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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Patterns and predictors of adolescent life change during the COVID-19 pandemic: a person-centered approach

AUTHOR(S)
Jingyi Shen; Ruixi Sun; Jianjie Xu (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Current Psychology
The present study investigated patterns of adolescent life changes across multiple life domains and utilized a holistic-interactionistic perspective to examine their individual, familial, and societal correlates with a sample of 2544 Chinese parent-adolescent dyads. Adolescents were aged from 10 to 19 years old (50.16% girls). Latent profile analysis revealed five life change profiles, including three improved profiles at various degrees, one unchanged profile, and one worsened profile. The majority of adolescents had an improved or unchanged life. Multinomial logistic regression analyses found that most of the individual, familial, and societal factors predicted the group memberships. Notably, parent-adolescent conflict was a significant factor that predicted memberships of all patterns. These findings show the resilience of adolescents and indicate the need for policies and interventions that consider the holistic nature of adolescents’ person-context system, especially during a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19-associated school closures and related efforts to sustain education and subsidized meal programs, United States, February 18–June 30, 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole Zviedrite; Jeffrey D. Hodis; Ferdous Jahan (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Plos One
Pre-emptive school closures are frontline community mitigation measures recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for implementation during severe pandemics. This study describes the spatiotemporal patterns of publicly announced school closures implemented in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and assesses how public K-12 districts adjusted their methods of education delivery and provision of subsidized meals. During February 18–June 30, 2020, it used daily systematic media searches to identify publicly announced COVID-19–related school closures lasting ≥1 day in the United States (US).
Material hardship and child neglect risk amidst COVID-19 in grandparent-headed kinship families: the role of financial assistance

AUTHOR(S)
Yanfeng Xua; Merav Jedwab; Nelís Soto-Ramírez (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 has exacerbated material hardship among grandparent-headed kinship families. Grandparent-headed kinship families receive financial assistance, which may mitigate material hardship and reduce child neglect risk. This study aims to examine (1) the association between material hardship and child neglect risk; and (2) whether financial assistance moderates this association in a sample of kinship grandparent-headed families during COVID-19. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from a convenience sample of grandparent-headed kinship families (not necessarily child welfare involved) (N = 362) in the United States via Qualtrics Panels online survey.

Promoting children's mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health in all public systems, post-COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood; William Gardner; Kelly J. Kelleher

Published: April 2021   Journal: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health problems of children and adolescents in the United States (U.S.). A collective and coordinated national economic and social reconstruction efort aimed at shoring up services to promote children’s MEB, like the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe post-World War II, has been proposed to buttress against the expected retrenchment. The plan prioritizes children’s well-being as a social objective.
Effects of voluntary event cancellation and school closure as countermeasures against COVID-19 outbreak in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Yoshiyuki Sugishita; Junko Kurita; Tamie Sugawara

Published: December 2020   Journal: Plos One
To control the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan, sports and entertainment events were canceled and schools were closed throughout Japan from February 26 through March 19. That policy has been designated as voluntary event cancellation and school closure (VECSC). This study assesses VECSC effectiveness based on predicted outcomes. A simple susceptible–infected–recovered model was applied to data of patients with symptoms in Japan during January 14 through March 26. The respective reproduction numbers for periods before VECSC (R0), during VECSC (Re), and after VECSC (Ra) were estimated.
Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania; Cirenia Chávez; Alessandra Ipince; Matilde Rocca; Sandy Oliver; Claire Stansfield; Ramya Subrahmanian

 

This rapid review collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.

The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and  school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19, is extremely limited.

There are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities - such as being orphaned, stigmatization and discrimination and reductions in household income - leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy.

Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks:

  • Responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. throughpsychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions that provide families with resources and access to services)
  • Responding to stigmatization and discrimination (e.g. throughinformation and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools)
  • Investing in social protectionenable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks
  • Promoting access to health, protective and justice services, which may be restricted or suspending during infectious disease outbreaks
  • Ensuring continued access to education, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected

There is a high burden of proof for data collection during the current COVID-19 outbreak than there would be in normal circumstances. Evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes – particularly where there is ongoing longitudinal data collection. There should also be efforts to synthesize evidence from existing research on the effectiveness of interventions that respond to the key risk pathways identified in this review.

 

 

 

Research Brief: Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

 

This research brief summarizes the findings of a rapid review that collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.

The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and  school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19. is extremely limited.

There are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities - such as being orphaned, stigmatization and discrimination and reductions in household income - leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy.

Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks:

  • Responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. throughpsychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions that provide families with resources and access to services)
  • Responding to stigmatization and discrimination (e.g. throughinformation and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools)
  • Investing in social protectionenable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks
  • Promoting access to health, protective and justice services, which may be restricted or suspending during infectious disease outbreaks
  • Ensuring continued access to education, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected

There is a high burden of proof for data collection during the current COVID-19 outbreak than there would be in normal circumstances. Evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes – particularly where there is ongoing longitudinal data collection. There should also be efforts to synthesize evidence from existing research on the effectiveness of interventions that respond to the key risk pathways identified in this review.

 

 

 

A Rapid Review of Economic Policy and Social Protection Responses to Health and Economic Crises and Their Effects on Children: Lessons for the COVID-19 pandemic response

This rapid review seeks to inform the initial and long-term public policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, by assessing evidence on past economic policy and social protection responses to health and economic crises and their effects on children and families. The review focuses on virus outbreaks/emergencies, economic crises and natural disasters, which, like the COVID-19 pandemic, were 'rapid' in onset, had wide-ranging geographical reach, and resulted in disruption of social services and economic sectors, without affecting governance systems. Evidence is also drawn from the HIV/AIDS pandemic, due to its impacts on adult mortality rates and surviving children.

The available evidence on the effects of economic policy and social protection responses is uneven across outcomes, regions, and type of policy response as a large body of literature focused on social assistance programmes. Future research on the COVID-19 pandemic can prioritize the voices of children and the marginalized, assess the effects of expansionary and austerity measures,  examine the role of design and implementation, social care services, pre-existing macro-level health, demographic and health conditions and the diverse regional health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The paper also provides key lessons for public policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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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.