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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Family resilience during COVID-19 pandemic: a literature review

Maria Gayatri; Dian Kristiani Irawaty

Published: April 2022   Journal: The Family Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly in many countries. This pandemic has led to short-term as well as long-term psychosocial and mental health implications for all family members. The magnitude of family resilience is determined by many vulnerability factors like developmental age, educational status, preexisting mental health condition, being economically underprivileged or being quarantined due to infection or fear of infection. PubMed, SCOPUS, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and ProQuest were searched from the inception of the pandemic to December 31, 2020. Articles were screened for inclusion by Authors.
Disruptions, adjustments and hopes: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child well-being in five Majority World Countries

Sadiyya Haffejee; Panos Vostanis; Michelle O'Reilly (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Children & Society

Drawing on integrated data from focus groups and diary entries, we explored the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic on child well- being for children from five Majority World Countries. We focus on the disruptions the pandemic caused, the adjustments made in response to these, and children's vision of a post- pandemic world. Underlying children's experiences of loss, boredom and concerns about educational progress, was an awareness of systemic inequalities that disadvantaged them or oth-ers in their community.

Adolescents and resilience: factors contributing to health-related quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic

Miri Tal-Saban; Shahar Zaguri-Vittenberg

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This study aimed to examine health-related quality of life of adolescents before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, and its relationship to resilience embodied in hope and a sense of coherence. Typically developed adolescents between the ages of 13 to 18 participated in the study; 84 were recruited before the pandemic outbreak and 64 in March to April 2020 during the worldwide outbreak. The participants completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, Sense of Coherence Scale, and Children’s Hope Scale. During the outbreak, adolescents reported higher physical health-related quality of life scores (F(1146) = 3.710, p < 0.05, η² = 0.027) and lower school health-related quality of life scores (F(1146) = 5.748, p < 0.05, η2 = 0.028), compared to adolescents during the pre-outbreak period. Furthermore, adolescents during the outbreak reported a significantly (p < 0.05) higher sense of coherence but no difference in levels of hope. Finally, the results of multiple linear regression indicated that resilience factors (hope and sense of coherence) contributed to the prediction of health-related quality of life, independent of socio-demographic variables.
Do COVID-19 worries, resilience and emotional distress influence life satisfaction? Outcomes in adolescents in Ecuador during the pandemic: SEM vs. QCA

Juan Sebastián Herrera; Laura Lacomba-Trejo; Selene Valero-Moreno (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Children
COVID-19 and the measures adopted have been a problem for society at all levels. The aim of the study was to analyze the main predictors of life satisfaction among adolescents in Ecuador during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were 902 adolescents from Ecuador aged between 12 and 18 years (M = 15.30; SD = 1.28). Variables such as life satisfaction, resilience, emotional symptomatology, and worries about COVID-19 were assessed. Two statistical methodologies were compared (structural equation models (SEM) and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA)) to analyze the possible influence of worries about COVID-19, resilience and emotional symptomatology towards life satisfaction.
Profiles of positive changes in life outcomes over the COVID-19 pandemic in Chinese adolescents: the role of resilience and mental health consequence

Jian-Bin Li; Kai Dou; Zi-Hao Liu (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused enormous negative impacts on adolescents’ routines, social interaction, interpersonal relationships, psychosocial well-being, and physical health. Nevertheless, theories suggest that individuals also often seek out solutions that may facilitate positive changes when they are faced with uncertainty and crisis. However, the existing literature has disproportionately focused on the negative effect of COVID-19 on adolescents, and scant research has examined to what extent and in what aspects adolescents would experience positive changes in times of the pandemic. This pre-registered research aims to bridge said gaps by: (1) exploring different profiles of positive changes in various life outcomes in Chinese adolescents over the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) examining the role of resilience in differentiating different profiles; (3) comparing adolescents’ mental health across profiles. Participants were 2,567 adolescents aged 12 to 24 recruited from 32 provinces in mainland China (66.89% females; Mage = 19.87 years, SD = 2.02). Through an online survey, participants rated how much their lives of different domains had experienced positive changes since the outbreak of the pandemic. They also answered standardized questionnaires that measured their resilience and mental health.

