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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Brief report: impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Asian American families with children with developmental disabilities

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Dababnah; Irang Kim; Yao Wang (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, even prior to the pandemic, little research explored the experiences of Asian American families of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. This brief report summarizes the results of a survey conducted between May and July 2020, in the immediate aftermath of state and local lockdowns due to the pandemic. Twenty-five Asian American caregivers of children with autism and other developmental disabilities completed the survey and reported on the pandemic’s impact on their household. Most of the caregivers were mothers, immigrants, Chinese, raising children with autism, and highly educated. Participants’ primary concerns were the disruption of their children’s educational and therapeutic services. We discuss research limitations and implications.
SNAP participation among low-income US households stays stagnant while food insecurity escalates in the months following the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati; Francesco Acciai; Robin S. DeWeese

Published: September 2021   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased food-insecurity rates, particularly among low-income households. Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was expected to rise in response. This study surveyed 931 US residents from households with annual incomes below $50,000 to collect information on food security and food assistance program participation in the year prior to the pandemic and in the first four months of the pandemic, along with household and individual-level demographics. Food insecurity increased from 31% prior to the pandemic to 39% in the first four months of the pandemic, while SNAP participation stagnated. Even more alarmingly, among low-income households that were also food-insecure, 47% participated in SNAP prior to the pandemic but only 39% did so in the first four months following the pandemic’s onset. In particular, Black households, households with children, and those in the lowest income category experienced the largest declines in SNAP participation. Food assistance programs designed to alleviate hunger should facilitate participation among the most vulnerable, especially when these groups are faced with multiple challenges, like during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Considerations for mitigating COVID-19 related risks in schools

AUTHOR(S)
Amy Gimma; Sham Lal

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas
As the new school year begins in the United States, school districts will be tasked with providing in-person teaching while keeping children and school staff safe, an increasingly difficult goal in the presence of the COVID-19 delta variant. This study aims to provide updated interpretations of past and newly published studies to assist in assessing risk in schools, and to add additional perspectives on addressing the social determinants of learning and on the role of race and other social factors. It advocates for the continued implementation of risk mitigation strategies in schools, including mandatory mask policies, improved ventilation, and convenient access to vaccinations for those eligible, as recommended by the CDC, and to use this opportunity to make long-term improvements to our schools as a matter of urgency.
Examining the role of psychosocial influences on black maternal health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Keri Carvalho; Anna Kheyfets; Blessing Lawrence (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal

Due to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, racial disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity are likely to increase. However, neighborhood and social support factors have yet to be discussed as potential mechanisms by which COVID-19 can exacerbate racial disparities. This study examined literature on the role of neighborhood factors and social support on maternal health outcomes and provided analytical perspective on the potential impacts of COVID-19 on Black birthing people.

Are the kids really alright? Impact of COVID-19 on mental health in a majority Black American sample of schoolchildren

AUTHOR(S)
Amanpreet Bhogal; Breanna Borg; Tanja Jovanovic (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Psychiatry Research
Children from historically disadvantaged groups (racial minorities, lower socioeconomic status [SES]) may be particularly susceptible to mental health consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined the impact of the pandemic, including mental health symptoms and COVID-19-related fears and behaviors, in a sample of majority Black American (72%) children (n=64, ages 7–10, 24 female) from an urban area with high infection rates.
Health equity, schooling hesitancy, and the social determinants of learning

AUTHOR(S)
Meira Levinson; Alan C. Geller; Joseph G. Allen (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas
At least 62 million K-12 students in North America—disproportionately low-income children of color— have been physically out of school for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These children are at risk of significant academic, social, mental, and physical harm now and in the long-term. We review the literature about school safety and the conditions that shape families’ and teachers’ choices to return to in-person schooling. We identify four causes of schooling hesitancy in the U.S. even where schools can be safely reopened: high community transmission rates; the politicization of school re-openings; long-term racialized disinvestment in urban districts; and parents’ rational calculations about their family's vulnerability due to the social determinants of health.
Racial discrimination as a cumulative risk factor affecting parental stress on the psychological distress of Korean Americans (both US- and foreign-born) amid COVID-19: structural equation modeling

AUTHOR(S)
Hyejoon Park; Shinwoo Choi; Keeyoon Noh (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
This study examined the relationships of parental stress and racial discrimination to the psychological distress of Korean Americans (both US- and foreign-born) during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also explored whether racial discrimination moderated the effect of parental stress on psychological distress. Using primary data collected between May 24, 2020, and June 14, 2020, via an online questionnaire, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation models were conducted on 339 Korean American parents.
Reimagining youth justice: how the dual crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice inform judicial policymaking and reform

AUTHOR(S)
Alysha Gagnon; Samahria Alpern

Published: July 2021   Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic and the rejuvenated movement for racial justice in 2020 have presented an opportunity to reimagine the roles, practices, and policies of juvenile and family court systems actors. In order to capture contemporary ideas about judicial practice and policy reforms, semi-structured interviews were conducted with Hon. Edwina Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the Office of Justice Initiatives in New York State, and Hon. Steven Teske, Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Georgia. These interviews yielded several recommendations for judicial reform in youth justice (e.g., implement court-wide procedural justice practices, improve accessibility using technology). These recommendations can be used by systems actors across the country, particularly those interested in adapting their courtroom practices for a post-pandemic world.
The influence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including the COVID-19 pandemic, and toxic stress on development and health outcomes of Latinx children in the USA: a review of the literature

