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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 54
COVID-19 mental health impacts among parents of color and parents of children with asthma

Ashley H. Clawson; Ashley B. Cole; Cara N. Nwankwo (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
This study investigated whether select social determinants of health and worries about COVID-19 resource losses mediated the relations between four parent groups: [1) non-Hispanic White (NHW) parents of children with asthma; 2) Black, Indigenous, or other Persons of Color (BIPOC) parents of healthy children; 3) BIPOC parents of children with asthma; and 4) NHW parents of healthy children (referent)] and parent anxiety and depression symptoms during COVID-19. Parents (N = 321) completed online questionnaires about discrimination, anxiety, depression, and COVID-19 impacts on employment/income and access to food and health care. Mediation analyses were conducting using nonparametric bootstrapping procedures.
Navigating the “Dual pandemics”: the cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rise in awareness of racial injustices among high school students of color in urban schools

Christine Jean Yeh; Samantha Stanley; Crystal A. Ramirez

Published: May 2022   Journal: Urban Education
We explored the psychological and educational impact of distance learning during the COVID-19 and racial injustice pandemics. The sample included 19 urban high school students of Color from the San Francisco Bay Area. Interview data were analyzed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis revealing seven themes: (1) challenges learning from home; (2) shifts that impact students’ experience with school; (3) emotions emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic; (4) increased awareness and engagement related to racial injustices; (5) emotional reactions to the rise in awareness to racial injustices; (6) shifts in identity due to social isolation; and (7) coping strategies and support needed.
Association of social determinants of health and vaccinations with child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US.

Yunyu Xiao; Paul Siu-Fai Yip; Jyotishman Pathak (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: JAMA Psychiatry

To what extent are individual and structural social determinants of health (SDoH) and vaccinations associated with child mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic? In this cohort study of 8493 US children, pandemic-related food insecurity, parental unemployment, disrupted mental health treatment, living in neighborhoods with higher shares of adults working full-time, and living in states lagging in vaccination rates were associated with increased trajectories of perceived stress, sadness, and COVID-19–related worry. Associations between SDoH and these mental health outcomes were more common among Asian, Black, and Hispanic children more than White children.

COVID-19 pandemic impact on US childhood caries and potential mitigation

C. Scherrer; S. Naavaal; M. Lin (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of dental research
Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) and Hispanic and low-income US children have a higher prevalence of untreated caries than their higher-income and non-Hispanic White (NHW) counterparts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many dental offices and school sealant programs closed beginning March 2020. This study examines the effect of reduced access to restorative care and sealants on the oral health of children from low-income households overall and by race/ethnicity and how increased sealant delivery in September 2022 could mitigate these effects.
Black women, black girls, and the Covid-19 pandemic: an autoethnography of a health disparity

Renata Ferdinand; Rajah Emahn Ferdinand

Published: April 2022   Journal: Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies
This is an autoethnographic essay that explores how the Covid-19 pandemic affect(ed) Black women and girls. Through storytelling and narrative and performative writing, it paints a clearer picture of the lives lost due to the coronavirus by highlighting specific tragedies that occurred, and by examining the larger societal context that allowed such tragedies to unfold. In addition, it offers an intimate look at the emotional processes that occur when one is diagnosed with the virus.
Family systems cultural and resilience dimensions to consider in nutrition interventions: exploring preschoolers’ eating and physical activity routines during COVID-19

Pamela Rothpletz-Puglia; Erika Ryan; Veronica M. Jones (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

This study aims to describe the weight-related family functioning of racial minority families with low income using family systems theory as an interpretive framework. Primarily a qualitative study with interviews plus; descriptive demographics, anthropometrics, a family functioning measure, and food insecurity screening.

Health disparities, COVID-19, and maternal and childbirth outcomes: a meta-epidemiological study of equity reporting in systematic reviews

Micah Hartwell; Vanessa Lin; Ashton Gatewood (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at increased risk for adverse maternal and pregnancy outcomes, and birth complications. Given the health outcome disparities among pregnant women of racial and ethnic minorities and the reliance of medical practice on systematic reviews and meta-analyses (SRMAs)—as they are the apical component in the hierarchy of evidence in medical research—the primary objective of the study is to examine the inclusion of the equity reporting in SRMAs focused on pregnancy outcomes and COVID-19 using PROGRESS-Plus equity framework. PROGRESS represents equity measures of Place, Race, Occupation, Gender, Religion, Education, Social capital, and Socio-economic status.
Trauma and US minority children and youth

Andres J. Pumariega; Youngsuhk Jo; Brent Beck (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Current Psychiatry Reports

This paper reviews the literature on the prevalence, risk factors, and effects of traumatic experiences on the mental health outcomes of minority youth in the USA. The USA has an increasing number of children and youth from minority backgrounds. Research reveals that traumatic experiences disproportionately affect minority youth. These experiences include historical/generational trauma, immigration and acculturation stressors, natural and manmade disasters, experiences of discrimination, family violence, and community violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has also disproportionately affected minority youth resulting in illness and hospitalizations. Despite the higher incidence of trauma exposure, minority youth are less likely to access medical and mental health care. These disparities are resulting in increasing rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance use disorders, and suicide in minority youth.

Whiteness in the COVID-19 pandemic: who is talking about racism with their kids?

