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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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A cross-sectional study examining self-reported anthropometric measurements with adolescents' nutrition attitudes, obesity awareness and diet quality indices during the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Adem Sümen; Derya Evgin

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Nursing

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between adolescents' nutritional attitudes, obesity awareness, and diet quality with their self-reported anthropometric measurements taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-sectional type of study was conducted in a district in the south of Turkey. The research was carried out online with 907 adolescents who agreed to participate voluntarily.

Childcare, COVID-19 and female firm exit: impact of COVID-19 school closure policies on global gender gaps in business outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
Markus Goldstein; Paula Gonzalez; Sreelakshmi Papineni (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
This paper estimates the impact of a large negative childcare shock on gender gaps in entrepreneurship using the shock created by national COVID-19 school closure policies. The paper leverages a unique data set of monthly enterprise data collected from a repeated cross-section of business owners across 50 countries via Facebook throughout 2020 and in 2021. The paper shows that, globally, female-led firms were, on average, 4 percentage points more likely to close their business and experienced larger revenue declines than male-led firms during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (male firms closed at a rate of 17 percent in 2020, and 12 percent in 2021). The gender gap in firm closures persisted into 2021. The closing of schools, a key part of the care infrastructure, led to higher business closures, and women with children were more likely to close their business in response to a school closure policy than men with children. Female entrepreneurs were found to take on a greater share of the increase in the domestic and care work burden than male entrepreneurs. Finally, the paper finds that women entrepreneurs in societies with more conservative norms with respect to gender equality were significantly more likely to close their business and increase the time spent on domestic and care responsibilities in response to a school closure policy, relative to women in more liberal societies. The paper provides global evidence of a motherhood penalty and childcare constraint to help explain gender inequalities in an entrepreneurship context.
Assessing the damage: early evidence on impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on girls and women in Africa
Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
At the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there was global concern about the negative indirect impacts the crisis would have on girls and women and their human capital. Two years into the crisis, this brief summarizes the evidence to date on how the prediction of a shadow crisis has played out in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).The brief is intended as a call to action for policymakers, since available research sets off multiple alarm bells. It also proposes urgent policy responses. Evidence to date confirms that the COVID-19 crisis has had profound negative impacts on the education, health, employment and empowerment of girls and women including in SSA. Available data is still limited, but what is known to date suggests that we are seeing the tip of an iceberg. Many impacts will have long term repercussions for girls’ and women’s human capital. Decision makers are at a pivotal moment to invest now in women and girls, to neutralize immediate but also prolonged costs to individuals, societies and economies.
Family resilience and adolescent mental health during COVID-19: a moderated mediation model

AUTHOR(S)
Ran Zhuo; Yanhua Yu; Xiaoxue Shi

Published: April 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and is still impacting people’s lives, including physical and mental health. Family plays an important role in adolescent mental health due to the long staying at home. This paper aimed to investigate the impact of family resilience on adolescent mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the mediation role of pandemic stress perception and the moderation role of meta-mood. A total of 2691 Chinese adolescents were recruited using convenient sampling. Their mental health, family resilience, pandemic stress perception and meta-mood were surveyed.
Psychosocial and behavioral effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescents with autism and their families: overview of the literature and initial data from a multinational online survey

AUTHOR(S)
Helene Kreys; Dana Schneider; Andrea Erika Kowallik (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Healthcare
Since COVID-19 has become a pandemic, everyday life has seen dramatic changes affecting individuals, families, and children with and without autism. Among other things, these changes entail more time at home, digital forms of communication, school closures, and reduced support and intervention. This study assesses the effects of the pandemic on quality of life for school-age autistic and neurotypical children and adolescents. First, it provides a comprehensive review of the current relevant literature. Next, it reports original data from a survey conducted in several countries, assessing activities, well-being, and social life in families with autism, and their changes over time. It focuses on differences between children with and without autism from within the same families, and on different outcomes for children with high- or low-functioning autism.
Examination of PTSD and depression levels and demographic data of Syrian refugee children during the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Elif Erol; Dilara Demirpençe Seçinti

