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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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UNICEF Innocenti Publication
UNICEF Publication
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1 - 15 of 571
The Impact of COVID-19 on Anxiety and Worries for Families of Individuals with Special Education Needs and Disabilities in the UK

V. Sideropoulos; D. Dukes; M. Hanley (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
COVID-19 has affected people across the world. The current study examined anxiety and worries during the first UK national lockdown in March 2020. Parents (n = 402) reported on their own anxiety and worries as well as that of their son/daughter with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and typically developing (TD) child (n = 186) at three time points. Although both groups showed increased anxiety across the three time points, levels of anxiety in the SEND group, but not the TD siblings, were predicted by awareness about COVID-19. In addition, worries differed between the groups showing that COVID-19 impacts the wellbeing of those with SEND differently to that of their TD siblings.
Sleep, anxiety, and academic performance: a study of adolescents from public high schools in China

Xiaoning Zhang; Dagmara Dimitriou; Elizabeth J. Halstead

Published: July 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

Sleep is essential for optimal learning across the developmental pathways. This study aimed to (1) explore whether school start and end times and screen time influenced sleep disturbances in adolescents during the lockdown in China and (2) investigate if sleep disturbances at night and sleep-related impairment (daytime fatigue) influenced adolescents' academic performance and anxiety levels. Ninety-nine adolescents aged 15–17 years old were recruited from two public schools in Baishan City Jilin Province, China. An online questionnaire was distributed including questions on adolescents' demographics, screen time habits, academic performance, anxiety level, sleep disturbances, and sleep-related impairment.

Smartphone use and addiction during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: cohort study on 184 Italian children and adolescents

Gregorio Serra; Lucia Lo Scalzo; Mario Giuffrè (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics
The lives of many children and adolescents are today increasingly influenced by new technological devices, including smartphones. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic occurred in a time of outstanding scientific progress and global digitalization. Young people had relevant adverse psychological and behavioral effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly related to infection control measures, which led them to spend more time at home and with major use of technological tools. The goal this study proposes is to evaluate health and social outcomes of smartphone overuse among Italian children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, analyzing patterns and aims of utilization, as well as the eventual presence and degree of addiction.
Perinatal health care access, childbirth concerns, and birthing decision-making among pregnant people in California during COVID-19

Mackenzie D. M. Whipps; Jennifer E. Phipps; Leigh Ann Simmons

Published: July 2021   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

During public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic, access to adequate healthcare is crucial for providing for the health and wellbeing of families. Pregnant and postpartum people are a particularly vulnerable subgroup to consider when studying healthcare access. Not only are perinatal people likely at higher risk for illness, mortality, and morbidity from COVID-19 infection, they are also at higher risk for negative outcomes due to delayed or inadequate access to routine care. This study surveyed 820 pregnant people in California over two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic: (1) a ‘non-surge’ wave (June 2020, n = 433), and (2) during a ‘surge’ in cases (December 2020, n = 387) to describe current access to perinatal healthcare, as well as concerns and decision-making regarding childbirth, over time. It also examined whether existing structural vulnerabilities – including acute financial insecurity and racial/ethnic minoritization – are associated with access, concerns, and decision-making over these two waves.

Increased symptoms of post-traumatic stress in school students soon after the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in China

Hanmei Xu; Hang Zhang; Lijuan Huang (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: BMC Psychiatry

The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19) caused psychological stress in Chinese adults population. But we are unaware of whether the pandemic causes psychological stress on children. We used the Children’s Impact of Event Scale questionnaire (CRIES-13) to investigate the degree of Post-traumatic Stress (PTSD) symptoms caused by the pandemic in students selected from schools in Sichuan, Jiangsu, Henan, Yunnan, and Chongqing provinces of China.

Development, feasibility, and acceptability of a nationally relevant parent training to improve service access during the transition to adulthood for youth with ASD

Julie Lounds Taylor; Florencia Pezzimenti; Meghan M. Burke (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Many youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face challenges accessing needed services as they transition to adulthood. The present study describes the development, feasibility and acceptability of a new intervention designed to teach parents of transition-aged youth with ASD about the adult service system and the most effective ways to access services and supports. As part of a randomized-controlled trial, the intervention—named ASSIST—was delivered to 91 participants in three states in the U.S. Results suggested that ASSIST is feasible and acceptable to participants. Though intended to be an in-person group-based program, due to COVID-19 restrictions ASSIST was primarily delivered online.
Depressive symptoms among adolescents: testing vulnerability-stress and protective models in the context of COVID-19

Tracy R. G. Gladstone; Jennifer A. J. Schwartz; Patrick Pössel (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Adolescents who experience negative life events may be at risk for depression, particularly those with psychosocial vulnerabilities. This study investigates longitudinally the impact of vulnerability/protective factors on the relation between a large-scale negative life event, the COVID-19 pandemic, and depressive symptoms. Adolescents (N = 228, Mage = 14.5 years, 53% female, 73% white) self-reported depressive symptoms 2–4 months before the pandemic (Time 1), and again 2 months following stay-at-home orders (Time 2). At T2, adolescents also completed measures of vulnerability, protective factors, and COVID-19-related distress. Depressive symptoms increased at T2, and COVID-19 distress interacted with resilience and negative cognitive style in predicting increases in T2 depression. Focusing on vulnerability and protective factors in adolescents distressed by large scale negative life events appears crucial.
Psychological distress among Ethiopian pregnant women during COVID-19: negative correlation with self-efficacy

