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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 461
Health disparities and their effects on children and their caregivers during the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lynn C. Smitherman; William Christopher Golden; Jennifer R. Walton

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatric Clinics of North America

Health disparities are defined as differences among specific populations in the ability to achieve full health potential (as measured by differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of disease, and other adverse health conditions). Among children, multiple factors contribute to these disparities, including economic stability, and access to health care. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, before the current pandemic, 12 million children in the United States were living in poverty in 2019, including one-third of African American and Native American children and 25% of Latinx children.8 During the same period, of the 4.4 million children without health insurance, 14% were Native American, 9% were of Hispanic descent, and 18% were immigrants. At present, owing to the impact of the pandemic on job security, more than 50% of African American, Latinx, and multiethnic adults are now without medical insurance, directly affecting the health security of their children.8 With the onset of the pandemic and the social and political upheaval felt by many disenfranchised communities, these well-documented disparities (and the importance of addressing them) have again been brought to the attention of the medical community. This overview will examine the effects of these health disparities in various populations of children in this country. We will first examine the historical context of health disparities, how they developed, and why they still exist. We will then examine how specifically the COVID-19 pandemic impacted these disparities among children and adolescents, both directly and indirectly. Finally, we hope to provide some recommendations to reduce these disparities.

COVID-19 and the desire of children to return to nature: Emotions in the face of environmental and intergenerational injustices

AUTHOR(S)
Clementina Rios; Alison Laurie Neilson; Isabel Menezes

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Journal of Environmental Education
The global COVID-19 public health crisis has driven policies of lockdowns and social distancing that have had negative social and economic impacts, worsening inequalities and social exclusions, and mixed environmental impacts. This study engaged children from schools with diverse environmental pedagogies in online focus groups about nature and their experiences with nature during the pandemic. Participants expressed fear of the unknown virus, sadness from isolation, longing for family and friends, and yearning for the freedom to enjoy the outside world. They revealed knowledge of both positive and negative impacts of lockdowns on the environment. Their experiences with nature demonstrate how environmental injustice affects the lives of children from public schools in urban contexts, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who reported less contact with nature during the lockdown. As a group, children are aware and very critical of intergenerational environmental injustice and argue for the need for adults to act.
The impact of COVID-19 on child welfare-involved families: implications for parent–child reunification and child welfare professionals

AUTHOR(S)
Abbie E. Goldberg; David Brodzinsky; Jacqueline Singer (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children and parents involved in the child welfare system and the professionals working with these families. Using survey data collected August–September of 2020, this mixed-methods study examined the perspectives of 196 child welfare-involved professionals (77 attorneys, 99 caseworkers, and 20 therapists) in the United States about the impact of COVID-19 on parents of origin, children, foster parents, and child welfare professionals. Particular attention was paid to the implications of COVID-19 and associated challenges for parent–child contact and reunification. With respect to professional stresses, more than half of participants worried about their own personal safety and health amidst COVID-19, and more than three-quarters expressed concerns about the safety and well-being of child welfare-involved families.
Family disruption and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kammy K. Schmeer; Britt Singletary; Kelly M. Purtell (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
Using unique data from an economically and racially diverse sample of 448 caregivers with young children (ages 4–9 years) in Ohio, this study assesses multiple sources of family social and economic disruptions and their associations with parenting activities during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Caregivers reported extensive social and economic challenges during this time, while also increasing (on average) their time spent in play/learning activities. Time spent in discipline was less likely to increase during this period.
How parents share and limit their child’s access to information about COVID-19: a mixed methods online survey study

