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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Tracking the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in Kenya : special edition COVID-19 barometer
Institution: *UNICEF, Shujaaz Inc.
Published: August 2021

One of the objectives of this collaboration is to produce a range of youth-led, data-driven research products, providing insight into the most effective ways to support young people in East Africa. This special edition Barometer is designed to provide a snapshot into the lives of Kenyan girls aged 15-19 (also referred to as adolescent girls) in 2021. This edition of COVID-19 Barometer includes new insights from Shujaaz Inc’s annual national youth survey, which draws on face-to-face interviews with 2,015 young people conducted between December 2020 and January 2021. Drawing on additional qualitative research, the Barometer aims to provide an update on the challenges, lifestyles, priorities and aspirations of adolescent girls, during a turbulent pandemic. This edition focuses on key topics including education, sexual and reproductive health, financial security, mental wellbeing and resilience. We hope it provides a valuable update for organisations working with adolescent girls across Kenya, and inspiration for similar research in East and Southern African countries.

Neural responses to social reward predict depressive symptoms in adolescent girls during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Stefanie L. Sequeira; Jennifer S. Silk; Emily Hutchinson (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Adolescent depression is increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly related to dramatic social changes. Individual-level factors that contribute to social functioning, such as temperament and neural reactivity to social feedback, may confer risk for or resilience against depressive symptoms during the pandemic. Ninety-three girls (12–17 years) oversampled for high shy/fearful temperament were recruited from a longitudinal study for a follow-up COVID-19 study. During the parent study (2016–2018), participants completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging task eliciting neural activity to performance-related social feedback. Depressive symptoms were assessed during the parent study and COVID-19 follow-up (April–May 2020).

Double burden of malnutrition among women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries: progress achieved and opportunities for meeting the global target

AUTHOR(S)
Md. Mehedi Hasan; Saifuddin Ahmed; ● Ricardo J. Soares Magalhaes (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The aim of this study is to examine trends and projections of underweight (Body Mass Index, BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) in women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It used data from 2,337,855 women aged 15–49 years from nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey conducted between 1990 and 2018. Bayesian linear regression analyses were performed.

Anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and emotion regulation: a longitudinal study of pregnant women having given birth during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
V. Gonzalez-Garcia; M. Exertier; A. Denis

Published: April 2021   Journal: European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
The objectives of the present longitudinal study were to (i) understand the potential impacts of concern about the COVID-19 epidemic and containment measures (e.g. lockdown) on the psychological and emotional status of women during pregnancy and after childbirth, (ii) identify factors associated with these impacts, and (iii) to study the mothers’ coping strategies and protective factors. Data were collected during pregnancy (timepoint 1, during France's first period of lockdown from April 6th to May 11th, 2020) and then one month after childbirth (timepoint 2).
Receiving maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic: experiences of women's partners and support persons

AUTHOR(S)
Vidanka Vasilevski; Linda Sweet; Zoe Bradfield (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Women and Birth

In Australia, the provision of maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic was significantly altered to limit transmission of the virus. Many hospitals limited face-to-face appointments to only the pregnant woman and restricted the number of support people present during labour, birth, and postnatal visits to one person. How these restrictions were experienced by partners and support persons of childbearing women are unknown. This srticle aims to explore the experiences of partners and support persons of women receiving maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019-nCOV distress and depressive, anxiety and OCD-type, and eating disorder symptoms among postpartum and control women

AUTHOR(S)
Katherine A. Thompson; Anna M. Bardone‑Cone

Published: March 2021
This study compared postpartum and control women on depressive, anxiety, and OCD-type symptoms, and eating disorder symptoms during the 2019-nCOV pandemic and evaluated if associations between 2019-nCOV distress and these mental health symptoms differed for postpartum compared to control women. A community sample of women, ages 18–39, who had either given birth in the past 12 months (n = 232) or had no pregnancy history (n = 137; controls), was recruited to complete an online survey about their depressive, anxiety, OCD, and eating disorder symptoms. Postpartum women reported greater OCD-type symptoms related to concerns about both contamination and responsibility for harm (ps < .05) compared to controls.
The COVID‐19 pandemic: a first‐year review through the lens of IJGO

AUTHOR(S)
Sophie Maprayil; Amy Goggins; Francis Harris

Published: March 2021   Journal: International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
A policy brief for UN Women on the impact of COVID‐19 on women has noted that, across the board, the impacts of COVID‐19 are exacerbated for women and girls. The health of women in general has been adversely affected, with resources being reallocated in the emergency response to COVID‐19 and frequently leading to the suspension or limitation of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) services. The UN Women brief also paints a stark picture in terms of gender‐based violence, noting that as the pandemic deepens both social and economic stress, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, many women have been forced to isolate with their abusers, a situation which has coincided with disruption or lack of access to the support services which they so desperately need. The UNFPA have predicted that the pandemic is also likely to cause significant delays to programs dedicated to preventing child marriage and female genital mutilation; the estimated projections are stark, with over 2 million more cases of FGM and 13 million more child marriages over the next 10 years than would otherwise have occurred. As the official journal of the International Federation for Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IJGO is a major source for global cutting‐edge research and reports on issues affecting women's health, as well as addressing economic, social, and human rights issues.
Digital health literacy intervention to support maternal, child and family health in primary healthcare settings of Pakistan during the age of coronavirus: study protocol for a randomised controlled trialhttps://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/3/e045163

