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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 98
"Everything kind of revolves around technology": a qualitative exploration of families' screen use experiences, and intervention suggestions

AUTHOR(S)
Lauren Arundell; Laura Gould; Nicola D. Ridgers (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health volume

Managing children’s screen time is challenging for most families. Interventions have had limited success in reducing screen time, potentially due to a lack of understanding of the experiences, needs and recommendations of families. This study aimed to 1) understand the screen time experiences of families, particularly during COVID-19 lockdowns; and 2) explore parent and child suggestions for the design, components, and content of a screen time management program. Parents and children from 30 families living in Victoria, Australia completed a semi-structured interview (63 interviews) via Zoom in October–November 2021. Parents were maged 40.8 (± 8.9) years and predominantly female (90%). Children were maged 11.4 (± 2.4) years and 47% female. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive thematic analysis combined with a summative content analysis approach.

How child inclusive were Australia's responses to COVID-19?

AUTHOR(S)
Sharon Bessell; Celia Vuckovic

Published: August 2022   Journal: Australian Journal of Social Issues
From March 2020, Australia introduced a range of policies to respond to COVID-19, most of which impacted significantly on the lives of children. This article applies a child-centred framework, developed from rights-based participatory research with children, to analyse how children have been represented in policy narratives around COVID-19 and the extent to which policy responses have been child-inclusive or child-centred.
"I miss seeing the kids!": Australian teachers' changing roles, preferences, and positive and negative experiences of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Penny Van Bergen; Emily Daniel

Published: August 2022   Journal: The Australian Educational Researcher
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant upheaval in schools in Australia and internationally. The aim of this study was to map Australian teachers’ positive and negative experiences during remote and online learning. Our study took place during the first COVID-19 wave, in the early stages of lockdown. Using an online instrument, 210 primary and secondary teachers were asked about changes in their teaching roles due to COVID-19.
Books versus screens: a study of Australian children's media use during the COVID pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sybil Nolan; Katherine Day; Wonsun Shin (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Publishing Research Quarterly
As children’s use of screens increased during the COVID pandemic, their reading of traditional books was affected, a national survey of Australian parents shows. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne to compare young people’s use of screens and books in the pandemic. Their online survey of 513 primary caregivers of children aged seven to thirteen around Australia showed that tablet use flourished during the pandemic and that COVID lockdowns influenced book buying and library borrowing in consequential ways for publishing and literature. Many parents believed their children’s use of screens had come at the expense of book reading.
Accessing hearing‐health services for deaf and hard‐of‐hearing children during the COVID-19 pandemic: parent and child perspectives

AUTHOR(S)
Ahmed Mardinli; Rona Weerasuriya; Alanna Gillespie (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Australian Journal Of Social Issues
To describe hearing-health service use, especially use of telehealth, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in deaf/hard-of-hearing children. In 2020, the Victorian Childhood Hearing Longitudinal Databank surveyed 497 (61.6%) families of deaf/hard-of-hearing children aged 0.4–19.6 years, with 449 (90.3%) providing quantitative data and 336 (67.6%) providing free-text comments about COVID-19's impact on service use and access. This study summarised quantitative data using descriptive statistics and analysed free-text responses using inductive and deductive reasoning.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 57 | Issue: 3 | No. of pages: 27 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19 response, health services, lockdown, parent-child relationship, social distance | Countries: Australia
Parenting stress, maternal depression and child mental health in a Melbourne cohort before and during the COVID‐19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Megan Galbally; Stuart J. Watson; Andrew J. Lewis (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

This paper aims to examine the maternal and child mental health and parenting outcomes in the context of COVID-19 pandemic conditions using a sample from Melbourne, Australia – a city exposed to one of the longest lockdowns world-wide in response to the pandemic. This study utilises observational data from a prospective, pregnancy cohort, Mercy Pregnancy Emotional Wellbeing Study and includes 468 women and their children followed up in Melbourne to 3–4 years postpartum pre-COVID pandemic and compared to those followed up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Longitudinal changes in wellbeing amongst breastfeeding women in Australia and New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa S. Sakalidis; Alethea Rea; Sharon L. Perrella (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted new mothers’ wellbeing and breastfeeding experience. Women have experienced changes in birth and postnatal care and restricted access to their support network. It is unclear how these impacts may have changed over time with shifting rates of infection and policies restricting movement and access to services in Australia and New Zealand. This study investigated the longitudinal effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on breastfeeding and maternal wellbeing in Australia and New Zealand. Mothers (n = 246) completed an online survey every 4 weeks for 6 months that examined feeding methods, maternal mental wellbeing, worries, challenges, and positive experiences during the pandemic.
Parents' perspectives of family engagement with early childhood education and care during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Penny Levickis; Lisa Murray; Lynn Lee-Pang (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services and families, impacting family access to services and their communication and engagement with educators. This study aimed to examine parents’ perspectives of family engagement with ECEC services during the pandemic. Primary caregivers in Victoria at the time of recruitment (September–November 2020) were invited to participate. Of the 66 participants who completed an online survey, 25 also took part in semi-structured video call or phone interviews; qualitative findings from these interviews are reported in this paper. Four key themes were conceptualised using a reflexive thematic approach: (1) disruptions to ECEC access and attendance impacting on family routines and relationships, and child development; (2) barriers to family engagement; (3) ECEC educators’ support of families and children during the pandemic; and (4) increased parental appreciation of the ECEC profession.
Child and caregiver mental health during 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia: findings from national repeated cross-sectional surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Anna M. H. Price; Mary-Anne Measey; Monsurul Hoq (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: BMJ Paediatrics Open

