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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 303
COVID-19 and schools: what is the risk of contagion? Results of a rapid-antigen-test-based screening campaign in Florence, Italy

Guglielmo Bonaccorsi; Sonia Paoli; Massimiliano Alberto Biamonte (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Infectious Diseases

In the coronavirus disease 2019 era, debate around the risk of contagion in school is intense in Italy. The Department of Welfare and Health of Florence promoted a screening campaign with rapid antigen tests for all students and school personnel. The aim of this study was to assess the circulation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the school setting by means of mass screening in every primary and middle school in Florence. All students and school personnel at primary and middle schools in Florence were asked to take part. The campaign started on 16 November 2020 and was completed on 12 February 2021. If a subject had a positive result on rapid antigen testing, a molecular test was performed to confirm the result.

COVID-19 and educational inequality: How school closures affect low- and high-achieving students

Elisabeth Grewenig; Philipp Lergetporer; Katharina Werner (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Economic Review
In spring 2020, governments around the globe shut down schools to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. This study argues that low-achieving students may be particularly affected by the lack of educator support during school closures. It collects detailed time-use information on students before and during the school closures in a survey of 1099 parents in Germany.
"Public health and social measures' considerations for educational authorities: schooling in the time of COVID-19: Considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible"

Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

The return to face-to-face learning helps children return to a sense of normality, although different normality as prevention and control measures have likely altered school and classroom routines. It is important that schools should have a risk-mitigation strategy in place. Countries should ensure these strategies carefully balance the likely benefits for, and harms to, younger and older age groups of children when making decisions about implementing infection prevention and control measures. Any measure needs to be balanced with the even worse alternative of schools being closed and Any measure introduced by schools should follow standard protocols for implementation. This publication shares more detailed considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible.

Schooling in the time of COVID-19, a resource pack produced by UNICEF ECARO and WHO Europe
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

Schools are essential for children’s learning, health, safety and well-being. But students’ learning suffered a major setback when most educational institutions reduced or cancelled in-person instruction and moved to remote learning and teaching to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures continue to jeopardise the future of millions of children across the globe. The Europe and Central Asia Region is no exception. Schools should be the first to open and last to close. Getting children back in the classroom remains a priority for UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, striking a balance between applying public health and social measures and ensuring that children are able to continue learning and socializing to the greatest extent possible. UNICEF and WHO have created several tools and resources to support countries in their back-to-school efforts. This joint UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNICEF/ ECARO) and WHO Regional Office for Europe Schooling Resource Pack has an easy-to-find compilation of materials to help parents/caregivers, teachers and students return to school safely.

Brief report: A cross-sectional study of anxiety levels and concerns of Chinese families of children with special educational needs and disabilities post-first-wave of COVID-19

Xueyun Su; Ru Ying Cai; Mirko Uljarević (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has a multifaceted impact on mental health due to ill health, restrictions and lockdowns, and loss of employment and institutional support. COVID-19 may disproportionally impact families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) due to the already higher prevalence of mental health conditions in children with SEND and their parents. Therefore, it is essential to determine the short-term impact of the pandemic on the mental health of families with SEND in order to identify their ongoing health support needs. The current study aims to examine the anxiety level and concerns of children with SEND and their parents living in China. The sample consisted of 271 parents of children with SEND aged between 6 and 17 years (Mage = 8.37; SDage = 2.76). Parents completed an online survey between 10 April to 8 June 2020. Both child and parental anxiety levels and various concerns increased after the initial wave of COVID-19 when compared with retrospective pre-COVID-19 levels. Parental anxiety and concern levels were significantly higher for those living in rural areas compared to urban areas. In addition, parental and child anxiety and concern levels were significantly correlated with each other. Parental anxiety at the lowest level made a unique and significant statistical contribution to children's anxiety levels. The implications of the study findings are discussed.
The relationships of watching television, computer use, physical activity, and food Preferences to Body mass index: gender and nativity differences among adolescents in Saudi Arabia

Ahmad H. Alghadir; Zaheen A. Iqbal; Sami A. Gabr

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Adolescents and ethnic subgroups have been identified at high risks of overweight and its associated complications. Although some studies have investigated overweight, obesity, nutritional status, physical activity, and associated factors among Saudi students, no studies have examined these characteristics among non-Saudi students or compared non-Saudi to Saudi adolescent students. The objective of this study was to compare differences between Saudi and non-Saudi adolescent students regarding time spent watching television, using computers, engaging in physical activity, and their food preferences. The relationships between these lifestyle behaviors and body mass index by Saudi nativity and gender were tested.
The negative impact of noise on adolescents’ executive function: an online study in the context of home-learning during a pandemic

Brittney Chere; Natasha Kirkham

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
UNICEF estimates that 1.6 billion children across the world have had their education impacted by COVID-19 and have attempted to continue their learning at home. With ample evidence showing a negative impact of noise on academic achievement within schools, the current pre-registered study set out to determine what aspects of the home environment might be affecting these students. Adolescents aged 11–18 took part online, with 129 adolescents included after passing a headphone screening task. They filled out a sociodemographic questionnaire, followed by a home environment and noise questionnaire. Participants then completed three executive function tasks (the Flanker, the Backward Digit Span, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) while listening to a soundtrack of either white noise or home-like environmental noise. For purposes of analysis, based on the noise questionnaire, participants were separated into quieter and noisier homes.
Adolescent emotion scale for online lessons: a study from Turkey