AUTHOR(S)
Marla A. Garcia de Avila; Bernie Carter; Lucy Blake (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Child Health Care
This study aimed to understand the role that parents play in sharing or limiting their child’s access to information about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A subset of data from an international mixed methods online survey study was analysed to elucidate the findings from Brazil. An online survey, conducted between April and June 2020, gathered closed and open text views from parents of children aged 7–12 years old. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative open text data were analysed using the three stages of the Bardin content analysis framework: pre-analysis (data organisation and initial full-content reading); exploration of the material (thematic coding to identify major motifs and develop thematic categories) and interpretation (treating the data as significant and valid). The sample consisted of 112 (89%) mothers and 14 (11%) fathers. The analysis of the parents open text resulted in two categories: ‘How parents share information with their children about COVID-19’ and ‘How parents limit information to their children about COVID-19’. Some parents reported adopting an honest and open approach on how they shared information with their children, whilst some parents chose to minimise their child’s access to information about the pandemic over concerns of the mortality related to COVID-19.
Strengthening lower-income families: Lessons learned from policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy B. Kanter; Deadric T. Williams; Amy J. Rauer

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Process
Families are navigating an unstable economy due to COVID-19. Financial stressors have the potential to strain intimate relationships and exacerbate prior inequities across lower-income families. Notably, the economic impact of COVID-19 disproportionately influenced Black and Latinx families. As a response to families' economic adversity during the pandemic, the federal government initiated the CARES Act. This type of federal response to lower-income families, however, is not new. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize and historicize previous and current efforts to mitigate the consequences of financial hardship on families by comparing the assumptions and efficacy of the Healthy Marriages Initiative and the CARES act.
Chaos during the COVID-19 outbreak: predictors of household chaos among low-income families during a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anna D. Johnson; Anne Martin; Anne Partika (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Relations

The objective of this study was to explore whether household chaos measured during the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted by prepandemic parental and household characteristics. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered children's home environments and routines due to stay-at-home orders, school closures, and economic shocks. These disruptions have been especially challenging for low-income families who have limited resources and have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Household chaos, which captures routines, organization, stability, noise, and crowding in the home, is a documented threat to parent functioning and positive child development. The pandemic has likely exacerbated household chaos, especially for low-income families.

Changes in US parents’ domestic labor during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel L. Carlson; Richard J. Petts; Joanna R. Pepin

Published: September 2021   Journal: Sociological Inquiry
Stay-at-home orders and the removal of care and domestic supports during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic substantially disrupted US parents’ work and family lives. Although much is known about changes in US parents’ paid labor arrangements, the evidence regarding changes in unpaid domestic labor has been largely anecdotal. This study uses novel data from 1,025 US parents in different-sex partnerships to provide a descriptive overview of changes in mothers’ and fathers’ participation in, and division of, housework and childcare from March 2020 to the early days of the pandemic (late April 2020).
Bullying, cyberbullying, anxiety, and depression in a sample of youth during the Coronavirus pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth Englander

Published: September 2021   Journal: Pediatics Reports
While it is well know that the pandemic and its social isolation, loss of school experiences, increased screen use, and financial stress have likely had a psychological impact upon children and teens, little research has been done directly with youth to assess social and emotional factors during the pandemic and in its immediate aftermath. In this study, a sample of 240 youth reported on their experiences with bullying, fighting, sexting, cyberbullying, anxiety, and depression during the period from March 2020 to April 2021.
Financial and work burden, psychosocial functioning, and family interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia: effects on child outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
Yulina Eva Riany; Alina Morawska

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected all aspects of family life worldwide. This study aimed to examine the effects of several family factors on child outcomes during the pandemic in Indonesia, a country with approximately 260 million people. A range of child maladjustment and child competency variables were examined, along with a set of associated variables, including family income, psychosocial functioning, and family interactions, which were modelled via Structural Equation Modelling to understand the interrelationships between variables associated with child adjustment. Using an online survey, a total of 354 parents with at least one typically developing child between the age of 2 and 10 years participated in this study.
Investigating the impacts of COVID-19 among LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness

AUTHOR(S)
Alex Abramovich; Nelson Pang; Amanda Moss (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Plos One

LGBTQ2S youth are overrepresented among youth experiencing homelessness and experience significantly higher rates of mental health issues compared to heterosexual and cisgender youth. COVID-19 related challenges for LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness remain unknown. To address this gap, this study aimed to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTQ2S youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada and surrounding areas.Utilizing a mixed-methods convergent parallel design, LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness were recruited to participate in virtual surveys and in-depth one-on-one interviews. Surveys included standardized measures and were administered to measure mental health outcomes and collect information on demographic characteristics, and health service use. Survey data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and statistical tests for difference of proportions. Interviews were analyzed using an iterative thematic content approach.

