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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 81
The effect of parent phubbing on Chinese adolescents’ smartphone addiction during COVID-19 pandemic: testing a moderated mediation model

AUTHOR(S)
Jun Zhao; Baojuan Ye; Laisong Luo (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management
COVID-19 has affected the health and well-being of tens of millions of people and contributed to smartphone addiction. The prior studies found several characteristics that influenced smartphone addiction, but little research was undertaken on the epidemic. This study aims to test a moderated mediation model of smartphone addiction. Three classes in each grade from grade 7 through grade 9 at random were recruited in the target junior high schools. A total of 931 Chinese adolescents (Mage=13.54 years, SDage =1.08) completed valid questionnaires via online surveys from February 5– 19, 2021.
Longitudinal social contacts among school-aged children during the COVID-19 pandemic: the Bay Area Contacts among Kids (BACK) study

AUTHOR(S)
Kristin L. Andrejko; Jennifer R. Head; Joseph A. Lewnard (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMC Infectious Diseases

The San Francisco Bay Area was the first region in the United States to enact school closures to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The effects of closures on contact patterns for schoolchildren and their household members remain poorly understood. This study conducted serial cross-sectional surveys (May 2020, September 2020, February 2021) of Bay Area households with children to estimate age-structured daily contact rates for children and their adult household members. It examined changes in contact rates over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, including after vaccination of household members, and compared contact patterns by household demographics using generalized estimating equations clustered by household.

Using social media to promote school nutrition programs during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anne Whitesell; Hunter Fitch

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of School Health

Millions of school-aged children receive free or reduced-price lunches through the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National School Lunch Program; that service was disrupted when public schools closed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, this program received little attention on school districts' social media accounts. This research collected Twitter data from 70 Ohio public school districts to construct a measure of attention paid toward school nutrition programs from 2008 to 2021. It also collected district-level data to analyze the relationship between district characteristics and mentions of school nutrition programs.

Young people’s experiences of COVID-19 messaging at the start of the UK lockdown: lessons for positive engagement and information sharing

AUTHOR(S)
Sofia T. Strömmer; Divya Sivaramakrishnan; Sarah C. Shaw (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

To reduce COVID-19 infection rates during the initial stages of the pandemic, the UK Government mandated a strict period of restriction on freedom of movement or ‘lockdown’. For young people, closure of schools and higher education institutions and social distancing rules may have been particularly challenging, coming at a critical time in their lives for social and emotional development. This study explored young people’s experiences of the UK Government’s initial response to the pandemic and related government messaging. This qualitative study combines data from research groups at the University of Southampton, University of Edinburgh and University College London. Thirty-six online focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 150 young people (Southampton: n = 69; FGD = 7; Edinburgh: n = 41; FGD = 5; UCL: n = 40; FGD = 24). Thematic analysis was conducted to explore how young people viewed the government’s response and messaging and to develop recommendations for how to best involve young people in addressing similar crises in the future.

The relationship between behavioral problems and screen time in children during COVID-19 school closures in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Chika Ueno; Shuichi Yamamoto

Published: February 2022   Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology

Pediatricians report that patients’ physical and psychological complaints increase after long periods of school closures in Japan, such as summer vacations. It has been reported that the number of children who commit suicide is greatest in September in Japan (1); therefore, the Japanese government has alerted pediatricians and parents to pay attention to subtle changes in children when they are due to return to school. Hence, long school closures seem to affect children’s physical and psychological status. This was a cross-sectional study conducted in July 2020, which enrolled students from all four public elementary schools in Miyaki-Machi, a suburban town in Saga prefecture, Japan. Parents received a letter describing the study and a questionnaire to be returned to the school by July 30 after completion. Participants were offered no financial incentive.

