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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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“Education cannot cease”: the experiences of parents of primary age children (age 4-11) in Northern Ireland during school closures due to COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica Bates; Jayne Finlay; Una O’Connor Bones

Published: September 2021   Journal: Educational Review
This paper reports the research findings from an online survey of parents of primary-age pupils in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aims of the study were to explore how parents supported their child/ren’s home learning; to ascertain the communication, guidance and resources between home and school; and to learn from the experiences of parents to enable more effective practices to be established should similar circumstances arise in the future. The survey yielded 2,509 responses and highlighted the divergence of practices in relation to home-school communications across schools as well as the challenges experienced by parents, particularly those who had one or more children with special educational needs and/or those who had Free School Meal Entitlement.
Small steps and stronger relationships: parents' experiences of homeschooling children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

AUTHOR(S)
Shannon Ludgate; Clair Mears; Carolyn Blackburn

Published: September 2021   Journal: Jorsen
During the current global pandemic, parents and carers in England and across the UK have been asked by the Government to ‘home school’ their child/ren, and a plethora of resources have been produced and made available to assist with this. The perceived detrimental effects of being absent from school have been a driver for the Government in ensuring that schools remain open for as long as possible, and the current pandemic situation is replete with narratives of ‘loss’. Little attention has been paid to any potential benefits for children and families of homeschooling or the opportunities it provides. This paper reports on a small-scale online survey that explored the experiences of parents’ homeschooling their child/ren with SEND during a global pandemic in England.
Parental involvement in homework of children with learning disabilities during distance learning: relations with fear of COVID-19 and resilience

AUTHOR(S)
Thanos Touloupis

Published: September 2021   Journal: Psychology in the Schools
The present study investigated parental involvement in the homework of children with learning disabilities, during distance learning due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Also, the role of parents' fear of COVID-19 and resilience in their involvement in homework was examined. The study involved 271 parents (140 mothers and 131 fathers) of children with learning disabilities, who studied in the fifth and sixth grade from4 schools of Thessaloniki (Greece). Parents completed a set of self-reported questionnaires, which included a scale on parental involvement in homework, a scale on fear of COVID-19, and a scale on resilience.
Brief report: A cross-sectional study of anxiety levels and concerns of Chinese families of children with special educational needs and disabilities post-first-wave of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Xueyun Su; Ru Ying Cai; Mirko Uljarević (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has a multifaceted impact on mental health due to ill health, restrictions and lockdowns, and loss of employment and institutional support. COVID-19 may disproportionally impact families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) due to the already higher prevalence of mental health conditions in children with SEND and their parents. Therefore, it is essential to determine the short-term impact of the pandemic on the mental health of families with SEND in order to identify their ongoing health support needs. The current study aims to examine the anxiety level and concerns of children with SEND and their parents living in China. The sample consisted of 271 parents of children with SEND aged between 6 and 17 years (Mage = 8.37; SDage = 2.76). Parents completed an online survey between 10 April to 8 June 2020. Both child and parental anxiety levels and various concerns increased after the initial wave of COVID-19 when compared with retrospective pre-COVID-19 levels. Parental anxiety and concern levels were significantly higher for those living in rural areas compared to urban areas. In addition, parental and child anxiety and concern levels were significantly correlated with each other. Parental anxiety at the lowest level made a unique and significant statistical contribution to children's anxiety levels. The implications of the study findings are discussed.
Learning through digital stories for safe school environment

AUTHOR(S)
Sahin Akdag; Zehra Altinay

Published: September 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of digital stories in the learning-based themes of safe schools and to examine the perceptions of special educational needs in safe school environments. Training were carried out with informative videos created through the Distance Education and Information Technology Center (UZEBIM) for principals and teachers-in-charge, and the effectiveness of this process was evaluated through reflective opinion forms. In addition to this, an evaluation form was presented to the prospective special education teachers to obtain their opinions and evaluate the effectiveness of digital stories at safe schools. A total of 100 prospective teachers participated in the evaluation of the impact of digital stories on their learning about safe school environments.
The impact of COVID-19 related educational disruption on children and adolescents: An interim data summary and commentary on ten considerations for neuropsychological practice