AUTHOR(S)
Sara Rizvi Jafree; Nadia Bukhari; Anam Muzamill (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: BMJ Open
There is a need to continue primary healthcare services through digital communication for disadvantaged women living in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan, especially in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing and lockdown of communities. This project will be the first of its kind in aiming to implement a digital health literacy intervention, using smartphone and internet, to disadvantaged women through female community healthcare workers. Improved health literacy in women of reproductive years is known to promote maternal, child and family health overall. Methods and analysis The study will include a baseline survey, a pre- and post-test survey and a 3-month lasting intervention on (1) hygiene and prevention and (2) coronavirus awareness and prevention.
The impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak response on women and girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: December 2020
Lessons learned from past public health crises shed light on the potential consequences of epidemics, not only on the health of women and girls, but on all aspects of their lives. Today, faced with COVID-19, only 52% of countries provide sex-disaggregated data on morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19. Analyses of the broader impacts of the pandemic and the public health measures put in place to control its spread on women and girls are still too scarce.
“We have a lot of home deliveries”: a qualitative study on the impact of COVID-19 on access to and utilization of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health care among refugee women in urban Eastleigh, Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Adelaide M. Lusambili; Michela Martini; Faiza Abdirahman (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Migration and Health
This study aimed to improve understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on women refugees’ access to and utilisation of antenatal care, delivery and postnatal care in Eastleigh, Kenya.
Centring adolescent girls and young women in the HIV and COVID-19 responses

AUTHOR(S)
Ameena Goga; Linda Gail Bekker; Philippe Van de Perre

Published: November 2020   Journal: The Lancet
Adolescent girls (10–19 years) and young women (20–24 years) are a key part of the 1·8 billion people who live in fragile contexts. In 2019, adolescent girls and young women comprised an estimated 10% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa but accounted for 59% of new HIV infections. Adolescent girls and young women are disproportionally affected by HIV and COVID-19.
COVID-19 quarantine-related mental health symptoms and their correlates among mothers: a cross sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Somaya H. Malkawi; Khader Almhdawi; Alaa F. Jaber (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal
One of the strictest quarantines worldwide to limit the spread of coronavirus was enforced in Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study investigated reported mental health and changes in lifestyle practices among Jordanian mothers during COVID-19 quarantine. The specifc objectives included studying the level of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms and their potential statistical associations with demographic and lifestyle variables. Furthermore, the study aimed to investigate differences in mental health between different demographic and socio-economic groups and to examine the major lifestyle changes that occurred on mothers during the quarantine.
Mental health of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Hernán López-Morales; Macarena Verónica Del Valle; Lorena Canet-Juric

Published: November 2020   Journal: Psychiatry Research
Several studies have reported the susceptibility of pregnant women to emotional instability and stress. Thus, pregnancy may be a risk factor that could deepen the already negative effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyze longitudinally the psychopathological consequences of the pandemic in pregnant women, and to explore differences with non-pregnant women. The participants in this study were 102 pregnant women, and a control group of 102 non-pregnant women (most of them reported having university studies and little financial impact from the pandemic). 
Why COVID-19 strengthens the case for a dedicated financing mechanism to scale up innovation in women's, children's, and adolescents' health

AUTHOR(S)
Flavia Bustreo; Mario Merialdi; Rachael Hinton (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
The disruptive effects of pandemics on the delivery of health services is increasingly recognised as a global threat to maternal and child health. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need to not only rapidly develop health-care innovations but to also make them equitably available. In this context, innovations that contribute to maintaining coverage of essential interventions, such as by facilitating task shifting, simplifying service delivery, or both, are crucial. Therefore, this paper argues that the case for a dedicated financing mechanism for scaling up innovations in women's, children's, and adolescents' health is stronger than ever.
Close to contagion: the impact of COVID-19 on displaced and refugee girls and women
Institution: Plan International
Published: September 2020

Currently, as COVID-19 spreads across the world, an unprecedented 76.7 million people are living as refugees, or have been displaced inside their countries. Some 131 of the countries affected by COVID-19 have sizeable refugee populations and more than 80% of refugees are hosted in low- and middle-income countries including Uganda, Sudan, Pakistan and Turkey, with health systems that are ill-equipped to manage significant outbreaks. Refugee and IDP camps are mostly chronically overcrowded and measures to avoid community transmission of the virus, such as physical distancing and frequent handwashing, are difficult to implement. The absence of basic amenities, such as clean running water and soap, insufficient medical personnel, and poor access to health information, let alone access to masks, will make avoiding infection virtually impossible. Also, in many host countries, refugees’ entitlement to healthcare and social protection systems are restricted or non-existent, which increases their vulnerability even further.

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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.