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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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COVID-19’s effect on students: how school counselors rise to the rescue

AUTHOR(S)
Robert Pincus; TeShaunda Hannor-Walker; Leonis S. Wright (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: NASSP Bulletin
The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought about many changes to our society, which will have long-term effects for our youth and adolescents. Due to social isolation and adverse childhood experiences, there are concerns of suicidality, technology addiction, and school safety as schools attempt to transition to a state of normalcy in the months to come. This crisis will require coordinated efforts to assist students in not only getting back on track academically but also in helping students cope with the trauma they have and are continuing to experience. As a result, insights from school counselors can be used to obtain a better understanding of the social and emotional effects of COVID-19 by collaborating with administrators to emphasize using school counselors as a mental health provider in schools. The authors highlight school counselors’ mental health training and their role in combating this issue and provide practical applications that can employed to create a systemic approach for social and emotional prevention and intervention during and after the pandemic.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students at elevated risk of self-injury: the importance of virtual and online resources

AUTHOR(S)
Penelope Hasking; Stephen P. Lewis; Elana Bloom (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: School Psychology International
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), which involves deliberate damage to body tissue without suicidal intent, has long been a concern for schools and school staff. Secondary schools are an ideal setting in which to identify, and appropriately refer, students who self-injure as well as implement evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs. However, in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, schools have been closed and students sent home to learn online. This may result in the exacerbation of existing anxieties and pose several new stressors that cumulatively may increase risk of NSSI. In this article, we draw on recent research and our collective experience working with schools, as well as digital mental health, to outline some of these potential stressors and offer resources for school staff to help students who are engaging in or at risk of NSSI.
COVID-19 emergency: social distancing and social exclusion as risks for suicide ideation and attempts in adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Claudio Longobardi; Rosalba Morese; Matteo Angelo Fabris

Published: November 2020   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic, and Italy was among the nations most affected, with more than 29,000 victims. Measures to counter the progression of the epidemic have forced a review and reformulation of the day-to-day activities of the affected populations, necessitating restrictive measures such as social distancing and quarantine. Several studies have hypothesized that quarantine could have a negative psychological impact on the population. Studies have shown that quarantine leads to a decrease in positive emotions and an increase in negative emotions, such as anger and fear. The experience of quarantine tends to correlate with decreased psychological well-being and the onset of psychological symptoms and emotional disorders, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and post-traumatic symptoms. Factors such as the quarantine duration, the uncertainty of information, and the fear of being infected or of the infection of loved ones appear to be factors that increase distress. In addition, the loss of routine and confinement, which causes a drastic reduction in physical and social contact with others, can increase the sense of isolation and loneliness, resulting in psychological distress. The literature has focused mainly on the psychological well-being of adults and health professionals, and not on adolescent well-being, and, in particular, the risk of suicidal ideation. Suicide is estimated to be the world's second leading cause of death among adolescents, and suicidal ideation, which contributes to the risk of committing suicide, is at its peak in adolescence.

Adolescent mental health, COVID-19, and the value of school-community partnerships

AUTHOR(S)
Marci F. Hertz; Lisa Cohen Barrios

Published: November 2020
Newly released 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)’2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary and Trends Report show that US adolescents continue to suffer from poor mental health and suicidality at alarming rates. These data alone would be cause for concern, but the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to further erode adolescent mental health, particularly for those whose mental health was poor prior to the pandemic. Given the status of adolescent mental health prior to COVID-19 and the impact of COVID-19, health professionals and schools must partner together now to mitigate potentially deleterious health, mental health and education impacts for children and adolescents.
The first COVID-19 infanticide-suicide case: financial crisis and fear of COVID-19 infection are the causative factors

AUTHOR(S)
Mohammed A. Mamun; A.K.M. Israfil Bhuiyan; Md. Dilshad Manzar

Published: September 2020   Journal: Asian Journal of Psychiatry
The global suicide occurrences have been aggravated because of COVID-19 crisis-related issues such as fear of infection, the financial crisis, being infected with COVID-19, loneliness, social boycott, etc. Although two studies reported about the seven dyadic suicidality cases (i.e., suicide pacts), child homicide-suicide has not been studied.
COVID-19 suicide among adolescents and youths during the lockdown: an exploratory study based on media reports

AUTHOR(S)
Dilshad Manzar; Abdulrahman Albougami; Norina Usman (et al.)

Published: September 2020
The incidences of COVID-19 related suicide among adolescents and youths have been reported across the world. This cumulative study focuses on nature, patterns, and causative factors that lead to the present situation.
Worlds of Influence: Understanding What Shapes Child Well-being in Rich Countries

A new look at children from the world’s richest countries offers a mixed picture of their health, skills and happiness. For far too many, issues such as poverty, exclusion and pollution threaten their mental well-being, physical health and opportunities to develop skills. Even countries with good social, economic and environmental conditions are a long way from meeting the targets set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Focused and accelerated action is needed if these goals are to be met.

The evidence from 41 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) countries tells its own story: from children’s chances of survival, growth and protection, to whether they are learning and feel listened to, to whether their parents have the support and resources to give their children the best chance for a healthy, happy childhood. This report reveals children’s experiences against the backdrop of their country’s policies and social, educational, economic and environmental contexts.

Do suicide rates in children and adolescents change during school closure in Japan? The acute effect of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic on child and adolescent mental health

AUTHOR(S)
Aya Isumi; Satomi Doi; Yui Yamaoka

Published: August 2020   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect
This study investigates the acute effect of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide among children and adolescents during school closure in Japan.
The intensive use of the internet by children and adolescents in the context of COVID-19 and the risks for self-inflicted violence

AUTHOR(S)
Suely Ferreira Deslandes; Tiago Coutinho

Published: June 2020   Journal: Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
This essay 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. It 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. The debate has been centered 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.
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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.