Published: April 2022   Journal: Psych
Background: The worldwide population of child refugees is estimated to be over 10 million. Refugee children and adolescents are among the most vulnerable groups in the world, and the pandemic created new challenges for them. Objective: This study aimed to examine the PTSD and depression levels of Syrian refugee children and adolescents, the difficulties they experienced in access to food and education, and the changes in their family income, and evaluate the effects of these factors on symptom severities of depression and PTSD. It used data obtained from 631 Syrian refugee children between the ages of 7 and 15. Assessment measures for exposure to PTSD and depression included a socio-demographic form, stressors related to COVID-19, the Child and Adolescent Trauma Survey (CATS), and the patient-rated Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI). ANCOVA is conducted to evaluate the differences between the symptoms of PTSD and depression. The regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between the scales and the demographic data.
Playing through crisis: lessons from COVID-19 on play as a fundamental right of the child

AUTHOR(S)
Theresa Casey; John H. McKendrick

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
In its COVID-19 Statement of April 2020, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that States Parties explore alternative and creative solutions for children to enjoy their rights to rest, leisure, recreation, and cultural and artistic activities – rights, which along with the right to play, are encompassed in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This paper reflects on play in times of crisis, giving particular focus to the experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three narratives of play and crisis are introduced – play in crisis; the threat to play in times of crisis; and play as a remedy to crisis. Progressive responses to support play during COVID-19 are appraised. Against a backdrop of innovation and a stimulus to research in play, concerns persist that children’s right to play is not foregrounded, and that the ‘everydayness of play’ is not adequately facilitated.
Activating self-transcendence values to promote prosocial behaviors among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: the moderating role of positive orientation

AUTHOR(S)
Claudia Russo; Anna Dell’Era; Ioana Zagrean (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: The Journal of Genetic Psychology
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected people’s health, daily routine, and behaviors. Its effects have been most pronounced for the youngest and oldest generations. Their daily lives have completely changed throughout the pandemic. Self-transcendence values and positive orientation could facilitate optimal adjustment to this situation by promoting prosociality. The present study aimed to discover if applying a new, web-based intervention could activate self-transcendence values in a group of Italian adolescents, fostering COVID-19 prosocial behaviors while also considering the role of positive orientation. The study adopted a longitudinal, web-based, and quasi-experimental design.
Address and involvement in e-books about COVID-19 for young children: an analysis of the visual mode

AUTHOR(S)
Maria Koutsikou; Vasilia Christidou

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Visual Literacy
COVID-19 e-books have emerged as means for communicating information about coronavirus and the resulting disease to children during the pandemic. This material is multimodal, with images forming the most prevalent and crucial semiotic mode. Except for representational and compositional meaning, an image realises interpersonal meanings. The degree to which the reader is activated (address) and prompted to become engaged with what is represented (involvement) constitute interpersonal meaning dimensions that reflect crucial pedagogical perceptions about children’s learning. This study explored how address and involvement are visually realised in young children’s e-books about COVID-19. The sample consisted of 100 randomly selected images of living or anthropomorphic entities included in 18 COVID-19 e-books for young children. The framework of analysis was based on the Grammar of Visual Design.
Exploring teacher–parent relationships in times of Covid-19: teachers’ expectations and parental home-schooling strategies in a Flemish context

AUTHOR(S)
Marloes Hagenaars; Peter A. J. Stevens; Piet van Avermaet (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Teachers and Teaching
Previous research shows that the lockdown of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic increased the already existing inequalities in education but little is known about the processes underlying these outcomes. In this study we used Bourdieu’s theories to explore how interactions between teachers’ expectations of parents and parents’ availability of cultural, social and economic capital could potentially influence educational inequalities in the context of distance education. The analysis is based on 24 qualitative interviews with parents from different social backgrounds, teachers and school coordinators, sampled from an inner-city primary school in Flanders (Belgium).
Exacerbating, illuminating and hiding rights issues: COVID-19 and children in conflict with the law