There are calls for research into the mental health consequences of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia’s initial, effective suppression of COVID-19 offers insights into these indirect impacts in the relative absence of the disease. We aimed to describe the mental health experiences of Australian caregivers and children over 12 months, reporting differences related to demographic, socioeconomic and lockdown characteristics. Data were from Australia’s only nationally representative, repeated cross-sectional survey of caregivers with children (0–17 years). N=2020 caregivers participated in June 2020, N=1434 in September 2020 and N=2508 in July 2021. Caregivers reported their mental health (poor vs not, Kessler-6), and perceived impacts of the pandemic on theirs and their children’s mental health (negative vs none/positive). Data were weighted to approximate population distributions of caregiver age, gender, sole caregiving, number and ages of children, state/territory and neighbourhood-level disadvantage.

The impact of pandemic lockdowns and remote learning on student fitness: an investigation of changes to high school student fitness levels

AUTHOR(S)
Ryan Nolan; Matthew D. Zbaracki

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact on health-related fitness resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns on male high school students in Melbourne, Australia. A total of 146 students completed fitness testing in February and retesting in November following 7 months of remote learning. Fitness tests conducted were 20-m shuttle run (Beep Test), flexed arm hang, body mass index, push-ups, sit-ups, and sit and reach.
Healthcare avoidance before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among Australian youth: a longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Irteja Islam; Joseph Freeman; Verity Chadwick (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Healthcare
Access to healthcare for young people is essential to ensure they can build a foundation for a healthy life. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people avoided seeking healthcare, adversely affecting population health. This study investigated the factors associated with the avoidance of healthcare for Australian young people when they reported that they needed healthcare. It was able to compare healthcare avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic with healthcare avoidance prior to COVID-19. It used two recent data collection waves from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)—Wave 9C1 during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and Wave 8 data which were collected in 2018.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 10 | Issue: 7 | No. of pages: 15 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: adolescent health, child health, COVID-19 response, health services, lockdown, social distance | Countries: Australia
Survey on the use of general practice telehealth services for children during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ashwin Ramanathan; Paddy Ramanathan; Amit Saha

Published: June 2022   Journal: Australian Journal of Primary Health
In 2020, the Australian Government introduced temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule item numbers for GP telehealth consultations to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Patient satisfaction has been positive; however, the paediatric cohort has not been sufficiently investigated. This study aimed to explore the rates of satisfaction of paediatric patients undergoing telehealth compared with standard consultations, as well as looking at any barriers faced. It developed and distributed an online survey to eligible patients (or their guardian) aged 0–17 years who underwent a general practice telehealth consultation between March 2020 and May 2020 at 12 participating medical centres in Perth. It received 68 total responses with 35 deemed complete. The mean (s.d.) age of participants was 8.22 (5.34) years.
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.
Mind the distance: experiences of non-face-to-face child and youth mental health services during COVID-19 social distancing restrictions in Western Australia

AUTHOR(S)
Matthew McQueen; Penelope Strauss; Ashleigh Lin (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Australian Psychologist

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, social distancing restrictions limited access to face-to-face mental health services in Western Australia (WA), necessitating a rapid transition to non-face-to-face alternatives, including telehealth. The current study investigated barriers and facilitators to telehealth access and engagement, and preferences for child and youth mental health service delivery during and beyond COVID-19. Three participant groups were recruited via social media and partner organisations, and completed a tailored online survey: i) young people (14–25 years) who had ever accessed or attempted to access mental health support or services (n = 84), ii) parents of young people with a child aged 0–25 years who had ever accessed or attempted to access mental health support or services with or on behalf of their child (n = 68), and iii) professionals working in the child or youth mental health sector (n = 167).

Demographic predictors of mothers' willingness to vaccinate young children against COVID-19, get tested and isolate: a cross-sectional survey before and during the greater Sydney lockdown 2021, Australia

AUTHOR(S)
Li Ming Wen; Huilan Xu; Chris Rissel (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

Having a COVID-19 vaccination, getting tested, and self-isolating if symptomatic are some of the most important mitigation strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This study aimed to investigate whether demographic factors are associated with mothers' willingness to vaccinate their 4-year-old children against COVID-19 if a suitable vaccine becomes available or to get tested and self-isolate if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms and whether the willingness could be influenced by the Greater Sydney lockdown 2021.  A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted between 24th February and 26th October 2021. Questions from the NSW Adult Population Health Survey and from previously published studies were used to assess family demographics, mothers' willingness to vaccinate their young children, and willingness to get tested and self-isolate if symptomatic. The survey involved 604 mothers of children aged 4 years who participated in an existing trial in Sydney, Australia.

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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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Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.