M. Betul Yilmaz; Feza Orhan; S. Gonca Zeren

Published: September 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
People’s day-to-day routines have changed drastically since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the changes to take place has been the transition to online learning due to the changing conditions in learning environments. One of the factors that guide students through learning environments is their emotions. The few existing scales that measure the emotions of adolescents in learning environments have been developed with consideration of face-to-face learning environments and their items do not adequately express the state of online environments. For this reason, this study aimed to develop a scale which reveals the emotions of adolescents that may affect their academic success with regard to this transition of learning environments as they attend online lessons.
Lessons from lockdown: parent perspectives on home-learning mathematics during COVID-19 lockdown

Lisa Darragh; Nike Franke

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents suddenly had to assume responsibility for their children’s learning at home. Research conducted before the pandemic showed that mathematics homework is often unsuccessful or stressful for both parents and children and that tension exists between home and school in the learning of mathematics. Understanding parents’ experience of home-learning mathematics during lockdown has implications for positive learning relationships between home and school in the future. During the lockdown, we sent an online survey to New Zealand parents and received 634 responses. We found that parents were generally very engaged in the home learning of mathematics. They reported a range of opinions about the quality of mathematics work and teacher support, and there was a correlation between general stress levels and negative opinions. To further support their child’s mathematics learning, many parents turned to online mathematics programs, about which they were very positive.
COVID-19 pandemic and the second lockdown: the 3rd wave of the disease through the voice of youth

Cátia Branquinho; Anabela Caetano Santos; Catarina Noronha (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Indicators Research
Around the beginning of the 2021 new year, Europe’s COVID-19 third wave led many leaders to implement a new lockdown period, with the teaching–learning system returning to the online method once more. The present study aimed to understand the health consequences for adolescents and young adults (AYA) during the third wave’s lockdown. This mixed-method study included 592 participants between 16 and 24 years old (M = 19.01, SD = 2.32), with the majority being female (70.9%) and students (82.3%) at high school (55.1%) or university (44.9%). Negative impacts are highlighted in the categories: relationships, physical activity (as well aseno impacts), screen time and academic stress; and no impactsin health and well-being, leisure activities, sleep, diet, academic performance and relationships with teachers and peers. Overall, when compared to the opposite gender, girls report more negative impacts on leisure activities and diet, although more positive impacts on diet, as well as on academic stress; boys stand out in the negative consequences on substance use. At the academic level, students in higher education show more negative impacts on relationships, leisure activities, sleep, diet, screen time and relationships with teachers and peers. Enlightened about the impacts of the second lockdown on their lives, and showing signs of “pandemic fatigue”, this study draws attention to the need to associate psychological support measures with those implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why did some parents not send their children back to school following school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey

Lisa Woodland; Louise E. Smith; Rebecca K. Webster (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMJ Paediatrics Open

On 23 March 2020, schools closed to most children in England in response to COVID-19 until September 2020. Schools were kept open to children of key workers and vulnerable children on a voluntary basis. Starting 1 June 2020, children in reception (4–5 years old), year 1 (5–6 years old) and year 6 (10–11 years old) also became eligible to attend school. 1373 parents or guardians of children eligible to attend school completed a cross-sectional survey between 8 and 11 June 2020. This study investigated factors associated with whether children attended school or not.

Association of elementary school reopening status and county COVID-19 incidence

Kenneth Michelson; Margaret E. Samuels-Kalow

Published: September 2021   Journal: Academic Pediatrics

This study aims to examine the association between elementary school opening status (ESOS) and changes in pediatric COVID-19 incidence. It conducted a cross-sectional study of US counties with school districts with ≥500 elementary school students. The main exposure was ESOS in September, 2020. The outcome was county incidence of COVID-19. Age-stratified negative binomial regression models were constructed using county adult COVID-19 incidence.

Why lockdown and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to increase the social class achievement gap

Sébastien Goudeau; Camille Sanrey; Arnaud Stanczak (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Nature Human Behaviour
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers and parents to quickly adapt to a new educational context: distance learning. Teachers developed online academic material while parents taught the exercises and lessons provided by teachers to their children at home. Considering that the use of digital tools in education has dramatically increased during this crisis, and it is set to continue, there is a pressing need to understand the impact of distance learning. Taking a multidisciplinary view, this study argues that by making the learning process rely more than ever on families, rather than on teachers, and by getting students to work predominantly via digital resources, school closures exacerbate social class academic disparities. To address this burning issue, this study proposes an agenda for future research and outline recommendations to help parents, teachers and policymakers to limit the impact of the lockdown on social-class-based academic inequality.
The impact of COVID-19 related educational disruption on children and adolescents: An interim data summary and commentary on ten considerations for neuropsychological practice

Mary K. (Molly) Colvin; Jennifer Reesman; Tannahill Glen (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Clinical Neuropsychologist

The coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in educational disruption of historic breadth and duration. The authors describe early studies and interim standardized assessment reports to highlight effects of educational disruption and present critical questions for neuropsychologists. A summary of pre-pandemic and interim literature was compiled, including analyses of national and local assessment data and preliminary studies on academic gains related to remote learning, educational and school services disruption, chronic absenteeism, and child and adolescent mental and physical health during 2020–2021. Ten major themes were identified in the early reports on impacts of educational disruption.

Constructions of quality: Australian Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services during COVID-19

Melissa Barnes; Gloria Quiñones; Emily Berger

Published: September 2021   Journal: Teachers and Teaching
There is increasing pressure on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings to align their practices and values to that of schools, with the notion that a quality education in ECEC consists of providing care whilst also ensuring strong learning outcomes. This paper employs the constructs of structural and process quality to theorise the perceived disparities between ECEC institutions and schools and between ECEC services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The experiences of 29 Australian ECEC educators provide insight into the differing constructions of quality across ECEC services during the COVID-19 lockdown periods that occurred from May to August 2020 in the state of Victoria.
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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.