Screen time effect on insomnia, depression, or anxiety symptoms and physical activity of school students during COVID-19 lockdown in Lebanon: a cross sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Bayan Tarek Abou Ali; Nada Omar Saleh; Hussein Walid Mreydem (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Sleep Medicine Research
This study aims to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on screen time among Lebanese high school students (grades 9–12). An anonymous online questionnaire was distributed among 510 school students from different governorates in Lebanon; this included questions regarding screen time, food habits, and physical activity. Psychological symptoms were assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 items and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 items. Effects of screen time on sleep was evaluated using the Insomnia Severity Index and Bedtime Procrastination Scale.
Picture perfect during a pandemic? Body image concerns and depressive symptoms in U.S. adolescent girls during the COVID-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Sophia Choukas-Bradley; Anne J. Maheux; Savannah R. Roberts (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Children and Media
The stay-at-home orders of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted U.S. adolescents’ lives in numerous ways during the spring of 2020, including substantial changes to in-person routines and increased reliance on digital media. For adolescent girls, stay-at-home practices may have implications for body image concerns. This research brief examines adolescent girls’ pandemic-related body image concerns and longitudinal associations with depressive symptoms. The sample included 93 U.S. adolescent girls (Mage = 15.01; 68.8% White), with approximately 2/3 at temperamental risk for depression. Participants self-reported their depressive symptoms and pandemic-related body image concerns via online surveys at three assessments: Time 1 occurred in April/May 2020, approximately one month into stay-at-home orders, followed by two-week and seven-month follow-up assessments. Two pandemic-related body image concerns were assessed: (1) concerns about disrupted appearance-management routines and (2) evaluating one’s appearance on video-chat.
Gaming and social media use among adolescents in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anders Nilsson; Ingvar Rosendahl; Nitya Jayaram-Lindström

Published: February 2022   Journal: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed life circumstances for adolescents worldwide. With schools being closed and regular activities being cancelled, gaming and social media use are activities that might gain in importance. There is a risk that these online behaviours have negative effects on other important activities, such as being physically active, sleeping, and studying, as well as general well-being. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on gaming and social media use, and its effects on the well-being of adolescents.
Tackling digital exclusion among disadvantaged adolescents in Jordan: what difference does access to devices and online platforms make?

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Taghreed Alabadi; Sarah Alheiwidi (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: January 2022

Recognition that access to digital connectivity, tools and services is fundamental to inclusion and participation in society has grown exponentially over the last five years, including for persons affected by forced displacement and socially disadvantaged young people. This report presents findings from a rapid qualitative research assessment of UNICEF Jordan’s digital inclusion programme for vulnerable Jordanians, Palestinian and Syrian refugees attending Makani centres undertaken in July and August 2021. The programme distributed tablets and 10GB of monthly data to 10,000 vulnerable households in order to help address the digital divide and support access to online education and learning as well to life skills and other non-formal education programming. Drawing on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with adolescents and their parents, this report explores the effects that the tablet distribution initiative has had in terms of education and learning, access to information and services, as well as to peers and mentors.

Staying online, staying connected: exploring the effect of online chatting on adolescents’ psychological well-being during COVID-19 quarantine

AUTHOR(S)
Yulei Feng; Qingyan Tong

Published: January 2022   Journal: Youth & Society
Rooted in scholarship of social connectedness and social support, this research raises the question: Can online chatting help mitigate the negative psychological influence of physical distancing during COVID-19? By a correlational and cross-sectional research design, the current study testified the mediating role of two factors—social connectedness and perceived social support in the relationship between online chatting and three indicators of psychological well-being (happiness, self-esteem, and loneliness) for adolescents. This research demonstrated the potential of online chatting in mitigating the severity of quarantine from the supplementary perspective of online communication effects on adolescents, which provided a further insight into understanding the ways in which adolescents use media during school closure. Possible contingent factors that should be paid special attention to in future researches are discussed.
Finding home in online community: exploring TikTok as a support for gender and sexual minority youth throughout COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Alexa Hiebert; Kathy Kortes-Miller (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of LGBT Youth
In March 2020, with the global number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, many people were advised to stay at home and leave only for necessities. Across the globe, people were on lockdown. Very little is known about how this period of quarantine due to the pandemic has impacted the lives of gender and sexual minority youth. Between February and June of 2020, TikTok—a short- video sharing platform—was the most downloaded social media app. The purpose of this study was to use a digital ethnographic approach on TikTok to explore the experiences of gender and sexual minority youth during COVID-19. Thematic analysis of the data collected resulted in an overarching theme of TikTok as a supportive community. Additionally, four sub themes were examined including support with family relationships, identity formation, community and belonging and sharing knowledge and information. This study demonstrates the need for further research into gender and sexual minority youth social media cultures and highlights the resilience and resourcefulness of gender and sexual minority youth when faced with unprecedented circumstances.
Misinformation warnings: Twitter’s soft moderation effects on COVID-19 vaccine belief echoes

