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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Sociodemographic and mental health characteristics associated with changes in movement behaviours due to the COVID-19 pandemic in adolescents

Amanda Lien; Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga; Karen A. Patte (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of Activity, Sedentary and Sleep Behaviors volume

Control measures enacted to control the spread of COVID-19 appear to have impacted adolescent movement behaviours. It remains unclear how these changes relate to sociodemographic characteristics and indicators of mental health. Understanding these relationships can contribute to informing health promotion efforts. The purpose of this study is to examine sociodemographic and mental health characteristics associated with changes in movement behaviours (physical activity, screen time, sleep duration) due to the COVID-19 pandemic among adolescents. This cross-sectional study used May–June 2020 survey data and included 7349 students from Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia (Canada). ANOVA, χ2 tests, and estimation of effect sizes using Cohen’s d and h tests were performed between self-reported perceived changes (increase; decrease; no change) to physical activity, TV watching, social media use, and sleep duration as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and gender, age, race/ethnicity, income, depression and anxiety symptoms, flourishing-languishing, and self-rated mental health.

Data from the German family panel pairfam: the supplementary COVID-19 survey

Julia Reim; Svenja Geissler; Philipp Alt (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Journal of Open Psychology Data
The COVID-19 pandemic had major implications for private and family lives. The German Family Panel pairfam conducted an online survey regarding the experiences during the pandemic. The survey was conducted from May to July 2020. It includes instruments introduced in previous pairfam waves as well as new modules on topics that proved particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting dataset encompasses a sample of 3,182 respondents from all German federal states ranging in age from 17–47 years. The data has already been used in a variety of scientific publications and is available for research and teaching purposes.
Prospective associations between pandemic-related adversity, harsh parenting, and the development of prosociality across middle to late childhood

Nila Shakiba; Samantha Perlstein; Tralucia Powell (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Developmental Psychology.
Parenting behaviors and children’s prosociality (i.e., voluntary behaviors intended to benefit others) are linked across development. Contextual risk and environmental stressors may undermine parenting behaviors known to promote children’s prosocial behavior. The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique context in which to examine how stress and contextual risk disrupt parenting practices and the development of children’s prosociality over time. To explore the associations between pandemic-related adversity, parenting practices, and child prosocial behavior, we used survey data from 303 families (child Mage = 6.43; 51.4% female, 48.6% male; 65.7% White) who participated in a three-wave longitudinal study during the first year of the pandemic. Families were recruited from two northeastern cities in the United States.
Social communication skill attainment in babies born during the COVID-19 pandemic: a birth cohort study

Susan Byrne; Hailey Sledge; Ruth Franklin (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic was managed with sustained mass lockdowns to prevent spread of COVID-19 infection. Babies born during the early stages of the pandemic missed the opportunity of meeting a normal social circle of people outside the family home. This study compared 10 parentally reported developmental milestones at 12-month assessment in a cohort of 309 babies born at the onset of the pandemic (CORAL cohort) and 1629 babies from a historical birth cohort (BASELINE cohort recruited between 2008 and 2011).

I don't know whose mouth has been on this: youth nicotine and cannabis vaping practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Sabrina Islam; Kirsten Thompson; Melissa Abadi (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health
Early COVID-19 safety protocols urged physical and social distancing, resulting in minimal contact with others. As social contexts are central to vaping among youth, this study used semi-structured interviews to describe how youth who vape are making sense of their use practices and adaptations. The qualitative analyses revealed changes in vaping frequency and access, social isolation shaping substance- and product-specific use, and motivations and outcomes of dual use of nicotine and cannabis which were closely linked to the pandemic.
Changes in late adolescents' trust before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Shanshan Bi; Asuman Buyukcan-Tetik; Marlies Maes (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Adolescence and Youth
Trust is crucial to the public’s compliance with policies and rules released by governments, particularly in times of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, it remains unclear whether and to what extent late adolescents’ interpersonal and institutional trust fluctuated from the pre-COVID-19 pandemic to the lasting phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study uses three-wave longitudinal data from the Youth Got Talent (YGT) project to address this gap (n = 1,423; 43% boys; Mage = 17.85, SD = 1.95).
The COVID-19 pandemic and sexual debut among South Korean adolescents

Hyun Sik Kim

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Sexual Health
This study assesses the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic on the first time Korean adolescents have sex. The study examines 2017–2021 data from an annual, cross-sectional survey.
"Everything kind of revolves around technology": a qualitative exploration of families' screen use experiences, and intervention suggestions

Lauren Arundell; Laura Gould; Nicola D. Ridgers (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health volume

Managing children’s screen time is challenging for most families. Interventions have had limited success in reducing screen time, potentially due to a lack of understanding of the experiences, needs and recommendations of families. This study aimed to 1) understand the screen time experiences of families, particularly during COVID-19 lockdowns; and 2) explore parent and child suggestions for the design, components, and content of a screen time management program. Parents and children from 30 families living in Victoria, Australia completed a semi-structured interview (63 interviews) via Zoom in October–November 2021. Parents were maged 40.8 (± 8.9) years and predominantly female (90%). Children were maged 11.4 (± 2.4) years and 47% female. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive thematic analysis combined with a summative content analysis approach.

