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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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3316 - 3330 of 3720
The impact of Covid-19 on women and girls with disabilities: a global assessment and case studies on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence, and related rights

In 2020, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and Women Enabled International (WEI), alongside the U.N Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and eight local and regional organisations working to advance rights for persons with disabilities, partnered to undertake a global study of the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls with disabilities, particularly as related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and their right to be free from gender-based violence (GBV). Through virtual consultations with and written survey responses from over 300 women, girls, men, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities, their advocates, and their support persons from around the world, we have learned that in almost all contexts—Global North and Global South, in places hit hard by CO V I D -19 and others with a much lower rate of infection—women and girls with disabilities have been left behind. They have struggled to meet their basic needs, to access needed health services including those needed both because of their gender and disability, and have faced disproportionate risks of violence.

Persistent behavioral and neurobiological consequences of social isolation during adolescence

Dan C. Li; Elizabeth A. Hinton; Shannon L. Gourley

Published: June 2021   Journal: Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
Meaningful social interactions are a fundamental human need, the lack of which can pose serious risks to an individual’s physical and mental health. Across species, peer-oriented social behaviors are dramatically reshaped during adolescence, a developmental period characterized by dynamic changes in brain structure and function as individuals transition into adulthood. Thus, the experience of social isolation during this critical developmental stage may be especially pernicious, as it could permanently derail typical neurobiological processes that are necessary for establishing adaptive adult behaviors. The purpose of this review is to summarize investigations in which rodents were isolated during adolescence, then re-housed in typical social groups prior to testing, thus allowing the investigators to resolve the long-term consequences of social adversity experienced during adolescent sensitive periods, despite subsequent normalization of the social environment. Here, this study discusses alterations in social, anxiety-like, cognitive, and decision-making behaviors in previously isolated adult rodents. It then explores corresponding neurobiological findings, focusing on the prefrontal cortex, including changes in synaptic densities and protein levels, white matter and oligodendrocyte function, and neuronal physiology. Made more urgent by the recent wave of social deprivation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially amongst school-aged adolescents, understanding the mechanisms by which even transient social adversity can negatively impact brain function across the lifespan is of paramount importance.
Perinatal behavioral health, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a social determinants of health framework

Sharon L. Ruyak; Katie T. Kivlighan

Published: June 2021   Journal: Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing
The United States has greater prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders than other developed countries, and pregnant women are disproportionately affected. The current global COVID-19 pandemic, through the exacerbation of psychological distress, unevenly affects the vulnerable population of pregnant women. Social distancing measures and widespread closures of businesses secondary to COVID-19 are likely to continue for the foreseeable future and to further magnify psychosocial risk factors. This study proposes the use of a social determinants of health framework to integrate behavioral health considerations into prenatal care and to guide the implementation of universal and comprehensive psychosocial assessment in pregnancy. As the most numerous and well-trusted health care professionals, nurses are ideally positioned to influence program and policy decisions at the community and regional levels and to advocate for the full integration of psychosocial screening and behavioral health into prenatal and postpartum care as core components.
Perceived stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and adolescents' depression symptoms: The moderating role of character strengths

Qianwen Liu; Zhenhong Wang

Published: June 2021   Journal: Personality and Individual Differences
The outbreak of COVID-19 could increase adolescents' psychological distress and have a detrimental effect on their mental health. However, the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents' mental health might be moderated by their existing psychological resources. The present study sought to investigate whether the relationship between adolescents' perceived stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and their depression symptoms was alleviated by their character strengths. A total of 617 adolescents were recruited and completed the online survey during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parental burnout and the COVID-19 pandemic: how Portuguese parents experienced lockdown measures

Joyce Aguiar; Marisa Matias; Ana Carolina Braz (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Family Relations

This work aimed to analyze parental burnout (PB) and establish a comparison between the times before (Wave 1) and during (Wave 2) the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic brought additional stress to families. The pandemic could be particularly difficult for parents experiencing parental burnout, a condition that involves four dimensions: an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, emotional distancing from the child, saturation or a loss of fulfillment with the parental role, and a sharp contrast between how parents used to be and how they see themselves now.

Parent distraction with technology and child social competence during the COVID-19 pandemic: the role of parental emotional stability

Marina Merkaš; Katarina Perić; Ana Žulec

Published: June 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Communication
This study aimed to test the possible moderating role of parents’ emotional stability on the relationship between parent distraction with technology and child social competence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data used in the study were collected in May 2020 when extensive restrictive measures, labeled as lockdown, were present in Croatia. Data on technoference in parenting, parents’ problematic phone tendencies, and child social competence were collected using an online questionnaire from parents (n = 281) of children aged 3 to 14 years. The results show a significant negative effect of overall technoference in parenting on child social competence. This negative effect was significantly moderated by parents’ emotional stability, as expected. Medium and high levels of parents’ emotional stability buffer the negative effect of low technoference in parenting on child social competence. Results imply technoference in parenting negatively affects child development, but the emotional stability of parents can be a protective factor.
Parent training intervention for autism symptoms, functional emotional development, and parental stress in children with autism disorder: a randomized clinical trial

Afsaneh Akhani; Mahmood Dehghani; Banafsheh Gharraee (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Asian Journal of Psychiatry

Today, early interventions to treat autistic children through parent training interventions is of outmost importance. Interventions are focused on developmental or behavioral approaches and are mostly individual or group ones. In the present study, both proposed approaches in the form of structured individual and group parent training sessions among Iranian families are investigated. This study was a randomized clinical trial which was performed in 2019–2020 in Tehran.