Aman Dule

Published: July 2021   Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management
Since the onset of coronavirus disease 2019, the mental health of individuals has been negatively affected, especially among vulnerable groups. The aim of this study was to explore the association of psychological distress with self-efficacy and other correlates among Ethiopian pregnant women. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 384 pregnant women from August 1 to 15, 2020. Pandemic-related psychological distress was measured by the Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R). Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS), generalized self-efficacy scale (GSES), and fear of COVID-19 scale (FCoV-19S) were employed to examine independent variables.
Factors contributing to psychological ill-effects and resilience of caregivers of children with developmental disabilities during a nation-wide lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tammy S. H. Lim; Mae Yue Tan; Ramkumar Aishworiya (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
This study evaluated factors affecting psychological ill-effects and resilience of caregivers of children with developmental disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic. Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales (DASS-21) and Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale 25-item were administered. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with psychological ill-effects and resilience. DASS-21 depression, anxiety and stress scores were high; these were associated with difficulties with infection control measures, autism diagnosis, and need for early intervention services. For caregivers of children with ASD, our DASS-21 scores were significantly higher than non-pandemic scores locally and in other Asian sites. Resilience scores correlated inversely with DASS-21 scores. Targeted support to selected at-risk caregivers and improving resilience can help their coping.
Responding to COVID-19 threats to trial conduct: lessons learned from a feasibility trial of a psychological intervention for South African adolescents

Bronwyn Myers; Claire van der Westhuizen; Megan Pool

Published: July 2021   Journal: Trials
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to the conduct of clinical trials. Strategies for overcoming common challenges to non-COVID-19 trial continuation have been reported, but this literature is limited to pharmacological intervention trials from high-income settings. The purpose of this paper is to expand the literature to include a low- and middle-income country perspective. It describes the challenges posed by COVID-19 for a randomised feasibility trial of a psychological intervention for adolescents in Cape Town, South Africa, and lessons learned when implementing strategies to facilitate trial continuation in this context.
The impact of COVID-19 related lockdown measures on self-reported psychopathology and health-related quality of life in German adolescents

Julian Koenig; Elisabeth Kohls; Markus Moessner (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
The impact of school-closings on adolescents’ mental health and well-being in the management of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is subject to ongoing public debate. Reliable data to inform a balanced discussion are limited. Drawing on a large ongoing multi-site project in Germany, we assessed differences in self-reported psychopathology in a matched convenience-sample of adolescents assessed pre- (November 26, 2018 to March 13, 2020; n = 324) and post the first lockdown (March 18, 2020 to August 29, 2020; n = 324) early 2020 in Germany.
Psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Pandemic-Related Pregnancy Stress Scale (PREPS) and its correlation with anxiety and depression

Chiara Penengo; Chiara Colli; Marco Garzitto (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

In the beginning of 2020, Italy was the first European country to face the COVID-19 outbreak. Restrictions imposed during the pandemic, social isolation, and the cancellation of medical appointments likely resulted in stress that may have affected pregnant women adversely. This paper aims to determine the psychometric validity of the Italian version of the Pandemic-Related Pregnancy Stress Scale (PREPS) in assessing COVID-19-related stress in pregnant women and to examine correlations between PREPS scales and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Maternal thoughts of self-harm and their association with future offspring mental health problems

Elise Paul; Alex Kwong; Paul Moran (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

Depression and self-harm are leading causes of disability in young people, but prospective data on how maternal depression and self-harm thoughts contribute to these outcomes, and how they may interact is lacking. The study sample consisted of 8,425 mothers and offspring from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, an ongoing birth cohort study. Exposures were maternal self-harm ideation and depression measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, collected at eleven time points over the period 18 weeks’ gestation to 18 years post-partum. Outcomes were offspring past-year major depressive disorder and lifetime self-harm assessed at age 24.

Risk factors and prediction nomogram model for psychosocial and behavioural problems among Children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: a national multicentre study: risk factors of childhood psychosocial problems

Lin Wang; Li Chen; Feiyong Jia (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

This study aimed to explore the risk profiles attributable to psychosocial and behavioural problems during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. To this end, a risk-prediction nomogram model was created. A national multicentre study was conducted through an online questionnaire involving 12,186 children (6-11 years old) and adolescents (12-16 years old). Respondents’ psychosocial and behavioural functioning were assessed using the Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). Data were analysed using STATA software and R-language.

Sleep-related problems and eating habits during COVID-19 lockdown in a southern Brazilian youth sample

José Francisco López-Gil; Anelise R. Gaya; Cézane P. Reuter (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Sleep Medicine

The pandemic has affected children’s behaviors and this fact has an effect on their healthy habits, such as sleep and diet. The aim of the current study was to determinate the prevalence of sleep-related problems and its relationship with eating habits in children from the south of Brazil during the pandemic. Parents/legal guardians of 3-17 years old participants responded to a online survey distributed using the snowball sampling strategy in Brazil. The survey was conducted in April, 2020. Participants were asked for their sleep duration and sleep-related problems, as well as for their eating habits. Logistic regressions were performed to analyze the relationship between sleep-related problems and eating habits.

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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.