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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Evidence and gap map research brief: UNICEF strategic plan 2018–2021: COVID-19 special evidence brief
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2022
This research brief is one of a series of six briefs, which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell-UNICEF Mega-Map of the effectiveness of interventions to improve child well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Five of these briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan. A sixth special brief was added to focus specifically on COVID-19 and other epidemics and major crises. It is anticipated that the briefs will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space.
Adaptation and resilience: lessons learned from implementing a combination health and education intervention for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe Duby; Brittany Bunce; Chantal Fowler (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Health Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with reduced access to health services and worsening health outcomes for HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Through the analysis of data from an evaluation study of a combination intervention for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in South Africa, this study sought to examine the way in which implementation and service provision were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, describing the adaptation implementers made to respond to this context. The intervention was implemented from 2019 in South African districts identified as high priority, given the high rates of HIV and teenage pregnancy amongst AGYW.
Positive and negative risk-taking in adolescence and early adulthood: a citizen science study during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lysanne W. te Brinke; Renske van der Cruijsen; Kayla H. Green (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Sensation seeking is an important underlying factor of both positive and negative forms of risk-taking during adolescence and early adulthood. However, macro-factors such as the global COVID-19 pandemic may influence sensation seeking opportunities and risk-taking behaviors that are considered negative and positive. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to examine the associations between sensation seeking and behaviors that are considered positive or negative forms of risk-taking during the Covid-19 pandemic in a sample of adolescents and early adults (N = 660, Mage = 22.91, SD = 3.14). Using citizen science methods, negative risk-taking was defined as taking unaccepted risks, such as falsifying vaccination reports or deliberately contracting COVID-19. Positive risk-taking was defined as taking socially accepted risks, such as balancing between the risk to infect elderly people and the need to socialize with peers. Results showed that participants with higher levels of sensation seeking took more positive and negative COVID-19 related risks. An additional finding was that sensation seeking was positively associated with the need to contribute to society. This indicates that during adolescence and early adulthood, sensation seeking may be a driving factor for both positive (i.e., socially accepted) and negative (i.e., socially unaccepted) risk-taking in the context of a high-stake global pandemic, arguing against a one-direction negative relation between sensation seeking and risk-taking.
Perspectives of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents on their children's coping during COVID‐19: implications for practice

AUTHOR(S)
Ami N. Seivwright; Zoe Callis; Paul R. Flatau

Published: June 2022   Journal: Children & Society
Disruptions caused by COVID-19 have the potential to create long-term negative impacts on children's well-being and development, especially among socioeconomically disadvantaged children. However, we know little about how socioeconomically disadvantaged families are coping with the pandemic, nor the types of support needed. This study presents qualitative analysis of responses to an open-ended question asking parents how children are coping with the restrictions associated with COVID-19, to identify areas in which these cohorts can be supported. Four main themes were identified: health concerns, schooling difficulties, social isolation and adjustment to restrictions. Health concerns included exacerbation of pre-existing health conditions, fear about the virus, difficulty getting children to understand the pandemic and increased sedentary behaviour. Schooling difficulties referred to the challenges of home schooling, which were behavioural (e.g. difficulty concentrating) and logistical (e.g. technology). Social isolation, expressed as missing friends, family and/or institutions was common. Finally, parents expressed that children experienced both positive adjustments to restrictions, such as spending more time with family, and negative adjustments such as increased screen time.
Testing a coping scale in Mexican families in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: exploring the psychometric properties

AUTHOR(S)
Xolyanetzin Montero-Pardo; Marla Naiví Toiber-Rodríguez; Joaquín Alberto Padilla-Bautista (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Saludd mental

The rapid spread of the pandemic due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, more commonly known as COVID-19, required sanitary measures, such as social distancing and quarantining, which represented non-normative stressors for Mexican families. This study aimed to obtaini evidence of the validity and reliability of a family coping scale in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was developed containing 48 items, and responses were collected using Google forms with a total of 558 participants. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to obtain the reliability and validity of the scale.

The portion of goods that falleth to me: parental rights, children's rights, and medical decisions after COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
B. Isaac Gibson

Published: June 2022   Journal: Family Court Review
The advent and perpetuation of the COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight issues in American law that have long gone unaddressed. Prominent among them are the issues involving parents, the government, and the medical decisions of children. This article examines the current state of American law involving parental rights, children's rights, and the government's role in medical decisions of children and proposes a uniform act as a solution to the discrepancy and unpredictability in this area of American law.
When family interrupted work: the implications of gendered role perception in the face of COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
S. Susie Lee; Melody M. Chao; Hongwei He (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Social Issues
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are confronted with the work-from-home challenge, which often results in work-family interference. Although prior to COVID-19, the influence of traditional gender role expectations was shown to be reduced over time, it is unclear whether and how such traditional worldview might influence judgments towards men and women when family interrupted work under the threat of COVID-19. This study presented and tested competing predictions derived from the gender role theory. An experimental study with 971 adults showed that during (vs. before) COVID-19 pandemic, men were evaluated more negatively when they experienced family interruption to work compared with women. The negative evaluation further led to more punitive reactions and less support at work. The results suggested that gender role expectations reinforced the traditional status quo by punishing status-quo-breakers under the threat of COVID-19.
Re-imagining the religious beliefs and cultural practices of indigenous christian youth