Keira B. Leneman; Sydney Levasseur-Puhach; Sarah Gillespie (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
The present study investigated factors associated with parent awareness and socialization surrounding COVID-19-related racial disparities among White parents of children ages 1.5–8 living in Canada and the United States (N = 423, 88% mothers). Participants responded to an online survey about parenting during the pandemic between mid to late-April 2020. Participants reported on their level of awareness of COVID-19-related racial disparities as well as how often they discussed these with their children.
Racial disparities in child exposure to firearm violence before and during COVID-19

Rachel Martin; Sonali Rajan; Faizah Shareef (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Childhood exposure to neighborhood firearm violence adversely affects mental and physical health across the life course. Study objectives were to (1) quantify racial disparities in these exposures across the U.S. and (2) assess changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, when firearm violence increased. The study used counts of children aged 5–17 years, disaggregated by U.S. Census racial category, for every census tract (N=73,056). Neighborhood firearm violence was the number of fatal shootings per census tract, based on 2015–2021 Gun Violence Archive data. Quasi-Poisson regressions were used to estimate baseline disparities and COVID-19‒related changes and examined differences across geographic regions.

The impact of COVID-19 on children's lives in the United States: amplified inequities and a just path to recovery

Charles Oberg; H. R. Hodges; Sarah Gander (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care
The novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, is a potentially deadly virus that causes COVID-19 disease and has led to the current pandemic.1 It has affected virtually everyone in the world since its emergence in 2019, with social, economic, and health effects that will probably last long past the end of the pandemic. In the long term, the impact of this health and social crisis may fall disproportionately upon children. This review will first highlight systemic/institutional inequities accentuated by the pandemic for subgroups of vulnerable children. These include Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Black and Latinx, Indigenous populations, refugee communities, those with disability and LGBTQIA+ youth. It will then examine the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of American children including the effects on poverty, food insecurity and housing instability. It then explores the disruptions in health care access and utilization, childcare, and education. It will then review the overarching implications for childhood mental health and well-being. Finally, it will provide a series of recommendations on how best to achieve a just and equitable recovery for families and children.
Asian Americans’ parent–child conflict and racial discrimination may explain mental distress

Yoonsun Choi; Eunseok Jeong; Michael Park (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Despite being stereotyped as problem-free and high-achieving, Asian Americans are vulnerable to mental distress (e.g., depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide), according to the limited available studies. Ethnic subgroups also have more variable outcomes than the monolithic category, “Asians or Asian Americans,” may suggest, but even across communities, few utilize mental health care compared to other racial/ethnic groups. To illustrate the needed evidence, a longitudinal survey of Filipino and Korean Americans found that mental distress among young Asian Americans increased at an alarming rate during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Two prominent contextual factors, parent–child conflict and racial discrimination, explained the uptick in mental distress. The surge of anti-Asian discrimination since the COVID-19 pandemic requires anti-discrimination policy, while parent–child conflict requires working with families in a culturally competent way.
Immigrant family financial and relationship stress from the COVID-19 pandemic

Catherine A. Solheim; Jaime Ballard; Nusroon Fatiha (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Family and Economic Issues
Immigrant families are some of the most vulnerable to the effects of this continuing crisis. This study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigrant families in an upper Midwest state. 1t interviewed 19 human and social service providers from agencies serving Somali, Latinx, and Karen (refugees from Burma/Myanmar) immigrant families between June and August 2020. Results analyzed for this paper focused on responses to questions asked about COVID-19-related financial and familial stress, and coping resources and constraints that providers were observing with their immigrant clients.
A quasi-experimental study of parent and child well-being in families of color in the context of COVID-19 related school closure

Alexandra Ursache; R. Gabriela Barajas-Gonzalez; Samrachana Adhikari (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: SSM - Population Health
Families of color living in historically disinvested neighborhoods face a multitude of health disparities which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the resulting strategies to mitigate its transmission. School closure, which occurred with little warning and few, if any, resources for preparation, disrupted multiple aspects of families’ lives; these disruptions are anticipated to adversely impact mental health and well-being. The current study aims to advance understanding of the experiences of families of young children of color during the pandemic by utilizing a natural experiment design to test impact on child and parent mental health and sleep in the context of COVID-19 related school closure among families in historically disinvested neighborhoods. Data from this study come from an ongoing study of 281 families of color enrolled in 41 pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs in neighborhoods across New York City (NYC). In NYC, school closure occurred on March 16, 2020, during a data collection period involving phone surveys with parents; the quasi-experimental design allows for comparison of the 198 families who had completed the survey prior to March 16, and the 83 families who completed the survey after March 16, using identical protocols and procedures.
When I think of home: black families supporting their children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Brian L. Wright; Beverly E. Cross; Donna Y. Ford (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Education and Urban Society
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, and persistent systemic and structural racism have plagued Black communities. The continued physical and symbolic violence and murders of Black bodies are undeniable. As White institutions, schools are definite contributors to this brutality as they center the culture and realities of White children while ignoring or denigrating Black children. This is even evident in the undermining of Black families’ efforts to prepare their children to face the inequities and injustices they experience in the U.S. This article discusses Black families’ engagement in their children’s education amid threats through racial socialization research aimed at developing and validating Black children’s perspectives, experiences, and realities in Black identity to promote their positive social-emotional and psychological development. Black families must know how to cultivate their child’s healthy self-identity, voice, and agency, along with academic achievement. Schools should learn from these practices. Schools that choose to ignore these concepts will continue contributing to trauma and violence against Black children and maintain deficit-oriented views. The article includes examples and implications for teaching and supporting the well-being of Black children, and concludes with practical ideas that educators can learn from and integrate into their practices.
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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.