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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 120
Examining COVID-19 vaccine uptake and attitudes among 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness

Alex Abramovich; Nelson Pang; Sharumathy Kunasekaran (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. Little is known about vaccine attitudes and uptake among this population. To address this, the objectives of this study were to explore this group’s COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, and facilitators and barriers impacting vaccine uptake. 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area were recruited to participate in online surveys assessing demographic characteristics, mental health, health service use, and COVID-19 vaccine attitudes. Descriptive statistics and statistical tests were used to analyze survey data to explore variables associated with vaccine confidence. Additionally, a select group of youth and frontline workers from youth serving organizations were invited to participate in online one-on-one interviews. An iterative thematic content approach was used to analyze interview data. Quantitative and qualitative data were merged for interpretation by use of a convergent parallel analytical design.

A longitudinal investigation of psychological distress in children during COVID-19: the role of socio-emotional vulnerability

Catherine Raymonda; Jessie Provenchera; Alexe Bilodeau-Houle (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: European Journal of Psychotraumatology
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the incidence of distress in youth, some children show increased resilience, emphasizing the need to better understand the predictors of distress in youth. This longitudinal study aimed to assess the combined impact of known socio-emotional predictors of stress-related psychopathology, namely anxiety sensitivity, anxiety trait, intolerance to uncertainty, and rumination, on COVID-related distress in healthy youth. A total of 92 parent-child dyads that previously participated in a laboratory-based experiment assessing observational fear learning in families between 2017 and 2019 (T0) were recontacted. Of them, 84 children aged between 9 and 14 agreed to participate. They completed online questionnaires in June 2020 (T1), September 2020 (T2), December 2020 (T3), and March 2021 (T4). Participants were free of mental illness at T0 and T1. To create a socio-emotional composite score (SECS), we measured anxiety sensitivity (Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index) at T0, trait anxiety (Trait subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAI-C)), intolerance to uncertainty (Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale for Children), and trait rumination (Children’s Response Style Scale) at T1 and created a weighted z-score. To assess symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTS), and depression in reaction to COVID-19, participants completed the State subscale of the STAI-C, the Children’s Revised Impact of Event Scale, and the Children’s Depression Inventory at T1–T4. Three general linear models were run with sex, age group (9–11 and 12+ years old), and SECS as predictors.
COVID-19 and the impacts on youth mental health: emerging evidence from longitudinal studies

Nicholas Chadi; Natalie Castellanos Ryan; Marie-Claude Geoffroy

Published: January 2022   Journal: Canadian Journal of Public Health volume
Several experts have warned that the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and associated confinement measures may have taken a devastating toll on youth mental health. While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly created important challenges for children and youth, these claims vastly rely on cross-sectional data collected during the pandemic, from which it is difficult to draw firm conclusions. This commentary offers a critical appraisal of the evidence from emerging longitudinal studies spanning the pre- and intra-pandemic period with a focus on internalizing and externalizing disorders, suicidality, eating disorders and substance use. It also discusses important research considerations in the monitoring of the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth mental health as well as promising interventions to help mitigate potential long-lasting consequences of this unprecedented public health crisis.
Super-spreaders or victims of circumstance? Childhood in Canadian media reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic: a critical content analysis

Sarah Ciotti; Shannon A. Moore; Maureen Connolly (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Healthcare
This qualitative research study, a critical content analysis, explores Canadian media reporting of childhood in Canada during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Popular media plays an important role in representing and perpetuating the dominant social discourse in highly literate societies. In Canadian media, the effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents’ health and wellbeing are overshadowed by discussions of the potential risk they pose to adults. The results of this empirical research highlight how young people in Canada have been uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Two dominant narratives emerged from the data: children were presented “as a risk” to vulnerable persons and older adults and “at risk” of adverse health outcomes from contracting COVID-19 and from pandemic lockdown restrictions. This reflects how childhood was constructed in Canadian society during the pandemic, particularly how children’s experiences are described in relation to adults. Throughout the pandemic, media reports emphasized the role of young people’s compliance with public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of older persons.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 10 | Issue: 1 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, communication, COVID-19 response, disease control, information, lockdown, media, social distance | Countries: Canada
Family functioning and mental wellbeing impairment during initial quarantining for the COVID-19 pandemic: a study of Canadian families