Resilience of adolescents and teenagers with self-limited and genetic-generalized epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Stephanie Kwok; Jennifer Engle; Anita N. Datta

Published: January 2022   Journal: Epilepsy & Behavior Reports

The study-objective was to determine the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with self-limited and genetic-generalized epilepsy. Patients completed the Children’s Depression Inventory-2 (CDI-2) and Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children 2nd Edition (MASC-2) questionnaires before and during the pandemic. Via tele-visits, a pandemic-lifestyle survey and Obsession with COVID-19 Scale (OCS) was administered. Fifty subjects with a mean (SD) age of 14.44 (2.97) years and 4.85 (2.97) years of epilepsy were included. Overall, mood (62%), anxiety (61%), sleep (68%) and seizure frequency (88%) were unchanged/improved during the pandemic. There was no significant difference in pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19 CDI-2 and MASC-2 total T-scores. In 24% with a worsening CDI-2 total T-score, associations included higher total OCS score (p = 0.001), poor sleep (p = 0.013) and pre-existing psychiatric history (p = 0.0450). In 28% with a worsening MASC-2 total T-score, associations included less exercise during the pandemic (p = 0.028) and lower maternal education history (p = 0.022). On OCS, 6% were in the dysfunctional range.

Effectiveness of resilience training on social self-efficacy of the elementary school girls during COVID-19

Shima Gadari; Jamileh Farokhzadian; Parvin Mangolian Shahrbabaki

Published: December 2021   Journal: Clinical child psychology and psychiatry
Children, especially girls, are more vulnerable during crises, who need to acquire skills such as social self-efficacy to meet the challenges of the environment. Given that, much progress has been made in e-learning; its capabilities can be used to promote children's health. This study aimed to determine the effect of virtual resilience training on the social self-efficacy of elementary school girls. This experimental study was performed on primary school girls aged 9-10 years in southeastern Iran.
‘Stranger-danger’* – Israeli children playing with the concept of ‘Corona’ and its’ impact during the COVID-19 pandemic

Esther Cohen; Esther Bamberger

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Play
This study examines reports of 118 parents about the play activities of Israeli children aged 3-9 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents responded to online questionnaires describing children's play, creative activities and the family's situation. Qualitative analyses revealed changes in both the nature of the children's play activities and in the expressed themes. Findings highlight positive gains in children's development and family relationships. The varied and expansive nature of play seemed to support the children's coping with lockdown and social distancing restrictions. Themes emerging from socio-dramatic play show attempts to deal with fear of coronavirus by seeking imaginary protection and refuge from it, and by attempts to defeat it. Of note are the use of humor and cynicism alongside acts of concern and altruism towards grandparents. This study contributes evidence as to the adaptive abilities of children and the self-healing functions of play, and denote the need to promote them.
Building long-term family resilience through universal prevention: 10-year parent and child outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Mark E. Feinberg; Lindsey Gedaly; Jacqueline Mogle (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Family Process
As the COVID-19 pandemic has been highly stressful for parents and children, it is clear that strategies that promote long-term family resilience are needed to protect families in future crises. One such strategy, the Family Foundations program, is focused on promoting supportive coparenting at the transition to parenthood. In a randomized trial, we tested the long-term intervention effects of Family Foundations on parent, child, and family well-being one to two months after the imposition of a national shelter-in-place public health intervention in 2020. This study used regression models to test intervention impact on outcomes reported on by parents in a standard questionnaire format and a series of 8 days of daily reports. It also tested moderation of intervention impact by parent depression and coparenting relationship quality.
COVID-19 and resilience in schools: implications for practice and policy

Suniya S. Luthar; Lisa S. Pao; Nina L. Kumar

Published: December 2021   Journal: Social Policy Report
This is a mixed-methods study of risk and resilience in a sample of over 14,000 students from 49 schools, assessed during the first 3 months of COVID-19 in the United States. Over a third of students were of color and almost a third received financial aid. Participation rates were typically 90–99%. Overall, rates of clinically significant depression and anxiety were lower during distance learning in 2020 as compared to parallel rates documented during 2019, with a few exceptions. Hispanic students did not show reductions in depression rates, nor did gender non-binary youth. Analyses of multiple risk and protective factors showed that in relation to depression, the most potent predictor was parent support, with effect sizes at least twice as high as those for any other predictor.
The upside: coping and psychological resilience in Australian adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Joanne R. Beames; Sophie H. Li; Jill M. Newby (et al.)

