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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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‘Why is it so different now I’m bisexual?’: young bisexual people’s experiences of identity, belonging, self-injury, and COVID19

AUTHOR(S)
Brendan J. Dunlop; Cheryl Hunter; Matina Shafti (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Psychology & Sexuality
Bisexual people demonstrate higher rates of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in comparison to other groups. This study aimed to explore bisexual people’s experiences of sexuality, NSSI and the COVID19 pandemic. Fifteen bisexual people (16–25 years old) with experience of NSSI participated in online qualitative interviews. Thematic analysis was used. Preliminary findings were shared with a subset of participants for member-checking. Participants described experiences of falling between the binary worlds of heterosexuality and homosexuality and described discrimination and invalidation related to this. Lack of access to positive bisexual representation contributed to feelings of self-loathing, with NSSI used to manage emotions or self-punish. The effect of lockdown was not clear cut, depending on personal circumstances and meanings of social interaction for participants. There is a need for greater recognition of significant societal narratives around bisexuality within clinical formulations of mental health difficulties and NSSI within this population.
Prosocial skills development in children and social value creation during COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
Ahmad Arslan; Lauri Haapanen; Shlomo Tarba

Published: March 2021   Journal: Strategic Change
Development of prosocial skills in children in their middle childhood and the role of computer games is analyzed in our case study based on an entrepreneurial venture (School of Gaming, Oulu). This venture was launched almost at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe. It has operated successfully during COVID-19, not only in Finland but also has expanded to Indonesia in this limited time period. It created social value by offering the children a possibility to be with their friends during the lockdown as well as develop skills like empathy, sharing, and trust. The case study further revealed that affordable pricing, the use of professional gaming instructors and adaptation played an important role in organizational success during this tough time period.
Self-construction via texts: COVID-19 and child fiction

AUTHOR(S)
Malik Haroon Afzal

Published: February 2021   Journal: New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship
COVID-19 has re-shuffled human life in numerous ways. The ideology of restraint and social distancing is on top of all the changes gifted to mankind by the novel virus. In other words, social distancing as a ‘new normal’ has become an established reality. In this context, the study aims at exploring the mechanics of construction of this ‘new-normal’ via texts –literary and non-literary. According to new historicism, texts and co-texts are employed by power as tools to build as well as restraint a particular ideology. The paper aims at showing the treatment of COVID-19 by the literary texts produced during this vast human crisis particularly child fiction. It also re-validates the critique of new historicism in the under-discussion context. For this purpose, two short stories—Together by Kevin Poplawski and My Hero is You by UNICEF—have been analysed in the backdrop of the political (non-literary) discourse produced to combat COVID-19. The analysis, thus, finds the heavy reliance of world powers on literary and non-literary discourses for the inclusion of the ‘new normative’ of social distancing and personal care. It is also suggested that the pandemic has bestowed a relatively polite image to ‘power’ due to its efforts to construct the ‘new normal’ abiding selves and inoculate the ‘new normative of social distancing’ that ultimately favours humanity.
Advancing measurement and research on youths’ prosocial behavior in the digital age

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Armstrong‐Carter; Eva H. Telzer

Published: January 2021   Journal: Child Development Perspectives
Widespread access to digital and social media has drastically altered the nature of youth’s interpersonal connections. In this context, the opportunities children and adolescents have to help people around them are rapidly evolving. This article reviewed emerging literature on how digital media influences youth’s prosocial development in new ways. Then it proposed the next steps for advancing the field’s understanding of youth’s prosocial behavior in the digital age.
Physical activity and screen time of children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany: a natural experiment

AUTHOR(S)
Steffen C. E. Schmidt; Bastian Anedda; Alexander Burchartz (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Scientific Reports
The impact of COVID-19 on social life has been drastic and global. However, the different numbers of cases and different actions in different countries have been leading to various interesting yet unexplored effects on human behavior. In the present study, we compare the physical activity and recreational screen time of a representative sample of 1711 4- to 17-year-olds before and during the strictest time of the first COVID-19 lockdown in Germany. We found that sports activity declined whereas recreational screen time increased. However, a substantial increase in habitual physical activities leads to an overall increase in physical activity among children and adolescents in Germany. The effects differ in size but not in their direction between age groups and are stable for boys and girls. We conclude from this natural experiment that physical activity among children and adolescents is highly context-driven and mutual and does not act as a functional opposite to recreational screen time.
Countries embracing maternal employment have opened schools sooner after COVID-19 lockdowns