Philippe Hwang; Lara Ipekian; Nikhil Jaiswal (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Current Psychology
Quarantine measures imposed due to COVID-19 have negatively impacted individual wellbeing. However, the research on the factors impacting mental health and functioning of families is limited. The current study explores socio-economic and demographic factors that mediate poor family functioning, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in response to quarantine measures in Canadian parents and children. 254 Canadian families completed an online questionnaire capturing demographic information and mental wellbeing of individuals and of the whole family. Family functioning was assessed using the Family Assessment Device General Functioning subscale (FAD-GF), and individual mental wellbeing was measured with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder screener (GAD-7) and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Generalized linear models and logistic regression were used to model socio-demographic impacts on outcome variables.
Disentangling the diversity of profiles of adaptation in youth during COVID-19

Martine Hebert; Amelie Tremblay-Perreault; Arianne Jean-Thorn (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports

The COVID-19 outbreak has major psychosocial consequences on the global population and specialists report that youth may be significantly impacted. Adolescents and young adults, for whom social life is an important protective factor, had to face a new isolation caused by social distancing and home schooling. This study aims to explore youth's profiles of adaptation to COVID-19 pandemic in the province of Quebec, Canada, and the risk factors and strengths associated with each profile. A sample of 4936 youth living in Quebec were recruited on social media and filled out an online survey during the lockdown of the first wave of COVID-19. They completed measures of psychological distress, positive adaptation (well-being, resilience), risk factors (alexithymia and emotional dysregulation), COVID-related worries and fear of contamination and COVID-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Comparison of self-harm or overdose among adolescents and young adults before vs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario

Joel G. Ray; Peter C. Austin; Kayvan Aflaki (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: JAMA Network Open

Self-harm and deaths among adolescents and young adults are notably related to drug poisonings and suicide. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are projections about a greater likelihood of such events arising among adolescents and young adults. To evaluate the risk of self-harm, overdose, and all-cause mortality among adolescents and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. This population-based cohort study took place in Ontario, Canada, where a universal health care system captures all emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. The participants included all adolescents and young adults born in Ontario between 1990 and 2006, who were aged 14 to 24 years between March 1, 2018, and June 30, 2021.

Psychological distress and experiences of adolescents and young adults with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey

Camille Glidden; Kaitlyn Howden; Razvan G. Romanescu (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Psycho-Oncology

This study investigated prevalence of psychological distress, factors associated with distress, and experiences of Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also compared distress in this group to previously surveyed Canadian AYAs with cancer in 2018 by the Young Adults with Cancer in their Prime (YACPRIME) study. A cross-sectional, online, self-administered survey of AYAs diagnosed with cancer between 15 and 39 years of age was conducted. Psychological distress was measured by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). Associations between variables and high psychological distress (K10 ≥ 25), and comparison of prevalence of psychological distress with the YACPRIME study were done using multivariable logistic regression. Summative qualitative content analysis analyzed participant experiences during this pandemic.

Heterogeneity in maternal and child mental health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sumayya Saleem; Samantha Burns; Olesya Falenchuk (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
This study used latent profile analysis on a longitudinal dataset to examine changes in maternal and child mental health during COVID-19 and factors that may protect against declines in mental health. Participants were 183 low-income mothers (M = 36 years) with young children (M = 5.31 years) in the City of Toronto with data collected prior to and during the pandemic in 2020. Mothers reported on their own stress, anxiety and depression and their children's emotional, conduct, hyperactivity, peer, and prosocial problems at both timepoints.
Screen use and mental health symptoms in Canadian children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Xuedi Li; Leigh M. Vanderloo; Charles D. G. Keown-Stoneman (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: JAMA Network Open

Longitudinal research on specific forms of electronic screen use and mental health symptoms in children and youth during COVID-19 is minimal. Understanding the association may help develop policies and interventions targeting specific screen activities to promote healthful screen use and mental health in children and youth. This study aims to determine whether specific forms of screen use (television [TV] or digital media, video games, electronic learning, and video-chatting time) were associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, conduct problems, irritability, hyperactivity, and inattention in children and youth during COVID-19.