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

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, few studies have investigated the positive psychological consequences on young people. This study examined resilience, positive experiences, and coping strategies reported by Australian adolescents during COVID-19. Self-report surveys were administered online to a sample of 760 Australian adolescents aged 12–18 years. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to assess resilience, positive experiences, and coping strategies. Exploratory regression analyses were conducted to explore the relationship between resilience and demographics and mental illness history, as well as between resilience and positive experiences.

Families playing animal crossing together: coping with video games during the COVID-19 pandemic

Katy E. Pearce; Jason C. Yip; Jin Ha Lee (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Games and Culture
The COVID-19 pandemic was stressful for everyone, particularly for families who had to supervise and support children, facilitate remote schooling, and manage work and home life. We consider how families coped with pandemic-related stress using the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Combining a family coping framework with theorizing about media as a coping tool, this interview study of 27 families (33 parents and 37 children) found that parents and children individual coped with pandemic-related stress with media. Parents engaged in protective buffering of their children with media, taking on individual responsibility to cope with a collective problem. Families engaged in communal coping, whereby media helped the family cope with a collective problem, taking on shared ownership and responsibility. We provide evidence for video games as coping tools, but with the novel consideration of family coping with media.
Psychological distress and resilience in a multicentre sample of adolescents and young adults with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic

Clare Jacobson; Nicola Miller; Rebecca Mulholland (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Understanding impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) with cancer is important to inform care. Online survey of 16–24 year olds receiving cancer treatment at eight cancer centres in the UK. This study measured: self-perceived increased anxiety since COVID-19, impact of COVID-19 on treatment, life and relationships, PHQ-8, GAD and the two-item Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). 112 AYA participated. 59.8% had previous mental health difficulties. 78.6% reported COVID-19 having a significant impact on life. 79% reported experiencing increased anxiety since COVID-19.43.4% had moderate-severe PHQ-8 scores and 37.1% GADS-7 scores. Impact on life was associated with moderate-severe PHQ-8 scores (OR 5.23, 95% CI 1.65–16.56, p < 0.01), impact on relationships with moderate-severe GADS-7 and PHQ-8 score (OR 2.89, 95% CI 1.11–7.54, p = 0,03; OR 3.54, 95% CI 2.32–15.17, p < 0.01; OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.11–5.25, p =0.03).
Parenting during the COVID-19 lockdown in Portugal: changes in daily routines, co-parenting relationships, emotional experiences, and support networks

Ana P. Antunes; Silvana Martins; Laura Magalhães (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged parental resources pertinent to coping with lockdowns. The main objective of this work was to study parenting during the COVID-19 lockdown. Specifically at focus were parental behaviors concerning key domains for the family (daily routine, co-parenting, emotional experience, and support network) and changes related to the pandemic and associated with the parents’ employment statuses. An online survey was carried out through an ad hoc questionnaire where participants completed questions about their sociodemographic data and rated how much their family routines, their co-parenting relationship, their emotional experiences, and the support available in the family network varied on a 5-point scale. The participants included 1384 parents, of which 286 responded to open questions regarding impactful experiences during the lockdown.
Hardships & resilience: families in a pandemic

Erica Kanewischer; Claire Mueller; Mia Pylkkanen

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Family Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic created unique hardships for families with school-aged children. To better understand these hardships, this question was asked: How did family units of various racial and socioeconomic backgrounds experience the pandemic? Qualitative phenomenology was the methodological basis for this study, and the Double ABC-X Model of Family Behavior was applied to analyze how the pandemic and racial tensions that occurred in the past 18 months affected families. This study specifically focused on including the voices of minoritized populations as they are less often represented in phenomenological research. Semi-structured virtual interviews were conducted with families from Minnesota and Illinois. NViVo was used to code and analyze the interviews. Five themes were identified which demonstrated family strength and experience of hardship: resilience, boundaries, community support, fear, and communication.
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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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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.