Pandemic pivot: achieving transformative results in the Covid-19 pandemic
Institution: United Nations Population Fund
Published: June 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum in 2020, UNFPA implemented the third year of its Strategic Plan 2018–2021. The plan’s targets are three transformative results to be achieved by 2030: ending preventable maternal deaths, ending unmet need for family planning, and ending GBV and harmful practices, including female genital mutilation and child marriage. UNFPA adapted and responded quickly to the global emergency, focusing immediately on maintaining the provision of SRH information and services and on mitigating the impact of the pandemic on progress towards the three transformative results.
Neurocognitive profiles in adolescence predict subsequent anxiety trajectories during the COVID-19 pandemic

Santiago Morales; Selin Zeytinoglu; George A. Buzzell (et al.)

Published: June 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has created increased stress and anxiety for many; however, some individuals are particularly prone to heightened anxiety. It is unclear if and how pre-stress neurocognitive factors moderate risk for anxiety during high stress situations. Enhanced error monitoring and a cognitive control strategy of more instantaneous (reactive) control have both been independently related to anxiety. This study examines if a specific neurocognitive profile characterized by heightened error monitoring and a more reactive cognitive control strategy in adolescence predicts young adults’ anxiety trajectories across three early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mood and emotional reactivity of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: short-term and long-term effects and the impact of social and socioeconomic stressors

Kayla H. Green; Suzanne van de Groep; Sophie W. Sweijen (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Scientific Reports
Adolescence is a formative period for socio-emotional development which is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The current longitudinal study examined two aims: (1) the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic on young people’s mood (i.e. vigor, tension, and depression levels) and emotional reactivity (i.e. fluctuations in daily mood), and (2) the impact of stressors on mood, emotional reactivity, self-oriented (i.e. maladaptive behavior towards COVID-19 rules) and other-benefitting behaviors (i.e. behavior aimed at helping and comforting others).
Mental health of children with neurodevelopmental disorders during COVID-19: a brief report of family experiences from a low and middle income country

Sowmyashree M. Kaku

Published: June 2021   Journal: Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
COVID-19 has grossly impacted lives of people across the globe. In particular, children have also been affected due to closure of schools, therapy, and day care centers. Families have been challenged with new circumstances, and mental health professionals are coming up with novel ways to help these families who have children with mental health issues. This article describes experiences of families who have children with a diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder with comorbid mental health difficulties and their ways of coping with the pandemic challenges. The series will throw light on ground level experiences of families during the pandemic, give insights into their ways of adapting, and brings out problem areas which healthcare professionals must work on, to design novel ways of care. The case series is novel and a similar report has probably not been presented from India or other low and middle income countries.
Longitudinal associations between child weight change, the home food environment, and child feeding practices during COVID-19

Elizabeth Adams; Laura Caccavale; Danyel Smith (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition
Lifestyle changes during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may result in child weight gain thus increasing obesity risk. Weight gain during COVID-19 may be, in part, be due to changes in the home food environment and child feeding practices; yet longitudinal studies have not examined these relations. This study describes patterns of child weight change, the home food environment, and child feeding practices across two timepoints during COVID-19.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 5 | Issue: Supplement 2 | No. of pages: 1 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, lockdown, obesity, social distance
Initial development of a national survey on remote learning in early childhood during COVID-19: establishing content validity and reporting successes and barriers

Meaghan McKenna; Xigrid Soto‑Boykin; Ke Cheng (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
This article describes the development and administration of a survey to identify early childhood educators’ successes and barriers when delivering remote instruction (e.g., online whole or small group instruction) during the COVID-19 pandemic to children 2–5 years old. The survey was developed using procedures outlined by the commonly accepted stages of an instrument development process. Content validity was established using four approaches: (a) identifcation of the purpose of the survey, (b) creation of a blueprint of items, (c) cognitive interviews, and (d) expert panel review. A total of 1,053 early childhood educators began the survey, with 808 (77%) of the responses included because educators met the inclusion criteria of working in the United States and responding to at least one question related to remote instruction.
Improving clinical paediatric research and learning from COVID-19: recommendations by the Conect4Children expert advice group

Neena Modi; Saskia N. de Wildt (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Pediatric Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on multiple aspects of healthcare, but has also triggered new ways of working, stimulated novel approaches in clinical research and reinforced the value of previous innovations. Conect4children (c4c, www.conect4children.org) is a large collaborative European network to facilitate the development of new medicines for paediatric populations, and is made up of 35 academic and 10 industry partners from 20 European countries, more than 50 third parties, and around 500 affiliated partners. This study summarises aspects of clinical research in paediatrics stimulated and reinforced by COVID-19 that the Conect4children group recommends regulators, sponsors, and investigators retain for the future, to enhance the efficiency, reduce the cost and burden of medicines and non-interventional studies, and deliver research-equity.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and health behaviors in Swedish adolescents

Yun Chen; Walter Osika; Göran Henriksson (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
There is an urgent need to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent mental health and health behaviours. To date, there are no such studies on Swedish adolescents. As COVID-19 emerged in the middle of our ongoing 2-year follow-up examination of the Study of Adolescence Resilience and Stress, this study used the corona outbreak as a ‘natural experiment’ to study the impact of COVID-19 on 15-year-old adolescents in Sweden.
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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.