Children and parents’ perspectives of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ontario children’s physical activity, play, and sport behaviours

Monika Szpunar; Leigh M. Vanderloo; Brianne A. Bruijns (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures have resulted in the closure of many physical activity-supporting facilities. This study examined Ontario parents’ and children’s perspectives of COVID-19’s impact on children’s physical activity behaviours, return to play/sport during COVID-19, as well as barriers/facilitators to getting active amid extended closures of physical activity venues. Parents/guardians of children aged 12 years and under living in Ontario, Canada were invited to participate in an interview. 12 parent/guardian and 9 child interviews were conducted via Zoom between December 2020 – January 2021, were audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Thematic content analysis was undertaken to identify pronounced themes.

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on influenza-related hospitalization, intensive care admission and mortality in children in Canada: a population-based study

Helen E. Groves; Jesse Papenburg; Kayur Mehta (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented implementation of wide-ranging public health measures globally. During the pandemic, dramatic decreases in seasonal influenza virus detection have been reported worldwide. Information on the impact on paediatric influenza-related hospitalisations is limited. This study describes influenza-related hospitalisation in children in Canada following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data on influenza-related hospitalisations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and in-hospital deaths in children across Canada were obtained from the Canadian Immunisation Monitoring Program, ACTive (IMPACT). This national active surveillance initiative comprises 90% of all tertiary care paediatric beds in Canada. The study period included eleven influenza seasons, from the 2010/2011 season until the 2020/2021 season inclusive. Time series modelling was used to compare the observed to predicted influenza-related hospitalisations following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cite this research | Vol.: 7 | No. of pages: 8 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: child health, COVID-19, hospitalization, infectious disease, respiratory diseases | Countries: Canada
Mediating mechanisms for maternal mental health from pre- to during the COVID-19 pandemic: mediators of maternal mental illness during COVID-19

Nicole Racine; Sheila McDonald; Suzanne Tough (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders Reports

Mothers have experienced a near doubling of depression and anxiety symptoms pre- to during the COVID-19 pandemic. The identification of mechanisms that account for this increase can help inform specific targets for mental health recovery efforts. The current study examined whether women with higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms pre-pandemic, reported higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms during the pandemic, and whether these increases were mediated by perceived stress, strained relationships, coping attitudes, participation in activities, alcohol use, and financial impact. Mothers (n = 1,333) from an ongoing longitudinal cohort (All Our Families; AOF) from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, completed online questionnaires prior to (2017–2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (May-July 2020). Mothers reported on depressive and anxiety symptoms pre- and during the pandemic, as well as perceived stress, engagement in physical and leisure activities, coping, alcohol use, and financial impact of the pandemic.

Impact of rapid diagnostic testing on school closures

Neale Smith; Craig Mitton; Meghan Donaldson (et al.)

Institution: Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research
Published: November 2021

What evidence exists on rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) for COVID as a tool to limit school closures? The purpose of this study was to provide evidence on the impact of rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) for COVID-19 [i.e., SARS-CoV-2] on school closures (K-12). A rapid systematic review was conducted. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and the WHO COVID-19 Global Literature on Coronavirus Disease were searched.

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families from marginalized groups: a qualitative study in Kingston, Ontario

Hannah Lee; Imaan Bayoumi; Autumn Watson (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with unprecedented changes to societal structure. School closures, unstable employment, and inaccessible health services have caused enormous disruptions to child and family wellbeing. This study identifies major themes illustrating how child and family wellness were impacted by COVID-19, including unique effects experienced by Indigenous families. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants (n = 31) recruited from organizations providing healthcare and social services in Kingston, Ontario. Interview transcripts and written survey responses were analyzed using a phenomenological approach to explore themes related to child and family wellbeing.
16 - 30 of 120

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.