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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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COVID-19 and children's health in the United States: consideration of physical and social environments during the pandemic.

AUTHOR(S)
José R. Suarez-Lopez; Maryann R. Cairns; Kam Sripada (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Environmental Research
Public health measures necessary to  counteract the  coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in dramatic changes in the physical and social environments within which children grow and develop. As our understanding of the pathways for viral exposure and associated health outcomes in children evolves, it is critical to consider how changes in the social, cultural, economic, and physical environments resulting from the pandemic could affect the development of children. This review article considers the environments and settings that create the backdrop for children’s health in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, including current threats to child development that stem from: A) change in exposures to environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, disinfectants, air pollution and the built environment; B) changes in food environments resulting from adverse economic repercussion of the pandemic and limited reach of existing safety nets; C) limited access to children’s educational and developmental resources; D) changes in the social environments at the  individual and household levels, and their interplay with family stressors and mental health; E)  social injustice and racism. The environmental changes due to COVID-19 are overlaid onto existing environmental and social disparities. This results in  disproportionate effects among children in  low-income settings and among populations experiencing the effects of structural racism.
COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents and young adults of color: viewing acceptance and uptake with a health equity lens

AUTHOR(S)
Tamera Coyne-Beasley; Samantha V. Hill; Gregory Zimet (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health-care systems across the world and magnified health inequalities related to systemic racism and globalization. As of February 2021, there have been over 100 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over two million deaths reported to the World Health Organization. Within the United States (U.S.), Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color (BILPOC) are diagnosed, hospitalized, and die at 1.5, 3.3, and 2.8 times the rates of Whites, respectively. BILPOC are also more likely to have defined medical conditions associated with higher risk of severe COVID-19 infections. The disproportionate morbidity and mortality seen among BILPOC adults also impacts BILPOC adolescents and young adults (AYAs). Compared with Whites, BILPOC AYAs are 1) more likely to be essential workers and unable to work from home; 2) less likely to be able to take sick or medical leave, jeopardizing their jobs and families' livelihoods, 3) more likely to reside in intergenerational households with greater crowding; 4) more likely to experience the grief and psychological stress from the death of a loved one due to COVID-19, and 5) more likely to live in households with increased incidence of COVID-19 comorbidities. These and other effects of structural racism can undermine AYA success in remaining free from COVID-19, including limiting vaccine access and uptake.
Faces of risk and resilience: fathers and their families

AUTHOR(S)
Rob Palkovitz; Jay Fagan

Published: March 2021   Journal: Adversity and Resilience Science
The global Covid-19 pandemic and heightened focus on systemic racism in the USA provide differential lenses for considering contexts of risk and resilience as they apply to individual fathers and their families. Intersections of race, class, culture, personal characteristics, and access to resources uniquely shape fathers’ resilience as they navigate risks to themselves and their families. The interdependence of families with other community members, family work, role enactments, gender, and policy highlights the centrality of fathers’ executive function in conjunction with available resources to shape the quality of individual father–child relationships and the overall wellbeing of fathers and their families. This commentary focuses on the current pandemic and racism as risk factors for families, the ways in which fathers are uniquely affected by these risks, the ways in which fathers exhibit resilience in the face of these adversities, and implications for future research about the ways in which fathers’ gendered behaviors and attitudes may ultimately change as a consequence of the pandemic and systemic racism.
Racial and ethnic disparities in adult COVID-19 and the future impact on child health

AUTHOR(S)
Yarden S. Fraiman; Jonathan S. Litt; Jonathan M. Davis (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Pediatric Research
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted U.S. racial and ethnic disparities across many domains. While health disparities have long existed, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a 24-hour news cycle, and growing awareness of entrenched systemic racism in the United States have brought them into the forefront of national consciousness. While COVID-19- associated disparities generally impact adults, the current pandemic has also exacerbated existing disparities in child health
Higher SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in pregnant patients

AUTHOR(S)
Erica M. Lokken; G. Gray Taylor; Emily M. Huebner (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

During the early months of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, risks to pregnant women of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were uncertain. Pregnant patients can serve as a model for the success of the clinical and public health response during public health emergencies as they are typically in frequent contact with the medical system. Population-based estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infections in pregnancy are unknown due to incomplete ascertainment of pregnancy status or inclusion of only single centers or hospitalized cases. Whether pregnant women were protected by the public health response or through their interactions with obstetrical providers in the early pandemic is poorly understood. This study aims to estimate the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in pregnancy and examine disparities by race/ethnicity and English-language proficiency in Washington State.

U.S. children “learning online” during COVID-19 without the internet or a computer: visualizing the gradient by race/ethnicity and parental educational attainment

AUTHOR(S)
Joseph Friedman; Hunter York; Ali H. Mokdad (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Socius
The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to education in the United States, with a large proportion of schooling moving to online formats, which has the potential to exacerbate existing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in learning. The authors visualize access to online learning technologies using data from the Household Pulse Survey from the early fall 2020 school period (August 19 to October 26). The authors find that 10.1 percent of children participating in online learning nationally did not have adequate access to the Internet and a computer. Rates of inadequate access varied nearly 20-fold across the gradient of parental race/ethnicity and education, from 1.9 percent for children of Asian parents with graduate degrees to 35.5 percent among children of Black parents with less than a high school education.
What the COVID-19 pandemic reveals about racial differences in child welfare and child well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Zachary Parolin

Published: February 2021   Journal: Race and Social Problems
This paper introduces the special issue on race, child welfare, and child well-being. In doing so, I summarize the evidence of racial/ethnic disparities in child well-being after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent findings demonstrate that, compared to white children, black and Latino children are more likely to have experienced poverty and food insufficiency, to have had parents lose their jobs, and to be exposed to distance learning and school closures during the pandemic. I argue that though COVID-19 has indeed worsened racial/ethnic disparities in child well-being, it has also served to place a spotlight on the American welfare state’s historical mistreatment of low-income families and black and Latino families in particular. Consider that around three-fourths of black and Latino children facing food insufficiency during the pandemic also experienced food insufficiency prior to the onset of the pandemic. Moving forward, analyses of racial/ethnic disparities in child well-being during the pandemic, I argue, must not only consider the economic shock and high unemployment rates of 2020, but the failure of the American welfare state to adequately support jobless parents, and black and Latino parents in particular, long before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.
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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.