AUTHOR(S)
Fides A. Del Castillo

Published: June 2022   Journal: Religions
This paper aims to understand better the religious beliefs and cultural practices of Cordilleran Christian youth in the Philippines. By zooming in on the notions of God and practices of select Cordilleran Christian youth, this study endeavors to make the voices of indigenous Christian youth heard. Using the framework of Laylayan theology, this study explores the perspectives of the indigenous Christian youth on God, traditional practices, and lived experience, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show the interconnectedness of faith and culture among select indigenous youth during this contemporary period. Their lived religious context informs society on the dialogue of life and experience.
Healthfulness of online grocery shopping behaviors: analyzing receipt data from low-income households with children
Published: June 2022   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

Online grocery services hold potential to reduce physical barriers to equitable healthy food procurement, particularly among low-income families who often live far from groceries stores. During COVID-19, the USDA authorized the use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits online in some retailers across the US. We aimed to evaluate the nutritional quality of online grocery purchases among SNAP-eligible families. Itemized receipt data was analyzed from a larger mixed methods study of online grocery shopping behaviors of SNAP-eligible families in Maryland. Of the 310 participants who completed the survey, 39 submitted grocery receipts. Of those, 19 participants submitted receipts with complete data for nutritional analysis on total amount spent, number of items purchased and units, weight (oz), and % of expenditure on fruits, vegetables, and sugar sweetened beverages (SSB). Nutritional analysis compared purchases of propensity score matched samples of SNAP (n = 14) versus SNAP-eligible non-participant families (n = 5) using a zero-inflated Poisson regression, controlling for sociodemographic factors.

Disparity in built environment and its impacts on youths' physical activity behaviors during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions

AUTHOR(S)
Xiangli Gu; Jean Keller; Tao Zhang (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Guided by the social ecological model, this study aimed to examine the relations of built environments (i.e., walking/cycling infrastructure, recreation facilities, neighborhood safety/crime), youth’s transition abilities, and changes of youth’s physical activity (PA) and play behaviors due to COVID-19-based restrictions. Ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) disparities were also examined on studies variables during the COVID-19 restrictions. A cross-sectional research design was used to assess an anonymous online survey completed by US parents/guardians. The final sample had 1324 children and adolescents (Meanage = 9.75; SD = 3.95; 51.3% girls), and 35.5% the families were of upper socioeconomic class (income > $150,000). Parents reported the perceived built environment and neighborhood safety, child’s PA and play behaviors during COVID-19 pandemic shelter-in-place restrictions.

Self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions among Jewish Israeli adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Yaniv Efrati; Marcantonio M. Spada

Published: June 2022   Journal: Addictive Behaviors Reports
This study examined self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions among Israeli adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic across different sociodemographic categories. The sample comprised 2,074 adolescents (40% males, 60% females) aged 12–19 years who completed the survey anonymously and with parental consent. The study examined what is the prevalence of self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions in this population in the COVID-19 pandemic context. Participants reported self-perceived addictions to social networks (70%), shopping (46%), binge eating (34%), gaming (30%), sex-related behavior (15%), psychoactive substance (31%, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and/or cocaine), and gambling (3%). Moreover, differences were found to be directly related to age, biological sex, religiosity, socioeconomic status, and immigration status. From a lay epidemiological perspective, the current research expands our knowledge about self-perceived addiction among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering better understanding of the likelihood probability factors for self-perceived addiction among adolescents and its related negative outcomes, including increased risk factors for later adult life.
In the eyes of adolescents, is the pandemic an obstacle or a gain? A qualitative study based on the ecological theory

AUTHOR(S)
Sureyya Sarvan; Leyla Muslu

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of pediatric nursing
This study was conducted to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the lives of adolescents and their expectations about the future. Data for the study was collected using a descriptive qualitative research design. The sample included 24 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 17, who were recruited according to the purposive sampling method. The research questions and results were structured according to the Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory. Data were collected until saturation was achieved. NVivo 12 program was used to organize the data. The transcribed data were analyzed using the inductive thematic analysis method.
Distance education & the digital divide: ensuring learning continuity for girls during school closures
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: June 2022

This brief was developed to support the dissemination of key messages in Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises. It provides an overview of evidence and gaps in girls’ and women’s access to distance education and recommends actions for gender-responsive planning and design of distance education policies and interventions.


Factors associated with decisions of Arab minority parents in Israel to vaccinate their children against COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Ola Ali-Saleh; Shiran Bord; Fuad Basis

Published: May 2022   Journal: Vaccines
The Arab ethnic community in Israel is characterized by low social economic status and is at risk due to the typically crowded households. Understanding parents’ level of awareness is important to avoid new outbreaks. This study seeks to identify predicting factors associated with perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, and barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. A survey was conducted through social media, using snowball sampling via social networks. Additionally, t-tests, Chi-square tests, and Z tests were used to evaluate differences between independent proportions. Pearson correlations were calculated for the study variables. Multiple logistic regression examined the extent to which the background variables were related to the intention to vaccinate the child.
Perception of changing habits among Italian children and adolescents during COVID-19 quarantine: an epidemiological study

AUTHOR(S)
Giulia Bassi; Elisa Mancinelli; Bianca Boldrini (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Children
This is an epidemiological study to explore the perception of change in several psychosocial dimensions during the COVID-19 quarantine. It focused on emotions, use of social network sites (SNSs), family life, important relationships, body functions, and school life. Using snowball recruitment, N = 1047 Italian children, pre-adolescents, and adolescents (M = 13.74 ± 3.59) were selected to complete ad hoc online questionnaires. A differential semantic inventory plot was prepared to analyze the emotional experience of children, pre-adolescents, and adolescents during quarantine compared to the pre-quarantine period. The Kruskal–Wallis test was run to assess gender and age differences in emotions experienced, habitual SNS use, and the experience of attending classes remotely. A post hoc Wilcoxon test was performed to compare such differences.
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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.