Children's representations of the COVID-19 lockdown and pandemic through drawings

Alessia Cornaggia; Federica Bianco; Gabriella Gilli (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to face it have placed children and their caregivers in front of many challenges that could represent sources of stress. This work aims to explore the point of view of children through drawing, as a spontaneous means of expression, relating it to parents’ perceptions of children’s difficulties, strengths, and mentalization skills. The sample consists of 18 children (mean age = 8.22, SD = 1.79). Parents were asked to complete: a socio-demographic questionnaire with information on the impact of COVID-19 on the family, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Everyday Mindreading Scale. Children were asked to draw three moments: “Before” the pandemic, “During” the lockdown, and “After,” when the COVID-19 will be passed. The drawings were coded by constructing a content and expressive analysis grid, adapting coding systems found in the literature. Data were collected at the beginning of the summer of 2020, just after the first lockdown period (from March to May 2020 in Italy).
The COVID‐19 pandemic, mask‐wearing, and emotion recognition during late‐childhood

Maia Chester; Rista C. Plate; Tralucia Powell (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Social Development
Face masks are an effective and important tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including among children. However, occluding parts of the face can impact emotion recognition, which is fundamental to effective social interactions. Social distancing, stress, and changes to routines because of the pandemic have also altered the social landscape of children, with implications for social development. To better understand how social input and context impact emotion recognition, the current study investigated emotion recognition in children (7–12 years old, N = 131) using images of both masked and unmasked emotional faces.
Slow time, school time, and strange times: opposing and entangled discourses on temporality in teenagers' everyday lives during a pandemic

Ann-Charlotte Palmgren

Published: August 2022   Journal: YOUNG
In Spring 2020, the Finnish government declared a state of emergency over the Coronavirus outbreak, which lead to schools moving to remote teaching, cancelling all kind of event in society, recommending social distancing and the government encouraging children and adults to take walks. This article sets out to identify and discuss contradicting, complementing, entangling discourses on temporality in a public diary written by teenagers during a pandemic. The data consists of a corona diary published in a local newspaper, through which 34 pupils aged 13 to 16 provide their version of how a day unfolded during six weeks of the beginning of the state of emergency. The identified discourses include: regulation through temporality, change through temporality, normality and normativity through temporality, living present, acceleration and deceleration.
Prevalence and associated factors of psychosocial and behavioral problems in Indonesian adolescent students during the COVID-19 pandemic

Retno Sutomo; Fadhila Pratama Rizqi Ramadhani; Intan Noor Hanifa (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent measures to control it, such as social distancing, school closure, and online learning, put adolescent students at higher risk of psychosocial and behavioral problems (PSBP). The adverse potential is more concerning as the outbreak continues, especially in limited-resource countries, and requires further mitigation. This study aims to assess the prevalence and factors associated with PSBP in Indonesian adolescent students in the COVID-19 pandemic

Meeting 24 h movement guidelines and health-related quality of life in youths during the COVID-19 lockdown

José Francisco López-Gil; Mark S. Tremblay; Miguel Ángel Tapia-Serrano (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Applied Sciences
Limitations in the use of public spaces have impacted the frequency and duration of movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep) and outdoor activities of children and adolescents. Whether pandemic-induced changes in movement behaviours are related to the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of children and adolescents is unknown. The aim of the current study was to examine the association between meeting 24 h movement guidelines and HRQoL during the COVID-19 lockdown among children and adolescents. Data from 1099 3–17-year-old children and adolescents from Spain and Brazil were analysed. An online questionnaire was used to collect parent-reported information concerning physical activity, screen time, and sleep duration. For the assessment of HRQoL, the EQ-5D-Y proxy version was used.
Age-varying associations between Chinese American parents' racial–ethnic socialization and children's difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic

Huiguang Ren; Charissa S. L. Cheah; Xiaoli Zong (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Asian American Journal of Psychology
Parental racial–ethnic socialization (RES) can be an important resource for Chinese American youth as they navigate the highly racialized and Sinophobic context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This study used time-varying association models to examine Chinese American parents’ engagement in six types of racial–ethnic socialization (RES) practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and their associations with child difficulties across child ages 4–18 years and child gender. Five hundred Chinese American parents (Mage = 43.5 years, SD = 6.5; 79% mothers) with 4–18-year-old children (Mage = 11.7 years, SD = 3.9; 48% girls) reported on their RES practices and children’s adjustment difficulties. Parents’ use of maintenance of heritage culture and cultural pluralism RES did not vary for children at different ages, whereas they used more awareness of discrimination RES for older children than younger children.
Adolescent social emotional skills, resilience and behavioral problems during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study in three European countries

Baiba Martinsone; Ieva Stokenberga; Ilze Damberga (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

The consequences of long-lasting restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have become a topical question in the latest research. The present study aims to analyze longitudinal changes in adolescents’ social emotional skills, resilience, and behavioral problems. Moreover, the study addresses the impact of adolescents’ social emotional learning on changes in their resilience and behavioral problems over the course of seven months of the pandemic. The Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2) measuring points were in October 2020 and May 2021, characterized by high mortality rates and strict restrictions in Europe. For all three countries combined, 512 questionnaires were answered by both adolescents (aged 11-13 and 14-16 years) and their parents. The SSIS-SEL and SDQ student self-report and parent forms were used to evaluate adolescents’ social emotional skills and behavioral problems. The CD-RISC-10 scale was administered to adolescents to measure their self-reported resilience. Several multilevel models were fitted to investigate the changes in adolescents’ social emotional skills, resilience, and behavioral problems, controlling for age and gender. Correlation analysis was carried out to investigate how changes in the adolescents’ social emotional skills were associated with changes in their resilience and mental health adjustment.

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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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