AUTHOR(S)
Filipo Sharevski; Raniem Alsaadi; Peter Jachim (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Computers & Security
Twitter, prompted by the rapid spread of alternative narratives, started actively warning users about the spread of COVID-19 misinformation. This form of soft moderation comes in two forms: as an interstitial cover before the Tweet is displayed to the user or as a contextual tag displayed below the Tweet. This is a 319-participants study with both verified and misleading Tweets covered or tagged with the COVID-19 misinformation warnings to investigate how Twitter users perceive the accuracy of COVID-19 vaccine content on Twitter. The results suggest that the interstitial covers work, but not the contextual tags, in reducing the perceived accuracy of COVID-19 misinformation.
Finding home in online community: exploring TikTok as a support for gender and sexual minority youth throughout COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Alexa Hiebert; Kathy Kortes-Miller

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of LGBT Youth
In March 2020, with the global number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, many people were advised to stay at home and leave only for necessities. Across the globe, people were on lockdown. Very little is known about how this period of quarantine due to the pandemic has impacted the lives of gender and sexual minority youth. Between February and June of 2020, TikTok—a short- video sharing platform—was the most downloaded social media app. The purpose of this study was to use a digital ethnographic approach on TikTok to explore the experiences of gender and sexual minority youth during COVID-19. Thematic analysis of the data collected resulted in an overarching theme of TikTok as a supportive community. Additionally, four sub themes were examined including support with family relationships, identity formation, community and belonging and sharing knowledge and information. This study demonstrates the need for further research into gender and sexual minority youth social media cultures and highlights the resilience and resourcefulness of gender and sexual minority youth when faced with unprecedented circumstances.
Smartphone and social media use contributed to individual tendencies towards social media addiction in Italian adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Davide Marengo; Matteo Angelo Fabris; Claudio Longobardi (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Addictive Behaviors

Adolescents in remote education during the COVID-19 pandemic had few opportunities to socialize in person, resulting in a significant rise in the use of social networks or instant messaging applications. However, excessive use may promote addictive tendencies towards these platforms, with negative consequences for adolescents’ well-being. This study investigated the prevalence of smartphone and social media application use in early-to-late adolescents in remote education. It examined the relative impact of different social media applications on self-reported tendencies toward social media addiction. The sample consisted of 765 Italian adolescents (Age: M = 14.11 ± 2.2; 401 females) who reported on use of the smartphone, social media applications, namely WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Telegram, Messenger, and YouTube.

Determining the relationship between loneliness and internet addiction among adolescents during the covid-19 pandemic in Turkey

AUTHOR(S)
Arzu Sarıalioğlu; Tutku Atay; Duygu Arıkan

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Nursing

This study was conducted to determine the relationship between the levels of loneliness adolescents feel during the pandemic, and their respective levels of internet addiction. The sample of the study consists of 482 adolescents who volunteered to participate in the study. All participants had the cognitive competence to express themselves, and had access to the Internet. Participants filled out a Google Docs form including the “Descriptive Information Form”, “ULS-SF” and “IASA”, which were used to collect data.

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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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Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.