AUTHOR(S)
Mary K. (Molly) Colvin; Jennifer Reesman; Tannahill Glen (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Clinical Neuropsychologist

The coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in educational disruption of historic breadth and duration. The authors describe early studies and interim standardized assessment reports to highlight effects of educational disruption and present critical questions for neuropsychologists. A summary of pre-pandemic and interim literature was compiled, including analyses of national and local assessment data and preliminary studies on academic gains related to remote learning, educational and school services disruption, chronic absenteeism, and child and adolescent mental and physical health during 2020–2021. Ten major themes were identified in the early reports on impacts of educational disruption.

Sibling conflict during COVID-19 in families with special educational needs and disabilities

AUTHOR(S)
Umar Toseeb

Published: August 2021   Journal: British Journal of Educational Psychology
Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SENDs) and their families have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this longitudinal study, sibling conflict in these families during and after the first lockdown in the United Kingdom was investigated. Online questionnaires were completed by 504 parents of young people with SENDs at four time points between 23 March 2020 and 10 October 2020 (over half completed the questionnaire at multiple time points). As lockdown progressed, young people with SENDs were more likely to be picked on or hurt by their siblings compared with earlier stages of the lockdown but there was no change in how frequently they harmed or picked on their siblings. After lockdown, both perpetration and victimization decreased but not to the same rates as the first month of lockdown. Young people with SENDs with severe or complex needs were somewhat protected from sibling conflict.
Parental involvement during COVID-19: experiences from the special school

AUTHOR(S)
Una O'Connor; Jessica Bates; Jayne Finlay (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: European Journal of Special Needs Education
The closure of schools worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic required parents to undertake key pedagogical roles to support their children’s education and movement to a remote, often virtual world of online teaching presented many challenges for families. For the parents of children attending special schools, the loss of educational, as well as therapeutic provision, added a further layer of complexity unique to this group. This paper presents findings from a Northern Ireland-wide survey undertaken during the first lockdown period. Using Hornby and Blackwell’s model of parental involvement (PI), the paper describes parents’ experiences relative to their child’s needs, family circumstances and societal expectations, and the intersection of these with teacher relationships and the wider school community. The findings reveal those factors that facilitated and inhibited PI and makes suggestions for improvements at school and policy levels in the short and longer term. The results have relevance and reach beyond the Northern Ireland context and should contribute to international dialogue on the synergy between PI and the special school setting.
Students’ affective engagement, parental involvement, and teacher support in emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from a cross-sectional survey in China

AUTHOR(S)
Yang Yang; Keqiao Liu; Miao Li (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Technology in Education
Emergency remote teaching has been widely implemented in the education system worldwide to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing upon data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in eight middle schools in eastern China (a sample size of 1,550 students and 1,550 parents), we employed multiple linear regressions with school fixed effects to examine the associations among student affective engagement, parental involvement, and teacher support in an emergency remote teaching environment. Our results show that higher levels of parental involvement and teacher support are associated with higher levels of student affective engagement with teacher support presenting the strongest relationship with student engagement. These findings contribute to the understanding of emergency remote teaching in different countries where schools and individual households devise varying strategies and solutions.
Collaborating with parents during COVID-19 online teaching: special educator perspectives

AUTHOR(S)
Rachel K. Schuck; Rachel Lambert; Mian Wang

Published: August 2021   Journal: Education 3-13
Teachers whose students had trouble independently accessing the online curriculum during COVID-19 online learning had to rely heavily on parents. This paper presents findings from interviews with elementary special educators regarding their experiences collaborating with parents while teaching online. Thematic analysis generated four themes: prioritising non-academic support; increases in mutual understanding; parents implementing educational content; and providing feedback to parents. Teachers emphasised providing socio-emotional support to families and reported opportunities for teachers and parents to learn more about each other. They also highlighted several skills that were not smoothly translating to the home. Implications regarding strong teacher–parent partnerships are discussed.
Special education for students with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic: Each day brings new challenges

