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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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31 - 45 of 77
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.
Changes in psychosocial functioning among urban, school-age children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Andrea E. Spencer; Rachel Oblath; Rohan Dayal (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

There is concern about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychosocial functioning among school-age children, who have faced unusual stressors during this time. This study's goal is to assess mental health symptoms and social risks during COVID-19, compared to before the pandemic, for urban, racial and ethnic minority school-age children, and investigate the relationship between mental health and social risks. It is a cohort study from September 2019 until January 2021 of children age 5–11 years old recruited from an urban safety net hospital-based pediatric primary care practice.

COVID-19 and the social determinants of health and health equity: evidence brief
Institution: World Health Organization
Published: December 2021
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age and people’s access to power, money and resources. The social determinants are the major drivers of health inequities – unfair, avoidable and remediable differences in health between social groups. This evidence brief examines the influence of the social determinants of health on the current COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the inequities of impact. The findings are drawn from a rapid systematic review of global evidence.
Chinese American adolescents’ experiences of COVID-19-related racial discrimination and anxiety: person-centered and intersectional approaches

Xiaoli Zong; Charissa S. L. Cheah; Huiguang Ren

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
he present study examined the impact of COVID-19-related racial discrimination on Chinese American adolescents (N = 213; Mage = 13.95 years, SD = 2.35; 49% girls) at the intersection of race and gender. We explored (1) subgroups of adolescents based on ethnic identity, bicultural identity integration, and behavioral acculturation; (2) their demographic correlates; and (3) whether the association between racial discrimination and anxiety varied across subgroups and gender. Latent profile analysis identified three profiles: bicultural, marginalized, and separated. Bicultural and marginalized adolescents were vulnerable to direct and vicarious racial discrimination, respectively. Moreover, bicultural and marginalized boys and separated girls were more negatively affected by COVID-19-related racial discrimination.
COVID-19, police violence, and educational disruption: the differential experience of anxiety for racial and ethnic households

Ashley E. Burch; Molly Jacobs

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

The threat of a deadly pandemic, racial tension, recessionary economic circumstances, and educational disruption likely contributed to the heightened anxiety felt by many Americans in 2020. This study examines the differential anxiety experienced by Black, White, and Hispanic households with and without children during 2020. Data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey detailing the frequency of anxiety among a nationally representative sample of adults from April 23 to December 21, 2020, was coupled with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records of COVID-19 diagnoses and state-level police killings. Multinomial logistic regression assessed the relative contribution of COVID-19 deaths, police violence, unemployment, fear of unemployment, change in educational delivery, and geographic location to anxiety among racial/ethnic cohorts with and without children.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families from marginalized groups: a qualitative study in Kingston, Ontario

Hannah Lee; Imaan Bayoumi; Autumn Watson (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with unprecedented changes to societal structure. School closures, unstable employment, and inaccessible health services have caused enormous disruptions to child and family wellbeing. This study identifies major themes illustrating how child and family wellness were impacted by COVID-19, including unique effects experienced by Indigenous families. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants (n = 31) recruited from organizations providing healthcare and social services in Kingston, Ontario. Interview transcripts and written survey responses were analyzed using a phenomenological approach to explore themes related to child and family wellbeing.
Early childhood teachers of color in New York City: heightened stress, lower quality of life, declining health, and compromised sleep amidst COVID-19

Mariana Souto-Manning; Samantha A. Melvin

Published: November 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to mitigate its spread affected every facet of education and society. The closure of sites of early care and education posed risks to the health, nutrition, social well-being, and emotional development of young children. In the U.S., threats to the quality of life and wellness of early childhood teachers and young children ages birth to eight (early childhood according to definition issued by the National Association for the Education of young children) intensified existing inequities. These inequities were visible in stigmatizing children and families in neighborhoods with high infection rates; trauma emanating from the death and bereavement of family members; loss of employment and economic hardships; more young children living in extreme poverty; disruptions to child protection services; and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. Stress, anxiety, and disrupted sleep, expected responses to a threat as sizeable as the COVID-19 pandemic, were further exacerbated by racialized inequities in access and rates of vaccination
Exposure to social media racial discrimination and mental health among adolescents of color

Xiangyu Tao; Celia B. Fisher

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Offline and online racial discrimination has been associated with mental health problems among adolescents of color. Pandemic shelter-at-home policies and the reignited racial justice movement increased the use of social media among youth of color, potentially exposing them to social media racial discrimination. Yet, it is unclear which aspects of social media significantly contributed to youth exposure to racial discrimination and associated mental health issues during this period. This study assessed the relationships among social media use (hours, racial intergroup contact, and racial justice civic engagement), individual and vicarious social media discrimination (defined as personally directed versus observing discrimination directed at others), and mental health among 115 black, 112 East/Southeast Asian, 79 Indigenous, and 101 Latinx adolescents (N = 407, 82.31% female, aged 15–18 years, M = 16.47, SD = 0.93).
31 - 45 of 77

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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