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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Marked disparities in COVID-19 vaccination among US children and adolescents by racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and health characteristics, United States, December 2021 – April 2022

Gopal K. Singh; Hyunjung Lee; Romuladus E. Azuine

Published: December 2022   Journal: International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial adverse impact on the health and well-being of populations in the United States (US) and globally. Although COVID-19 vaccine disparities among US adults aged ≥18 years are well documented, COVID-19 vaccination inequalities among US children are not well studied. Using the recent nationally representative data, this study examines disparities in COVID-19 vaccination among US children aged 5-17 years by a wide range of social determinants and parental characteristics. Using the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey from December 1, 2021 to April 11, 2022 (N=86,335), disparities in child vaccination rates by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, health insurance, parental vaccination status, parental COVID-19 diagnosis, and metropolitan area were modeled by multivariate logistic regression.

Monthly trends in drug overdose mortality among youth aged 15-34 years in the United States, 2018-2021: measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Hyunjung Lee; Gopal K. Singh

Published: December 2022   Journal: International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS

Adolescents and young adults in the United States (US) have experienced a significant increase in drug overdose mortality rates in the last two decades. During the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, they experienced a lack of access to substance use disorder treatment, stay-home orders, school closure, social isolation, increased psychological distress, and financial strain. Few studies have examined the impact of the pandemic on monthly trends in drug-overdose mortality among youth by race/ethnicity. This study estimates differential changes in monthly drug overdose mortality among youth in the US by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Monthly deaths from the final 2018-2020 national mortality data and the 2021 provisional mortality data were used, and monthly population estimates were obtained from the Census Bureau.

Finding voice in a year of collective trauma: case study of an online photovoice project with youth

R. Lillianne Macias; Nancy Nava; Desiree Delgadillo (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: American Journal of Community Psychology
This article shares findings from a qualitative case study of a virtual youth photovoice program implemented across three regions of the United States. The purpose of the program was to engage youth in research on a social issue relevant to them during an unprecedented year marked by two public health crises, COVID-19 and anti-Black racial violence. Results of an analysis of curriculum and archival program materials lend support for online strategies for youth engagement including individualized support and online audiovisual presentations with avatars. Racial justice and trauma-informed adaptations were designed to be responsive to youth needs for flexible programming and safe spaces.
Parental assistance with emotion regulation moderates link between COVID-19 stress and child mental health.

Emily M. Cohodes; Sarah McCauley; David A. Preece (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted children’s mental health. All children have not been affected equally, however, and whether parental emotion socialization might buffer or exacerbate the impact of COVID-19 on children’s mental health remains an important question. During the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. N = 200 parents of children ages 0–17 (52.5% female) completed questionnaires related to parental assistance with children’s emotion regulation, symptomatology, and exposure to COVID-19-related stress. Parents were 74% Non-Hispanic/Latino/a White, 13% Asian, 4.5% Hispanic/Latino/a, 4% Black/African American, 2.5% Native American, and 1.5% bi/multiracial; 0.5% of participants preferred not to state their race/ethnicity. In a series of linear regression analyses, we examined whether parental assistance with children’s execution of emotion regulation strategies – across a variety of prototypically-adaptive and -maladaptive strategies – moderates the association between children’s exposure to COVID-19-related stress and symptomatology.

Social and economic factors related to healthcare delay among low-income families during COVID-19: results from the ACCESS observational study

Mekhala Hoskote; Rita Hamad; Wendi Gosliner (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

Delayed medical care is a negative consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic for families with young children. This study used data from the Accessing California Communities' Experiences with Safety net Supports (ACCESS) survey, a cross-sectional study that assessed experiences with safety-net programs among working families with low incomes (n=491). From August 2020 to May 2021, it conducted interviewer-administered surveys of low-income families with young children (ages zero to eight) in California and asked questions about whether participants had delayed medical care for their children or themselves.

Addressing social determinants of mental health in pediatrics during the COVID-19 pandemic

Andrea E. Spencer; Jennifer Sikov; William G. Adams (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Progress Report
In this report, our study's findings in context of new events and research since June 2019 are discussed, with particular attention to the impacts of both the pandemic and racism on SDOH, child mental health, and primary care-based screening efforts.
Widening racial disparities during COVID-19 telemedicine transition: a study of child mental health services at two large children's hospitals

J. Corey Williams; Molly Ball; Nora Roscoe (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Home
To examine whether racial disparities in access to pediatric mental health care were affected during the COVID-19 telemedicine transition at both The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). Electronic health records were queried for all unique outpatient visits from a pre-pandemic period in 2019 and a within-pandemic period in 2020. Changes in the proportion of patients were compared based on insurance status, clinic location, and racial identification. Hypotheses were tested via logistic regression analyses.
Impact of COVID social distancing measures on eating and exercise behaviors among a sample of Hispanic parents of young children in the United States

Christian E. Vazquez; Katherine E. Hess; Esther J. Calzada

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Public Health Research
In the United States, healthy behaviors, such as eating fruits/vegetables and exercise, are well below recommended levels, particularly for Hispanics. The COVID pandemic may have exacerbated existing health behavior disparities. The current study examines the impact of COVID social distancing measures on Hispanic parents’ eating and exercise behaviors, and how the impact may differ by socioeconomic status (SES) and distress levels. This cross-sectional logistic regression study utilized data from a sample of Hispanic parents in Texas (n = 237). COVID-related questions were collected in Summer 2020. Dependent variables included self-reported changes in exercise and eating behaviors due to the pandemic (i.e. got better or got worse). Primary independent variables included family-SES, neighborhood-SES, and distress due to COVID.
Ethnic differences and inequities in paediatric healthcare utilisation in the UK: a scoping review

