcare, resulting in increased mental health sequelae. Timely recognition of students’ anxiety, depression, and disruptive behaviors will allow appropriate interventions to de-escalate these feelings and prevent suicidal ideations and attempts. As youth return to school, their mental health needs will not subside. School nurses and the multidisciplinary team have a vital role in impacting this population’s already surging increase of mental and behavioral health disorders.
Children and parents’ perspectives of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ontario children’s physical activity, play, and sport behaviours

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

Published: December 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures have resulted in the closure of many physical activity-supporting facilities. This study examined Ontario parents’ and children’s perspectives of COVID-19’s impact on children’s physical activity behaviours, return to play/sport during COVID-19, as well as barriers/facilitators to getting active amid extended closures of physical activity venues. Parents/guardians of children aged 12 years and under living in Ontario, Canada were invited to participate in an interview. 12 parent/guardian and 9 child interviews were conducted via Zoom between December 2020 – January 2021, were audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Thematic content analysis was undertaken to identify pronounced themes.

Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on increasing the risks of children’s addiction to electronic games from a social work perspective.

Walaa Elsayed

Published: December 2021   Journal: Heliyon
Children are among the social groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic because they have found themselves forced to stay at home, far from their schoolmates, their friends, and far from all the activities they used to do before the pandemic. so, it was their only refuge for recreation during their stay in Home is staying in front of the screens of tablets, smartphones, and computers to play electronic games for long hours, and there is no doubt that the sudden shift in the lifestyle of children during the Covid-19 pandemic had serious consequences and risks threatening their stability at all levels. In light of that, the current study aimed to determine the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on increasing the social, psychological, behavioral, and health risks of children's addiction to electronic games from a social work perspective. This study falls under the type of descriptive-analytical studies that are based on describing the reality of the problem under study. The study sample included 289 children in the age group 6 -17 years in the first grade to the twelfth grade at school.
Assessment of respiratory function in children wearing a N95 mask with or without an exhalation valve: data compared

Riccardo Lubrano; Silvia Bloise; Alessia Marcellino (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Data in Brief

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, universal face masking represents one of the most important strategies to limit the spread of infection. However, their use in children is still highly debated (Esposito and Principi, 2020; Esposito et al., 2020) and there are few data (Lubrano et al., 2021a, 2021b) describing their possible effects on respiratory function in children. A dataset in this paper presents a comparison of the data related to the effects on respiratory function of children wearing a filtering facepiece 2 (N95 mask) with or without exhalation valve. 22 healthy children were randomly assigned to two groups, both groups wearing an N95 mask: one without an exhalation valve (group A), another with an exhalation valve (group B).

Children are back to school, but is play still in lockdown? Play experiences, social interactions, and children’s quality of life in primary education in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

Ana Lourenço; Fernando Martins; Beatriz Pereira (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The right to play is crucial for the overall development of children. Several studies highlight the need to have time and space to play, especially at school where children spend much of their time. Unfortunately, in formal education the obsession with academic achievements sidelines and ignores the importance of play. The neglection of play had already reached a critical stage before the pandemic, so data are needed to realize how the right to play in school is presently affected. This paper aims to understand children’s play experience in primary education during the pandemic. It investigates what activities children participated in and what materials were used, and provides insight into the social interactions between peers. Furthermore, children’s quality of life is explored. A group of 370 Portuguese children answered a questionnaire on play and social interactions, alongside with Peds 4.0TM on health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
Incidence of COVID-19 in children and young people who play federated football

Rocío Seijo Bestilleiro; Jorge Suanzes Hernández; Diego Batalla Bautista (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Sports Health

This study aims to determine the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection in children and young people who play federated football. Prospective study, from October 2020 to January 2021, in players aged 4 to 19 years from federated football clubs in Galicia, Spain (N = 23,845). Outbreaks and cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were recorded. The cumulative incidence was compared with the incidence registered in Galicia in the same age range.

Competitive sport after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children

Giulia Cafiero; Flaminia Passi; Francesca Ippolita Calo (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics
With the gradual resumption of sports activities after the lock-down period for coronavirus pandemic, a new problem is emerging: Allow all athletes to be able to return to compete after SARS-CoV-2 infection in total safety. Several protocols have been proposed for healed athletes but all of them have been formulated for the adult population. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the adequacy of Italian practical recommendations for return-to-paly, in order to exclude cardiorespiratory complications due to COVID-19 in children and adolescents. Between April 2020 and January 2021 the Italian Sports Medical Federation formulated cardiorespiratory protocols to be applied to athletes recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The protocols take into account the severity of the infection. Protocols include lung function tests, cardiopulmonary exercise test, echocardiographic evaluation, blood chemistry tests.
Using robotic toys in early childhood education to support children’s social and emotional competencies

Sarika Kewalramani; Ioanna Palaiologou; Maria Dardanou (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
This Australian study examines whether and how technologies such as Artificially Intelligent (AI) toys in a home-based setting might socially and emotionally support children with diverse needs through play. Building on the concept of ‘emotional capital', and employing a design-based research approach, parents during the COVID-19 lockdown periods in 2020 intentionally used robotic toys to engage their children with additional diverse needs in home-based play experiences. The data from both parents’ and children’s (n = 5) Zoom interviews, digital observations and children’s drawings demonstrated how children creatively conversed with their AI robots in innovative and empathy-based dialogues that generated happy feelings and a sense of ‘imaginary’ togetherness with their robot during the coding experiences. This study contributes to research by exploring the use of AI robotic toys together with physical and artificial environments and offers a case to build children’s emotional capital in enabling children’s social-emotional literacies.
Young children’s play during a time of social distancing

Courtney Beers Dewhirst; Casey Cascio; Erin M. Casey

Published: October 2021   Journal: Early Child Development and Care
Through a 48-item questionnaire shared via social media, 546 participants from 47 American States reported on their children’s (ages 0–8) play activities during early social distancing efforts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results from the questionnaire indicate participants took social distancing guidelines seriously by keeping children at home and away from other children during the period of social distancing, thus affecting play behaviours. The study’s findings are significant in that they document some parents’ perspectives of their children’s play during a unique period in American history.
31 - 45 of 62

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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