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Hurwitz; Blaine Garman-McClaine; Kane Carlock

Published: August 2021   Journal: Autism
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disrupted how educators provided supports and services for students with autism spectrum disorder. School closures and related pivoting between learning modalities were difficult for all students, but especially for students with autism, who rely on routine and often require individualized instruction. There has been limited opportunity for teachers to share their experiences of rapidly changing educational circumstances. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to investigate how special educators and school-based specialists adapted practices for such students in response to pandemic conditions. One hundred and six educators from 40 school districts completed a written survey inquiring about the modifications they made to Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and their efforts to implement evidence-based practices. Participants reported adding individualized contingency learning plans to Individualized Education Programs, adjusting service minutes, and sometimes eliminating social goals.
The well-being of children with special needs during the COVID-19 lockdown: academic, emotional, social and physical aspects

AUTHOR(S)
Naiara Berasategi Sancho; Nahia Idoiaga Mondragon; Maria Dosil Santamaria (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: European Journal of Special Needs Education
Although COVID-19 is being disruptive to all children, the effects are stronger for children with disabilities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyse, from a holistic perspective, the well-being of children with special needs during the total lockdown period in Spain. The ‘Well-being of Children in Lockdown’ (WCL) scale was completed by 1225 parents of which 3.1% (n = 38) had children with special needs. The results reveal the emergence of negative emotions among children with special needs, who were found to be crying more, feeling more nervous than usual, getting more angry and feeling sadder.
A qualitative investigation of support workers’ experiences of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Dutch migrant families who have children with intellectual disabilities

AUTHOR(S)
Pauline M. Geuijen; Laura Vromans; Petri J. C. M. Embregts

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected families who have children with intellectual disabilities (ID). This study aimed to explore the pandemic’s impact on Dutch migrant families who have children with ID, by interviewing these families’ support workers. A descriptive qualitative methodology was employed, which resulted in semi-structured telephone interviews with 34 support workers. Interview transcripts that pertained to 27 Dutch migrant families who have children with ID were selected and themes and subthemes were identified using thematic analysis.

COVID-19 and remote learning: experiences of parents supporting children with special needs and disability during the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Patricia A. Shaw; Alan Shaw

Published: July 2021   Journal: Education 3-13
The closure of school buildings due to COVID-19 created a challenge for parents and teachers supporting children’s remote learning. This paper presents findings of a study that explored whether parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) experienced an unusually challenging period and what obstacles they faced. An online survey was sent to parents during the first (March–June 2020) and second (January–March 2021) lockdowns in England: a total of 141 voluntary participants responded. Thematic data analysis identified three significant themes: Infrastructure (Quality and efficacy of resources; Access to school’s virtual learning environment); Impact on parent (Perceived lack of ability or understanding; Relationships; Time; Mental health); Impact on child (Reduced stress and anxiety; Need for routine). Recommendations for schools include collaborating with parents to ensure children with SEND achieve greater equality and inclusivity in educational provision, by developing blended models for in-school and remote learning.
Healthy parent carers: feasibility randomised controlled trial of a peer-led group-based health promotion intervention for parent carers of disabled children

AUTHOR(S)
Gretchen Bjornstad; Beth Cuffe-Fuller; Obioha C. Ukoumunne (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Pilot and Feasibility Studies

Parent carers of children with special educational needs or disability are at higher risk of poor mental and physical health. The need for a tailored, peer-led group programme was raised by parent carers, who co-developed the Healthy Parent Carers programme with researchers. This study aimed to test the feasibility of programme delivery in community settings, and the feasibility and acceptability of a randomised controlled trial design. Participants were individually randomised with concealed allocation to a structured group programme and access to online resources (intervention), or access to the online resources only (control). Measures of wellbeing and secondary and economic outcomes were collected before randomisation, immediately post-intervention, and 6 months post-intervention. Descriptive statistics on recruitment and attrition, demographics, attendance, and fidelity of intervention delivery were analysed with feedback on the acceptability of the trial design.

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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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