AUTHOR(S)
Natalie Claypool; Arelis Moore de Peralta

Published: July 2021   Journal: International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
The purpose of this review is to synthesize existing literature to analyze the influence of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including the COVID-19 pandemic, and toxic stress on child development and lifelong health outcomes of Latinx children in the USA, utilizing the ACE framework. Without adequate protective factors, children’s early experiences with adversity and toxic stress have implications for their physiological, psychological, and social health. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown to exacerbate childhood adversity and toxic stress and has disproportionately harmed Latinx communities. In applying the ACE framework to US-Latinx populations, relevant findings concerning a potential failure of ACEs to accurately capture Latinx experiences of adversity were highlighted, as well as the need to classify the COVID-19 pandemic as an ACE. Research suggest that first-generation Latinx immigrants report lower-than-average rates of ACEs despite the various disparities ethnic minorities face in the USA.
SARS-CoV-2 infection and racial disparities in children: protective mechanisms and severe complications related to MIS-C

AUTHOR(S)
Sanjana Kurup; Regan Burgess; Fatou Tine (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
A novel coronavirus has resulted in a pandemic with over 176 million confirmed cases and over 3.8 million recorded deaths. In the USA, SARS-CoV-2 infection has a significant burden on minority communities, especially Hispanic and Black communities, which are overrepresented in cases compared to their percentage in the population. SARS-CoV-2 infection can manifest differently in children and adults, with children tending to have less severe disease. A review of current literature was performed to identify the hypothesized protective immune mechanisms in children, and to describe the rare complication of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) that has been documented in children post-SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Association between race and COVID-19 outcomes among 2.6 million children in England

AUTHOR(S)
Defne Saatci; Tom A. Ranger; Cesar Garriga (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: JAMA Pediatrics

Although children mainly experience mild COVID-19 disease, hospitalization rates are increasing, with limited understanding of underlying factors. There is an established association between race and severe COVID-19 outcomes in adults in England; however, whether a similar association exists in children is unclear. This article aims to investigate the association between race and childhood COVID-19 testing and hospital outcomes.

Race, ethnicity, poverty and the social determinants of the coronavirus divide: U.S. county-level disparities and risk factors

AUTHOR(S)
Laura J. Samuel; Darrell J. Gaskin; Antonio, J. Trujillo (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health

Communities with more Black or Hispanic residents have higher coronavirus rates than communities with more White residents, but relevant community characteristics are underexplored. The purpose of this study was to investigate poverty-, race- and ethnic-based disparities and associated economic, housing, transit, population health and health care characteristics. Six-month cumulative coronavirus incidence and mortality were examined using adjusted negative binomial models among all U.S. counties (n = 3142). County-level independent variables included percentages in poverty and within racial/ethnic groups (Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian), and rates of unemployment, lacking a high school diploma, housing cost burden, single parent households, limited English proficiency, diabetes, obesity, smoking, uninsured, preventable hospitalizations, primary care physicians, hospitals, ICU beds and households that were crowded, in multi-unit buildings or without a vehicle.

Structural racism and risk of SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy

AUTHOR(S)
Rachel Pope; Prakash Ganesh; Jill Miracle (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine
Structural racism leads to adverse health outcomes, as highlighted by inequities in COVID-19 infections. We characterized Black/White disparities among pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 in Cuyahoga County which has some of the most extreme health disparities in the U.S., such as a rate of Black infant mortality that is three times that of White counterparts. This was a retrospective cohort study using data collected as part of public health surveillance between March 16, 2020 until October 1, 2020. This study aimed to compare Black and Non-Black pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 to understand how the distribution of risk factors may differ by race. Outcomes included age, gestational age at infection, medical co-morbidities, exposure history, socio-economic status, occupation, symptom severity and pregnancy complications.
Predictors of medical mistrust among urban youth of color during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Marcia J. Ash; Jannette Berkley-Patton; Kelsey Christensen (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Translational Behavioral Medicine
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color and highlighted longstanding racial health inequities. Communities of color also report higher rates of medical mistrust driven by histories of medical mistreatment and continued experiences of discrimination and systemic racism. Medical mistrust may exacerbate COVID-19 disparities. This study utilizes the Behavior Model for Vulnerable Populations to investigate predictors of medical mistrust during the COVID-19 pandemic among urban youth of color. Minority youth (N = 105) were recruited from community organizations in Kansas City, Missouri to complete an online survey between May and June 2020. Multiple linear regressions were performed to estimate the effect of personal characteristics, family and community resources, and COVID-19 need-based factors on medical mistrust.
A new educational normal an intersectionality-led exploration of education, learning technologies, and diversity during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Enrico Gandolfi; Richard E. Ferdig; Annette Kratcoski

Published: June 2021   Journal: Technology in Society
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the learning technologies disparity in the U.S. K-12 education system, thus broadening an already existing and troublesome digital divide. Low-income and minority students and families were particularly disadvantaged in accessing hardware and software technologies to support teaching and learning. Moreover, the homicide of George Floyd fostered a new wave of inquiry about racism and inequality, questioning often enabled with and through technology and social media. To address these issues, this article explores how parents and teachers experienced the pandemic through intersectional and digital divide-driven lenses.
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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.