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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Adolescent mobile phone addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic predicts subsequent suicide risk: a two-wave longitudinal study

Gangqin Li; Aldo Alberto Conti; Changjian Qi (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health
Both the rate of mobile phone addiction and suicidality among adolescents have increased during the pandemic lockdown. However, the relationship between mobile phone addiction and suicide risk and the underlying psychological mechanisms remains unknown. This study examined the associations between mobile phone addiction in adolescents during the first month of lockdown and the suicide risk in the subsequent five months. A two-wave short-term longitudinal web-based survey was conducted on 1609 senior high school students (mean age = 16.53 years, SD = 0.97 years; 63.5% female). At Time 1 (T1), the severity of mobile phone addiction and basic demographic information was collected from Feb 24 to 28, 2020 in Sichuan Province, China (at the pandemic’s peak). Five months later, between July 11 and July 23 (Time 2, T2), mobile phone addiction, daytime sleepiness, depression, and suicidality were measured within the past five months. The regression analysis revealed that mobile phone addiction during quarantine directly predicted suicidality within the next five months, even after controlling for the effect of depression and daytime sleepiness. Meanwhile, mobile phone addiction at T1 also indirectly predicted suicidality at T2, with depression and daytime sleepiness mediating this association.
Prediction of adolescent suicidal ideation after the COVID-19 pandemic: a nationwide survey of a representative sample of Korea

Haewon Byeon

Published: July 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Pediatrics

This study developed a model to predict groups vulnerable to suicidal ideation after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic based on nomogram techniques targeting 54,948 adolescents who participated in a national survey in South Korea. This study developed a model to predict suicidal ideation by using logistic regression analysis. The model aimed to understand the relationship between predictors associated with the suicidal ideation of South Korean adolescents by using the top seven variables with the highest feature importance confirmed in XGBoost (extreme gradient boosting). The regression model was developed using a nomogram so that medical workers could easily interpret the probability of suicidal ideation and identify groups vulnerable to suicidal ideation.

Pediatric ICU admissions after adolescent suicide attempts during the pandemic

Nora Bruns; Lea Willemsen; Andreas Stang (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Pediatrics

he worldwide severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic challenges adolescents’ mental health. This study aims to compare the number of pediatric ICU (PICU) admissions after suicide attempts during the first German lockdown and one year later during a second, prolonged lockdown with prepandemic years. A retrospective multicenter study was conducted among 27 German PICUs. Cases <18 years admitted to the PICU because of accidents or injuries between March 16 and May 31 of 2017 to 2021 were identified based on International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision codes (German modification) and patient data entered into a database. This study is a subset analysis on suicide attempts in adolescents aged 12 to 17.9 years. The Federal Statistics Office was queried for data on fatal suicides, which were available only for 2020 in adolescents aged 10 to 17.9 years.

Bullying and other risk factors related to adolescent suicidal behaviours in the Philippines: a look into the 2011 GSHS Survey

Hsuan Chiu; Elisabeth Julie Vargo

Published: July 2022   Journal: BMC Psychiatry

The present study retrospectively examined gender differences in bullying and suicidal behaviour (ideation, plan, and attempts) as well as associations between selected risk factors and suicidal behaviour among secondary school Filipino students. The study used a secondary data set from the GSHS developed by the World Health Organization, which was conducted in the Philippines in 2011. Participants included 5290 Filipino students (male N = 2279, female N = 2986). A two-tailed Chi-square of independence was used to test for gender differences and a multivariate logistic regression model explored statistical associations between risk factors and outcome variables.

Intersectionality in pandemic youth suicide attempt trends

Katherine McCoy

Published: June 2022   Journal: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased distress at a societal level, with youth and young people bearing a disproportionate burden. A series of recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports has highlighted emergency department (ED) visit rates for suicide attempts among youth ages 12–25 during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study expands those analyses by adding race and ethnicity to the examination of suspected suicide attempts among youth. This study uses National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) data for Wisconsin from hospitals that consistently reported ED visits between the study period of January 1, 2019 and September 30, 2021. Suspected suicide attempt visits were identified using the CDC-developed suicide attempt query.

What matters for adolescent suicidality: Depressive symptoms or fixed mindsets? Examination of cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between fixed mindsets and suicidal ideation.

Shimin Zhu; Paul W. C. Wong

Published: June 2022   Journal: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

Fixed mindsets or beliefs about the non-malleability of self-attributes are linked to a wide range of negative psychological outcomes. Its association with suicidal ideation (SI) among young people has not been explored. This study aimed to examine the association of fixed mindsets of depression, anxiety, and stress and SI; and its mediating role underlying the association between depression and SI. A sample of 1393 adolescents (Mage = 13.04, SD = 0.85, 640 boys) from 11 middle schools voluntarily participated in a two-wave longitudinal study before and during the COVID-19 pandemic with a 9-month interval.

Finding the link between cyberbullying and suicidal behaviour among adolescents in Peninsular Malaysia

Siti Aisyah Mohd Fadhli; Jasy Liew Suet Yan; Ahmad Shahril Ab Halim (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Healthcare
Social media engagement has contributed to the rise of cyberbullying, which has recently triggered tragic suicides among adolescents. The objective of this cross-sectional study is to determine the prevalence of cyberbullying, suicidal behaviour, and their association among adolescents in Peninsular Malaysia. The study was conducted among 1290 secondary school adolescents aged between 13 and 17 years old in Peninsular Malaysia using a self-administered and anonymous online questionnaire.
Pediatric intensive care unit admissions after adolescent suicide attempts during the pandemic.