The relationships of watching television, computer use, physical activity, and food Preferences to Body mass index: gender and nativity differences among adolescents in Saudi Arabia

AUTHOR(S)
Ahmad H. Alghadir; Zaheen A. Iqbal; Sami A. Gabr

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Adolescents and ethnic subgroups have been identified at high risks of overweight and its associated complications. Although some studies have investigated overweight, obesity, nutritional status, physical activity, and associated factors among Saudi students, no studies have examined these characteristics among non-Saudi students or compared non-Saudi to Saudi adolescent students. The objective of this study was to compare differences between Saudi and non-Saudi adolescent students regarding time spent watching television, using computers, engaging in physical activity, and their food preferences. The relationships between these lifestyle behaviors and body mass index by Saudi nativity and gender were tested.
Education level and COVID-19 vaccination willingness in adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Elke Humer; Andrea Jesser; Paul L. Plener (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Vaccination is essential to control the COVID-19 pandemic. High vaccination willingness is a key for successful vaccination programs. This study assessed attitudes toward vaccination in Austrian adolescents and determined whether there are differences in vaccination readiness regarding education status, gender and migration background. Two cross-sectional online surveys were conducted from March to July 2021 in apprentices and high school students. Willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccination was rated on a 5-point scale. In total, n = 2006 (n = 1442 apprentices and n = 564 high school students) completed the survey. Willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccination was higher in students compared to apprentices (p < 0.001). Furthermore, migration background (p = 0.023) and female gender (p = 0.001) were associated with lower vaccination willingness. In conclusion, more efforts are required to improve confidence and willingness to vaccinate adolescents with lower educational levels, those with migrant backgrounds and females.
Child wellbeing in the United Kingdom following the COVID-19 lockdowns

AUTHOR(S)
Anandi Singh; Naasira Shah; Chukwudumebi Mbeledogu (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Paediatrics and Child Health
The COVID-19 pandemic led to huge changes to children’s daily lives including school closures, loss of contact with family and friends, and financial difficulties which impacted on the wellbeing of all children. The Social Determinants of Health model gives us a framework to consider the impact of lockdown directly on children, and indirectly through the impact on parents, families, community and government policy as children cannot be considered in isolation to families or society. Children have suffered directly with lack of access to healthcare, and a decline in their mental health. Infant bonding may have been affected due to maternal stress, anxiety or depression, compounded by limited Health Visitor support. Poverty, food insecurity and lack of exercise contributed to increased obesity. Many children will have been exposed to domestic violence, parental mental illness and child abuse without being able to tell teachers or other adults outside of the home, these Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) increase the risk for subsequent health and behaviour problems. Children have spent many hours online for school learning and socialising with friends but faced risks of criminal exploitation and grooming. The long-term financial implications of COVID-19 will continue to impact on society for many years to come and further increase social inequalities.
The effects of covid-19 on the lives of adolescent girls and young women in the adult entertainment sector in Nepal

AUTHOR(S)
Anita Ghimire; Sharmila Mainali; Fiona Samuels (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: September 2021
As is the case globally, lives and livelihoods in Nepal have been heavily impacted by covid-19. This report discusses the impact of covid-19 and the measures taken to address it on adolescent girls and women working in the adult entertainment sector. It focuses on covid-19’s effects on food security, shelter, health and employment for girls working in this sector. It also explores coping mechanisms and ends by recommending measures and policies that could be adopted during and after the pandemic to support the livelihoods and broader well-being of women and girls working in this sector.
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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.