AUTHOR(S)
Ansgar Hudde; Natalie Nitsche

Published: September 2020
This study shows that societal gender ideology likely has affected school closure and opening policies. Societies that are more supportive of maternal employment have reopened schools significantly sooner than societies less supportive of maternal employment, relative to other opening measures and net of infection rates. The study contributes novel evidence on the role of attitudes on policy-decision making, and unveils the presence of a potential gender ideology bias in policy-makers’ ad-hoc decision-making under time pressure. The epidemic threat remains high and questions about the operation of schools continue to be a pressing matter. Considering this bias in decision-making can improve further policy-measures during the remainder of the pandemic, and beyond.
The effects of social deprivation on adolescent development and mental health

AUTHOR(S)
Amy Orben; Livia Tomova; Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Published: August 2020   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Adolescence (the stage between 10 and 24 years) is a period of life characterised by heightened sensitivity to social stimuli and the increased need for peer interaction. The physical distancing measures mandated globally to contain the spread of COVID-19 are radically reducing adolescents' opportunities to engage in face-to-face social contact outside their household. This study describes, from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, how social deprivation in adolescence might have far-reaching consequences. Human studies have shown the importance of peer acceptance and peer influence in adolescence. Animal research has shown that social deprivation and isolation have unique effects on brain and behaviour in adolescence compared with other stages of life. However, the decrease in adolescent face-to-face contact might be less detrimental due to widespread access to digital forms of social interaction through technologies such as social media. The findings reviewed highlight how physical distancing might have a disproportionate effect on an age group for whom peer interaction is a vital aspect of development.
Young people's views on their role in the COVID-19 pandemic and society's recovery from it

AUTHOR(S)
Vic Larcher; Mariana Dittborn; James Linthicum (et al.)

Published: August 2020   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood
This paper aims to show how young people see their role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monitoring COVID-19 Impact on households in Mongolia
Institution: The World Bank
Published: July 2020
To monitor the household-level impacts of COVID-19, the National Statistics Office of Mongolia (NSO) and the World Bank have implemented a joint COVID-19 Household Response Phone Survey (HRPS) on a national sample of 1,334 households.
O uso intensivo da internet por crianças e adolescentes no contexto da COVID-19 e os riscos para violências autoinflingidas

AUTHOR(S)
Suely Ferreira Deslandes; Tiago Coutinho

Published: June 2020   Journal: Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
This article aimed to discuss the implications of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the intensive use of the internet among children and adolescents and its possible consequences for the practice of self-inflicted violence. We briefly discussed the anxiogenic potential and the reproduction of a “global fear” that are consolidated with the massive and unmediated exposure of the content consumed, which can increase the vulnerabilities to stress and suicidal ideas. We centered our debate on “recreational” practices, called “challenges” with self-harm power, carried out by teenagers on the YouTube website. This practice has been shown to increase with the social isolation measures. Our reflection on these risks builds on the theoretical perspective of digital sociability, and its implications for the internet-mediated interactions of adolescents.
Age profile of susceptibility, mixing, and social distancing shape the dynamics of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in China

AUTHOR(S)
Juanjuan zhang; Maria Litvinova; Yuxia Liang (et al.)

Published: March 2020   Journal: MedRXiv
Strict interventions were successful to control the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China. As transmission intensifies in other countries, the interplay between age, contact patterns, social distancing, susceptibility to infection and disease, and COVID-19 dynamics remains unclear. To answer these questions, we analyze contact surveys data for Wuhan and Shanghai before and during the outbreak and contact tracing information from Hunan Province. Daily contacts were reduced 7-9 fold during the COVID-19 social distancing period, with most interactions restricted to the household. Children 0-14 years were 59% (95% CI 7-82%) less susceptible than individuals 65 years and over. A transmission model calibrated against these data indicates that social distancing alone, as implemented in China during the outbreak, is sufficient to control COVID-19. While proactive school closures cannot interrupt transmission on their own, they reduce peak incidence by half and delay the epidemic. These findings can help guide global intervention policies.
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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.