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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Keeping girls in the picture during and after the COVID-19 crisis: the latest facts on gender equality in education
Institution: UNESCO - Global Education Monitoring Report Team
Published: April 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history. Throughout 2020 most governments around the world temporarily closed schools and other learning spaces in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. At the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries. This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education inrecent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.

Media use among kindergarteners from low-income households during the COVID-19 shutdown

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca A. Dore; Kelly Purtell; Laura M. Justice

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

This study examines the media use of children from low-income homes during school closings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caregivers of 151 kindergarteners from low-income homes completed questionnaires as part of a larger study. Caregivers reported how much time children spent watching television/videos and using apps on the most recent weekday and weekend days. Caregivers also reported how their child's current use of media for several different purposes compared with how much the child usually uses media for that purpose.

School closures reduced social mixing of children during COVID-19 with implications for transmission risk and school reopening policies

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer R. Head; Kristin L. Andrejko; Qu Cheng (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of the Royal Society Interface
School closures may reduce the size of social networks among children, potentially limiting infectious disease transmission. To estimate the impact of K–12 closures and reopening policies on children's social interactions and COVID-19 incidence in California's Bay Area, this study collected data on children's social contacts and assessed implications for transmission using an individual-based model.
Characteristics and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 in children tested in the early phase of the pandemic: a cross-sectional study, Italy, 23 February to 24 May 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Marzia Lazzerini; Idanna Sforzi; Sandra Trapani (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Eurosurveillance

The pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) affected Italy as first country in Europe. The Italian government declared a state of emergency on 31 January 2020 and by 24 May 2020, a total of 229,858 cases of COVID-19 had been diagnosed across the country. From the very beginning of the pandemic, data suggested that children are less affected than adults by COVID-19. However, timely diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is not only important for the single individual, it is crucial to prevent the spread of the pandemic. A better understanding of the predictors of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test results may facilitate timely case finding and contact tracing and thus contribute to control the pandemic. It may also improve organisation of care in settings where diagnostic facilities are available but still require a considerable processing time, where diagnostic facilities are lacking and where diagnosis, in the absence of other tools, may need to be based on clinical characteristics alone.

Cite this research | Vol.: 26 | Issue: 14 | No. of pages: 12 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: COVID-19 response, disease transmission, infectious disease, lockdown, school attendance, social distance | Countries: Italy
Homeschooling during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: the role of students’ trait self-regulation and task attributes of daily learning tasks for students’ daily self-regulation

AUTHOR(S)
Friederike Blume; Andrea Schmidt; Andrea C. Kramer

Published: April 2021   Journal: Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft
As a means to counter the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, schools were closed throughout Germany between mid-March and end of April 2020. Schooling was translocated to the students’ homes where students were supposed to work on learning tasks provided by their teachers. Students’ self-regulation and attributes of the learning tasks may be assumed to have played important roles when adapting to this novel schooling situation. They may be predicted to have influenced students’ daily self-regulation and hence the independence with which they worked on learning tasks. The present work investigated the role of students’ trait self-regulation as well as task difficulty and task enjoyment for students’ daily independence from their parents in learning during the homeschooling period.
Implementation of online home-based learning and students' engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic: a case study of Singapore mathematics teachers

AUTHOR(S)
Lee Yong Tay; Shu-Shing Lee; Kalaivani Ramachandran

Published: April 2021   Journal: The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced school closure thus shifting teaching and learning towards full home-based learning (HBL). Technology plays a key role but the considerations to design online learning environments that meaningfully engage students are complex. This exploratory, qualitative study attempted to elicit eight mathematics teachers’ considerations and perspectives in designing online home-based learning lessons for the engagement of elementary and secondary students.
Speech-language teletherapy services for school-aged children in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sherine R. Tambyraja; Kelly Farquharson; Jaumeiko Coleman

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk
The purpose of this study was to examine how school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) maintained clinical services via teletherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic closures. School-based SLPs in the United States were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey. Questions relevant to this study gathered information regarding a) provision of teletherapy following COVID-19 school closures, b) the types of technologies used to deliver teletherapy and supports offered from school districts, and c) challenges to providing consistent therapy.
Physical activity of early school-age children in Poland during classes in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Stanisława Nazaruk; Joanna Marchel; Aleksandra Kruszewska (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Education 3-13
Family and educational institutions play a decisive role in learning and strengthening habits related to physical activity and health. School has a specific mission in this scope, especially at the first stage of education. Attempting to answer the question of how schools in practice realise these tasks, a study was conducted on the level of physical activity of pupils in classes I–III of primary school, during their participation in compulsory school activities. The study took into account many conditions, in particular, the organisation of school work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical activity of the pupils was measured with the use of Actigraphs GT3X+, known also as accelerometers, and the Steps Per Minute Test. The study covered pupils (N = 159) aged 7–9 years, who attended classes I–III of several schools in the region of Eastern Poland.
Understanding why the COVID‐19 pandemic‐related lockdown increases mental health difficulties in vulnerable young children

AUTHOR(S)
Dolapo Adegboye; Ffion Williams; Stephan Collishaw (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: JCPP Advances

The mental health consequences of school closure, social isolation, increased financial and emotional stress, and greater exposure to family conflicts are likely to be pronounced for primary school children who are known to be vulnerable. Data from prior to the pandemic are needed to provide robust assessments of the impact of COVID‐19 on vulnerable children. The present study capitalises on an ongoing study of primary school children (4–8 years) identified as ‘at‐risk’ for mental health problems by teachers. It collected mental health and socio‐economic data prior to the pandemic and re‐assessed this cohort (n = 142) via researcher‐led video calls during the pandemic to evaluate the social and emotional impacts of COVID‐19 for these families.