Nora Bruns; Lea Willemsen; Andreas Stang (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Pediatrics

The worldwide SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic challenges adolescents’ mental health. The aim of this study was to compare the number of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admissions after suicide attempts during the first German lockdown and one year later during a second, prolonged lockdown with pre-pandemic years. A retrospective multicenter study was conducted among 27 German PICUs. Cases <18 years admitted to the PICU due to accidents or injuries between March 16th and May 31st of 2017-2021 were identified based on ICD-10 codes (German modification) and patient data entered into a database. This study is a subset analysis on suicide attempts in adolescents aged 12–17.9 years. The Federal Statistics Office was queried for data on fatal suicides, which were available only for 2020 in adolescents aged 10–17.9 years.

Suicidal behavior in emergency child and adolescent psychiatric service users before and during the 16 months of the COVID-19 pandemic

Barbara Kirič; Lara Leben Novak; Petra Lušicky (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Slovenia is among the countries with the highest suicide rates in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of children and adolescents. Our hypothesis is that the school closure during the pandemic with a gradual transfer to virtual schooling had an important impact on children's and adolescents' suicidal behavior. Therefore, this study aimed to determine possible changes in the frequency of assessments as well as frequency and severity of suicidal behavior in the population of Slovene children and adolescents seeking emergency psychiatric help in correlation with the progression of the pandemic and online schooling. It performed a retrospective observational analysis of medical records of all children and adolescents referred to the only 24-h emergency in- and outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry service in Slovenia from March 2019 through the end of July 2021. It extracted number of assessments, number of patients with suicidal ideation and with attempted suicide. A comparison between the same periods prior to the pandemic and during the pandemic was made. The months of school closure due to the COVID-19 restriction measures and the months without closures were also compared.

Minding mental health: clinicians' engagement with youth suicide prevention

Katherine Klee; John P. Bartkowski

Published: May 2022   Journal: Social Sciences
Suicidal ideation and deaths among children and adolescents have seen an unprecedented rise over the last ten years, recently further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores mental health professionals’ approaches to delivering suicide prevention treatment services. Using insights from Giddens’ structuration theory, the study examines licensed mental health professionals’ (1) reflections on suicide prevention trainings for those in their profession, (2) appraisals of available treatment options, and (3) assessments of postvention services provided to professionals who encounter a client suicide. Additional attention was given to the structural impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on intervention services. Data were collected through qualitative interviews with youth mental health clinicians in the state of Texas.
Changes in suicidal ideation and related influential factors in college students during the COVID-19 lockdown in China

Shuiqing Huang; Dongfang Wang; Jingbo Zhao (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Psychiatry Research
This study aims to investigate the patterns and predictors of suicidal ideation (SI) trajectories among college students during extended lockdowns in China. A three-wave survey was conducted during the outbreak period, remission period, and prevention period of COVID-19. Distinct patterns of SI trajectories were established by grouping respondents based on temporal changes in SI. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed to examine predictors for delay-occurrence and persistent SI.
Evaluation of suicides among US adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marie-Laure Charpignon; Johnattan Ontiveros; Saahil Sundaresan (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: JAMA Pediatrics

In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a state of emergency regarding child and adolescent mental health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, US adolescents have been affected by the widespread loss of primary caregivers. Suicide-risk screenings have yielded higher positive rates than during the prepandemic period; thus, this study sought to measure suicide-related mortality in this population.Through partnerships with 14 state departments of public health, data from 2015 through 2020 for 85 102 decedents with suicide as the cause of death have been collected.

Gender-specific related factors for suicidal ideation during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown among 5,175 Chinese adolescents

Jin Zhu; Baohua Li; Fengcheng Hao (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health
Suicide was an urgent issue during the pandemic period in adolescents. However, few studies were focused on suicide during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown. An online survey was conducted among 5,175 Chinese adolescents from June 9th to 29th in 2020 to investigate the prevalence of suicidal ideation (SI) during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. A gender-specific stepwise logistic regression model was used. All analyses were performed with STATA 15.0
Registered psychiatric service use, self-harm and suicides of children and young people aged 0–24 before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review

Wan Mohd Azam Wan Mohd Yunus; Laura Kauhanen; Andre Sourander (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on psychiatric symptoms of children and young people, but many psychiatric services have been disrupted. It is unclear how service use, self-harm and suicide has changed since the pandemic started. To gain timely information, this systematic review focused on studies based on administrative data that compared psychiatric service use, self-harm and suicide before and during the pandemic among children and young people. A systematic review of studies published in English from 1 January 2020 to 22 March 2021 was conducted, using the Web of Science, PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO databases. Increases or reductions in service use were calculated and compared using percentages. Of the 2,676 papers retrieved, 18 were eligible for the review and they provided data from 19 countries and regions.

Non-suicidal self-injury: a school-based peer education program for adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic

Annarosa Cipriano; Cristina Aprea; Ludovica Bellone (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) constitutes a major health concern among youth. However, less is known about the useful ways to prevent NSSI. As such, the NSSI- Peer Education Program (NSSI-PEP) aims to intervene on the vulnerability factors that predispose to NSSI by applying a peer education approach. The NSSI-PEP is grounded on the psychoanalytic tradition’s tenets, implementing modules targeting four crucial risk factors for NSSI: pubertal transformation, body image, self-esteem, and emotion regulation. Selected 8th grade students were trained to serve as peer educators and held a peer-education intervention for 6th and 7th grade students. Pre- and post-intervention assessments were conducted in order to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

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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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