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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Dispositional mindfulness mediates the relationship between conscientiousness and mental health-related issues in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tiantian Liu; Zhenliang Liu; Lijia Zhang (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Personality and Individual Differences
The COVID-19 pandemic is seriously affecting the mental health of adolescents and triggering a series of mental health-related issues. The present study investigates the relationships between conscientiousness, dispositional mindfulness (DM), and adolescents' mental health-related issues including anxiety, depression, and perceived stress during this time. In this study, after obtaining informed consent from participants' parents, 5994 Chinese adolescents voluntarily and anonymously completed an online survey.
Changes of psychotic-like experiences and their association with anxiety/depression among young adolescents before COVID-19 and after the lockdown in China

Zhipeng Wu; Zhening Liu; Zhulin Zou (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Schizophrenia Research

Lockdown policies during COVID-19 pandemic have potential adverse psychological impacts on youth. However, little is known about their influence on the changes of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) among adolescents, nor about the possible association between changes in PLEs and changes in anxiety/depression symptoms. This study investigated these two questions through a longitudinal comparative study. In total, 1825 adolescents were surveyed before COVID-19 and after the lockdown in China (T0, October 20th, 2019 and T1, May 18th, 2020). PLEs, anxiety, and depression were measured with paranoia, anxiety and depression subscales of the Mental Health Inventory of Middle school students (MMHI-60). Within-subjects Wilcoxon test, Spearman correlation test, and Kruskal-Wallis test were adopted.

Students’ affective engagement, parental involvement, and teacher support in emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from a cross-sectional survey in China

Yang Yang; Keqiao Liu; Miao Li (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Technology in Education
Emergency remote teaching has been widely implemented in the education system worldwide to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing upon data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in eight middle schools in eastern China (a sample size of 1,550 students and 1,550 parents), we employed multiple linear regressions with school fixed effects to examine the associations among student affective engagement, parental involvement, and teacher support in an emergency remote teaching environment. Our results show that higher levels of parental involvement and teacher support are associated with higher levels of student affective engagement with teacher support presenting the strongest relationship with student engagement. These findings contribute to the understanding of emergency remote teaching in different countries where schools and individual households devise varying strategies and solutions.
Parental self-efficacy and behavioral problems in children with autism during COVID-19: a moderated mediation model of parenting stress and perceived social support

Shu Dan Chen; Yun Yu; Xing Kai Li (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Psychology Research and Behavior Management
COVID-19 pandemic has been verified as a public health emergency of international concern. During the special period, the health of vulnerable groups, such as children with autism, should be concerned. Some studies have been carried out to investigate the behavioral problems of children with autism during the COVID-19, but underlying mechanisms behind it is not clear. This study examines the role of parenting stress as a mediator in the relationship between parental self-efficacy and behavioral problems in Chinese children as well as the role of perceived social support as a moderator for this mediation effect. A total of 439 parents of children with autism (mean age=40.17, SD=5.26) were surveyed and completed five questionnaires (Conners Parent Symptom Questionnaire, Parental Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, Parenting Stress Index-Short Form 15, Perceived Social Support Questionnaire, and Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Five Factor Inventory). The statistical analyses were conducted by SPSS 26.0 and SPSS PROCESS macro.
Willingness and influential factors of parents of 3-6-year-old children to vaccinate their children with the COVID-19 vaccine in China

Xiao Wan; Haitao Huang; Jia Shang (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
The impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on children aged 3–6 can be severe. Vaccination for COVID-19 is one of the most important primary preventative measures to reduce disease transmission. Parents are hesitant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 because it was reported in the news that some adults have had adverse reactions to the vaccine. This study aims to investigate the willingness of Chinese parents of 3–6 year old children to vaccinate them with the COVID-19 vaccine and identify what factors influence their decisions. A survey was conducted using a two-stage stratified random sampling method from December 2020 to February 2021. We used univariate analysis and multivariate binary logistic analysis to explore potential factors that may determine the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Determinants of parental hesitancy to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 in China

Mei-Xian Zhang; Xiao-Qing Lin; Yan Chen (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Expert Review of Vaccines

Vaccine hesitancy seriously hinders herd immunity. This study explored the determinants of parental hesitancy to vaccinate children against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China. A population-based self-administered online questionnaire evaluating parental hesitancy in vaccinating their children against COVID-19 was conducted in Taizhou, China. Of the 2463 parents who received the invitation, 1788 (72.6%) responded to the survey.

Chinese adolescents’ rebellion during the COVID-19 pandemic: discipline and resistance in online compulsory education

Jindong Liu; Biying Wu; Jiayu Qu

Published: August 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
To tackle the debate surrounding the tension between knowledge and power in online education for adolescents and between freedom and control at large, this study examines how disciplinary power was exercised and resisted in a Chinese setting of online compulsory education during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Overall, 60 participants, including students (from Grade 7 to 12), their parents, and teachers joined in our focus groups or individual interviews in a secondary school in Xi’an, China. By following Foucault’s concepts of three techniques of disciplinary power: hierarchical observation, normalizing judgement and examination, this study identified four themes based on the data: (1) diminished discipline with the dissolving boundary, (2) reconfigured disciplinary power by teachers, (3) self-discipline as a vital skill, and (4) online compulsory education as a future trend. Interpretations from the Foucauldian perspective were presented, suggesting that most adolescents depend upon more external disciplines from schools and teachers, while only a few may achieve autonomy through self-discipline.
Increased occurrence of PTSD symptoms in adolescents with major depressive disorder soon after the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in China: a cross-sectional survey