Claire X. Zhang; Maria A. Quigley; Clare Bankhead (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

Despite the increased policy attention on ethnic health inequities since the COVID-19 pandemic, research on ethnicity and healthcare utilisation in children has largely been overlooked. This scoping review aimed to describe and appraise the quantitative evidence on ethnic differences (unequal) and inequities (unequal, unfair and disproportionate to healthcare needs) in paediatric healthcare utilisation in the UK 2001–2021.

Racial and ethnic differences in maternal and child COVID-19 vaccination intent among pregnant and postpartum women in the USA (April–June 2020): an application of health belief model

Mercy Obasanya; Oluwatosin Igenoza; Shuchika Gupta (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
This study investigated racial/ethnic differences in pregnant and postpartum women’s intentions to receive the COVID-19 vaccination (maternal COVID-19 vaccination intent) and intentions to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 (child COVID-19 vaccination intent) during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic (April–June 2020). This study also assessed Health Belief Model constructs to examine their influence on maternal and child COVID-19 vaccination intent by race/ethnicity. This study includes 489 US pregnant and postpartum women (18–49 years) recruited via Prolific Academic to complete a 55-item cross-sectional online survey.
Latina mothers of young children with special needs: personal narratives capturing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Adriana Luna; Courtney A. Zulauf-McCurdy; Angel Fettig (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Topics in Early Childhood Special Education
The Latino community has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in unique challenges. This paper explores the lived experiences of five Spanish-speaking Latina mothers of young children receiving early childhood special education (ECSE) services during the pandemic. Through in-depth qualitative interviews, this paper focuses on the following research questions: (1) What barriers have Spanish-speaking Latino families encountered in ECSE service delivery during this pandemic? (2) How have families overcome those barriers? Latina mothers describe how despite encountering numerous barriers to ECSE service delivery during the pandemic, they also experienced key areas of support and strength.
Examining the relationship between discrimination, access to material resources, and black children's behavioral functioning during COVID-19

Nneka Ibekwe-Okafor; Jacqueline Sims; Sihong Liu (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Systemic racism and discriminatory practices continue to disproportionally expose Black children and families to less than optimal health and economic resources. COVID-19 sheds existing light on how longstanding systemic inequalities affecting Black children and families create racial disparities in accessing material resources. The purpose of this study (N = 704 Black caregivers) is to better understand the relationship between experiences of racial discrimination, access to material resources (i.e., health-promoting resources and economic resources), and Black children's behavioral functioning during the pandemic. Through the application of ordinary least squares regression analysis, we find that inadequate material resources (both health-related risks and economic hardship) during the pandemic were associated with heightened caregiver report that their child was frequently fussy or defiant (externalizing) and frequently anxious or fearful (internalizing).
Cyberbullying among Asian American youth before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Justin W. Patchin; Sameer Hinduja

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of School Health

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a concern that cyberbullying incidents would increase as youth were spending more time online. Additionally, reports emerged that Asian American citizens were being disproportionately targeted due to the purported origination of the disease. The current study explores whether cyberbullying incidents increased among adolescents overall—and Asian American youth in particular—since the onset of the coronavirus. Three unique national surveys of teens (aged 13–17, mean = 14.96) conducted in 2016 (N = 4742), 2019 (N = 4250), and 2021 (N = 2546) were analyzed to track experience over time with general cyberbullying, as well as cyberbullying based on race or color. Additionally, respondents were asked in 2021 whether they had been cyberbullied more or less since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Age-varying associations between Chinese American parents' racial–ethnic socialization and children's difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic

Huiguang Ren; Charissa S. L. Cheah; Xiaoli Zong (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Asian American Journal of Psychology
Parental racial–ethnic socialization (RES) can be an important resource for Chinese American youth as they navigate the highly racialized and Sinophobic context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This study used time-varying association models to examine Chinese American parents’ engagement in six types of racial–ethnic socialization (RES) practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and their associations with child difficulties across child ages 4–18 years and child gender. Five hundred Chinese American parents (Mage = 43.5 years, SD = 6.5; 79% mothers) with 4–18-year-old children (Mage = 11.7 years, SD = 3.9; 48% girls) reported on their RES practices and children’s adjustment difficulties. Parents’ use of maintenance of heritage culture and cultural pluralism RES did not vary for children at different ages, whereas they used more awareness of discrimination RES for older children than younger children.
Latina mothers navigating COVID-19: within- and between-family stress processes over time

Chase J. Boyer; Elisa Ugarte; Andrea C. Buhler-Wassmann (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Family Relations

This study aimed to understand how periodic shifts in financial cutbacks and fears of contracting COVID-19 contributed to children's externalizing behaviors due to increases in maternal stress among low-income Latina mothers during the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread health, economic, and psychological consequences for families and children. The Latino community is particularly vulnerable to the economic and health risks of this pandemic as a consequence of systemic oppression. The family stress model suggests that these family stressors will have psychological repercussions to parents, and downstream behavioral consequences to children.

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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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