Implementation of preventive measures to prevent COVID-19: a national study of English primary schools in summer 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Neisha Sundaram; Chris Bonell; Shamez Ladhani (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Health Education Research
This study examined the feasibility of implementing preventive measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission across 105 English primary schools in summer 2020 via a survey and interviews with headteachers. High rates of implementation of most recommended measures were noted with the exception of requiring 2 m distance for students, fitting hand sanitizers in classrooms and introducing one-way systems in school corridors. Measures such as regular handwashing and stopping assemblies were considered easy to implement. Majorly challenging measures included distancing between individuals (for students: 51%, N ¼ 99; for staff: 34%; N ¼ 98; for parents: 26%, N ¼ 100), spacing out desks (34%, N ¼ 99), keeping same staff assigned to each student group (33%, N¼ 97) and staggering break times (25%, N¼ 99).
COVID-19 and children's health in the United States: consideration of physical and social environments during the pandemic.

AUTHOR(S)
José R. Suarez-Lopez; Maryann R. Cairns; Kam Sripada (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Environmental Research
Public health measures necessary to  counteract the  coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in dramatic changes in the physical and social environments within which children grow and develop. As our understanding of the pathways for viral exposure and associated health outcomes in children evolves, it is critical to consider how changes in the social, cultural, economic, and physical environments resulting from the pandemic could affect the development of children. This review article considers the environments and settings that create the backdrop for children’s health in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, including current threats to child development that stem from: A) change in exposures to environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, disinfectants, air pollution and the built environment; B) changes in food environments resulting from adverse economic repercussion of the pandemic and limited reach of existing safety nets; C) limited access to children’s educational and developmental resources; D) changes in the social environments at the  individual and household levels, and their interplay with family stressors and mental health; E)  social injustice and racism. The environmental changes due to COVID-19 are overlaid onto existing environmental and social disparities. This results in  disproportionate effects among children in  low-income settings and among populations experiencing the effects of structural racism.
The mediating role of daytime sleepiness between problematic smartphone use and post-traumatic symptoms in COVID-19 home-refined adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Tao Hu; Ying Wang; Ling Lin (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review

COVID-19 was first recognized in late 2019 in China, at which time school closures forced most students to isolate at home or maintain social distance, both of which increased smartphone use, daytime sleepiness and post traumatic disorder (PTSD) risks. However, to date, no research has fully explored these behavioral risks or the consequences. Two thousand and ninety home-confined students from two Chinese high schools participated in an online-based questionnaire battery that assessed their sociodemographic characteristics, COVID-19 related exposures, daytime sleepiness, problematic smartphone use, and PTSD. The subsequent data were subjected to mediation analysis, and structural equation models (SEM) were employed to explore the variable relationships.

Development of a brief group CBT intervention to reduce COVID-19-related distress among school-age youth

AUTHOR(S)
Natalie Rodriguez-Quintana; Allison E. Meyer; Emily Bilek (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Cognitive and Behavioral Practice
School-aged youth have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of the pandemic will likely have long-standing effects on the well-being of youth, and access to mental health care is even more critical during this time. For the past 5 years, TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) has been working throughout the state to increase utilization of evidence-based mental health practices among K-12 school mental health professionals (SMHPs). By leveraging SMHPs who are widely accessible to students, TRAILS seeks to improve youth access to effective mental health care and reduce current mental health inequities. In March 2020, TRAILS responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a group manual designed to be delivered virtually by SMHPs to help students develop effective coping skills to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Addressing the clinical impact of COVID-19 on pediatric mental health

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole Bartek; Jessica L. Peck; Dawn Garzon (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Health Care
The novel coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacts the daily lives of families around the world. Sequelae are not limited to physical consequences of medical complications, but extend into social, emotional, spiritual, and psychological health. Interventions including mask wearing and physical distancing are intended to prevent viral spread but have an unintended negative effect on mental health and child development because of social isolation. Though it is too early to know the full impact of the pandemic on this generation of children, practicing pediatric clinicians are well positioned to help young people recover and thrive despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. The purpose of this article is to review emerging evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in children, and to discuss practical steps and interventions that can be used in primary care to foster resilience in youth and their families.
The COVID-19 school closure effect on students’ print and digital leisure reading

AUTHOR(S)
Baoqi Sun; Chin Ee Loh; Youyan Nie

Published: April 2021   Journal: Computers and Education Open
Adopting an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, this study examined Singaporean primary school students’ changes in reading enjoyment, reading amount, and their access to resources in print and digital formats during the COVID-19 school closure. Survey data showed reading was a more preferred leisure activity during the school closure. Students’ reading enjoyment prior to the closure was positively correlated with changes in their reading enjoyment and reading amount during the closure, for both print and digital formats. Despite the ubiquity of devices, devices were underutilised for reading purposes. Students demonstrated a clear preference for print reading over reading digitally both before and during the school closure and relied more on home than online resources for reading materials. Changes in time spent on devices during school closure were not related to changes in digital reading amount, but negatively related to changes in reading enjoyment and print reading amount over the same period, suggesting more time on devices may not naturally lead to more reading digitally.
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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.