Hang Zhang; Hanmei Xu; Lijuan Huang (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: BMC Psychiatry

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to threaten the physical and mental health of people across the world. This study aimed to understand the psychological impact of this disease on adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) at 1 month after the start of the outbreak in China. Using the Children’s Impact of Event Scale (CRIES-13) questionnaire, it investigated the occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in two groups of adolescents: MDD patients who were in continuous antidepressant therapy and healthy controls. Total scores and factor subscores were compared between the two groups and subgroups stratified by sex and school grade. Logistic regression was used to identify variables associated with high total CRIES-13 scores.

The effect of COVID-19 school closures on adolescent sleep duration: an uncontrolled before-after study

Qiguo Lian; Xiayun Zuo; Xiangyang Zhong (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health volume

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affected almost 1.6 billion students or more than 90% of learners globally. However, the effect of school closures during COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent sleep duration remains unclear. This study undertook a cross-sectional electronic survey in six junior and senior high schools in Shanghai, China from late June to early July 2020. It evaluated the changes of sleep duration on weekdays by comparing sleep duration hours and insufficient sleep (< 9 h for children aged 6–13 years or < 8 h for teenagers aged 14–17 years) in COVID-19 school closures and after school reopening. It also investigated possible sex differences in the changes of sleep duration.

Children of parents with mental illness in the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey in China

Tianhang Zhoua; Weiran Chena; Xiujun Liu (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Asian Journal of Psychiatry

Children of parents with mental illness (COPMI) are vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aimed to assess the psychosocial impacts of the pandemic and identify potential factors influencing their mental health. 665 COPMI from six sites including Wuhan in China were enrolled. COPMI's mental health and the impacts of COVID-19 were assessed by an online survey. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to examine the association between impact factors and participants’ mental health.

Parents’ and adolescents’ perceptions of parental involvement and their relationships with depression among Chinese middle school students during the COVID-19 pandemic

Keqiao Liu; Yang Yang; Miao Li (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
Although psychological stress that adolescents may encounter during the COVID-19 pandemic has been of increasing interest to scholars, few studies have examined the profound impact that parents give to adolescents when staying indoors. This study surveyed 1,550 students and their parents from eight middle schools in eastern China. It employed multiple linear regressions with school fixed effects to examine the different perceptions of parental involvement between parents and children, and the relationships between these different types of parental involvement and depression in middle school students.
Are COVID-19 mitigation measures reducing preterm birth rate in China?
Published: August 2021   Journal: BMJ Global Health

Preterm birth is the leading cause of child morbidity and mortality globally. We aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented in China on 23 January 2020 on the incidence of preterm birth in our institution. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between the national COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented in China and the incidence of preterm birth.

Latent patterns of posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression, and posttraumatic growth among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Rui Zhen; Xiao Zhou

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Traumatic Stress
Research has shown that posttraumatic reactions can co-occur in trauma-exposed individuals. Many studies have assessed the co-occurring patterns of two types of reactions, but few have assessed the patterns of multiple reactions. To build on existing knowledge, the present study examined co-occurring patterns of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depressive symptoms, and posttraumatic growth (PTG) among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants (N = 683) were adolescents selected from an area in China severely affected by COVID-19 who completed the PTSD Checklist, a measure of depression, a PTG inventory, and a cognitive emotional regulation questionnaire. Latent profile analysis and multinomial logistic regression were used for the data analyses.
Parental social comparison related to tutoring anxiety, and guided approaches to assisting their children's home online learning during the COVID-19 lockdown

Qiuyue Yang; Jianjun Gu; Jon-Chao Hong

Published: July 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great disruption in education systems around the world. Schools have in some cases ended or limited on-site teaching, and have shifted toward home online teaching. This situation is likely to cause increased uncertainty and anxiety for parents who on one hand may question the quality of home online learning yet, on the other, may not feel sufficiently confident or competent to guide their children's home online learning. Resulting anxiety is expected to be most evident in competitive educational contexts, such as those found throughout much of East Asia. Therefore, using China as the setting, and social comparison theory as the framework, this study examined how variation in parent social comparison relates to parent tutoring anxiety and, in turn, to the types of guided strategies parents use to promote their children's home online learning.
COVID-19 vaccination in Chinese children: a cross-sectional study on the cognition, psychological anxiety state and the willingness toward vaccination

Jin Yanga; Ting Zhanga; Weiran Qi (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
It is important to understand the cognition, willingness, and psychological anxiety state of Chinese guardians toward COVID-19 vaccination for their children to predict the future vaccination rate and to help the design of policies that aim to expand the population with immunity against COVID-19. This study collected data with a professional vaccination registration platform for children named “Xiao Dou Miao” in February 2021. The psychological anxiety state of the guardians was self-evaluated using the psychological anxiety scale. Factors that might influence the willingness of guardians to vaccinate their children were identified using logistic regression analysis. This study included 12,872 questionnaires with 70.9% of guardians showing willingness to vaccinate their children.
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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.