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Dyer; Claire Lightowler; Nina Vaswani (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
This article explores the impacts of the response to COVID-19 on the rights of children in conflict with the law. It focuses on three significant rights issues: responding to all children as children (UNCRC, Article 1); non-discrimination (UNCRC, Article 2) and deprivation of liberty as a last resort (UNCRC, Article 37). Completing a Child Right's Impact Assessment, a structured approach to considering children's rights issues, helped us identify the key concerns around these three UNCRC articles. This study argues that, while the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated an erosion of children's rights for those in conflict with the law, the response to the pandemic has primarily compounded and illuminated pre-existing rights issues. It has also further hidden from view some children and their experiences.
Associations between social isolation and parenting stress during the first wave of COVID-19 in Italian children with special educational needs

AUTHOR(S)
Laura Zampini; Paola Zanchi; Paolo Riva (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: International Journal of Developmental Disabilities
The parents of 413 children with typical development (TD) or special educational needs (SEN) filled in an online survey to investigate the associations between the restrictions introduced to face COVID-19 and parenting stress and parental disciplinary practices. The parents of children with SEN showed a significantly higher stress level than TD children's parents. However, they showed a lower inclination to overreact. In both groups, the parents who feel less supported, feel their needs threatened, and report having a child with more difficulties were more likely to exhibit parenting stress. Data on the associations between COVID-19 restrictions and the stress perceived by parents could help to focus the attention of the public health system on their parents' needs, leading to practices aimed to prevent parenting stress and burnout.
Willingness toward COVID-19 vaccination, coadministration with other vaccines and receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster: a cross-sectional study on the guardians of children in China

AUTHOR(S)
Libing Ma; Jin Yang; Ting Zhang (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
This study aimed to investigate the changes in the willingness of guardians to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to their children, allow the coadministration of other vaccines, and administer the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. This was a follow-up study conducted 6 months after a similar previous study. The self-administered questionnaire was distributed through the “Xiao Dou Miao” app and 9424 guardians with access to this app participated in the survey that was conducted from September 15 to October 8, 2021. Of all the participating guardians, 86.68% were willing to vaccinate their children with the COVID-19 vaccine, which was approximately 16% more than those in our previous study. Guardians aged ≥40 years, healthcare workers, and those with children aged ≥3 years were more willing to vaccinate their children. Approximately 77% of the guardians were willing toward the coadministration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. Approximately 64% of the guardians were willing toward the coadministration of other nonimmunization program vaccines with the COVID-19 vaccine for their children.
The growing digital divide in education among primary and secondary children during the COVID-19 pandemic: an overview of social exclusion and education equality issues

AUTHOR(S)
Ali Cheshmehzangi; Tong Zou; Zhaohui Su (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
The growing digital divide issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic are critical to widening disparities and inequalities. Yet, only a few studies have explored the impacts of the digital divide on the education sector. In particular, there is a research gap related to younger students of primary and secondary schools. This study addresses this research gap by providing an overview of the digital divide’s impacts on social exclusion and education equality issues. In doing so, the study argues the effects of COVID-19 on the growing digital divide. Such influence is then studied based on the increasing education inequalities due to the digital divide and the eventual social exclusion increase among primary and secondary school children. The study explores the nexus between social exclusion and the digital divide before reflecting on EI as a type of social exclusion.
COVID-19-related fears, stress and depression in adolescents: the role of loneliness and relational closeness to online friends

AUTHOR(S)
Valentina Boursier; Francesca Gioia; Alessandro Musetti (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Research shows that the various waves of COVID-19 have generated increased fears, loneliness, and negative feelings in many adolescents. In this context, social media use may fulfill the pivotal function of connection, thereby supporting a sense of relational and emotional closeness to others via online interactions. However, there is no agreement as to the risks or buffering effects of social media usage among adolescents during the pandemic. The current study aims to explore the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19-related fears on adolescents’ perceived stress and depression, evaluating the mediating effect of their sense of loneliness and the moderating effect of relational closeness to online friends. A sample of 544 Italian adolescents participated in an online survey during the third wave of COVID-19 (71.9% females; mean age = 16.22 years).
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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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Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.

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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.