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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Preterm birth after the introduction of COVID-19 mitigation measures in Norway, Sweden and Denmark: a registry-based difference-in-differences study

Laura L. Oakley; Anne K. Örtqvist; Jonas Kinge (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Although some studies have reported a decrease in preterm birth following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, findings are inconsistent. This study aimed to compare the incidence of preterm birth before and after the introduction of COVID-19 mitigation measures in Scandinavian countries, using robust population-based registry data.

The effect of COVID-19-related school closures on students’ well-being: evidence from Danish nationwide panel data

Simon Skovgaard Jensen; David Reimer

Published: November 2021   Journal: SSM - Population Health
This study aims to determine the effect of the temporary closure of Danish schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 on students' reported levels of well-being and test whether the effect varies among students of different socioeconomic status. To this end, it draws on panel data from the mandatory annual nationwide Danish Student Well-being Survey (DSWS) and exploit random variation in whether students answered the 2020 survey before or during the spring lockdown period.
Concerns about transmission, changed services and place of birth in the early COVID-19 pandemic: a national survey among Danish pregnant women: the COVIDPregDK study

Katja Schrøder; Lonny Stokholm; Katrine Hass Rubin (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused great uncertainty about causes, treatment and mortality of the new virus. Constant updates of recommendations and restrictions from national authorities may have caused great concern for pregnant women. Reports suggested an increased number of pregnant women choosing to give birth at home, some even unassisted (‘freebirth’) due to concerns of transmission in hospital or reduction in birthplace options. During April and May 2020, this study aimed to investigate i) the level of concern about coronavirus transmission in Danish pregnant women, ii) the level of concern related to changes in maternity services due to the pandemic, and iii) implications for choice of place of birth. It conducted a nationwide cross-sectional online survey, inviting all registered pregnant women in Denmark (n = 30,009) in April and May 2020.

Health anxiety symptoms in Danish children during the first lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic: an Odense Child Cohort study

Ditte Hulgaard; Charlotte Ulrikka Raskc; Henriette Boye (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has a severe impact on the general population. During the pandemic, children may develop emotional and psychological symptoms, including increased worries about health and illness, known as health anxiety symptoms (HASs). This study aimed to explore HAS in 7–9-year-old children from the Danish Odense Child Cohort (OCC) during the first COVID-19 lockdown period in Denmark, and to examine associations with potential risk factors. OCC is a cohort of children born between 2010 and 2012, which originally recruited 2874 of 6707 pregnancies (43%). Among the current OCC population of 2430 singleton children, 994 participated in this study (response rate 40%). Children and their parents filled out questionnaires about child HAS, family exposure to COVID-19 infection and parental HAS. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were calculated between high score child HAS (≥90th percentile) and covariates by use of logistic regression.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on biopsychosocial health and quality of life among Danish children and adults with neuromuscular diseases (NMD)—Patient reported outcomes from a national survey

Charlotte Handberg; Ulla Werlauff; Ann-Lisbeth Højberg (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Plos One
The purpose was to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on biopsychosocial health, daily activities, and quality of life among children and adults with neuromuscular diseases, and to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 infection and the impact of this in patients with neuromuscular diseases. The study was a national questionnaire survey. Responses were obtained from 811 adults (29%) and 67 parents of children (27%) with neuromuscular diseases.
Governing education in times of crisis: State interventions and school accountabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alison L. Milner; Paola Mattei; Christian Ydesen

Published: June 2021   Journal: European Educational Research Journal
Strategic government interventions in public education have shifted and blurred the boundaries between state, market and civil society modes of governance. Within this matrix of interdependent relations, schools operate under increasingly hybrid accountability arrangements in which public accountability can both complement and compete with market and social regimes and their associated institutional logics, goals, values and mechanisms. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, national governments implemented a wide range of emergency measures which had consequences for the mixes and layers of school accountabilities. This article examines the principal policy changes in Denmark, England and Italy. Drawing on state theories and the concept of ‘hybrid accountability’, semi-structured interviews with national and local policymakers and school practitioners were analysed thematically. While cultural nuances exist between the cases, our findings reveal that state interventions reinforce a public–professional accountability hybrid and hierarchies of control and command within and outside networks. Concomitantly, state non-interventions and the distinct underlying institutional logics associated with national large-scale assessments suggest policy inertia with implications for professional accountability and institutionalised change
Changes in emotional-behavioral functioning among pre-school children following the initial stage Danish COVID-19 lockdown and home confinement

Ina Olmer Specht; Jeanett Friis Rohde; Ann-Kristine Nielsen (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Unintended negative outcomes on child behavior due to lockdown and home confinement following the corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic needs highlighting to effectively address these issues in the current and future health crises. In this sub-study of the ODIN-study, the objectives were to determine whether the Danish lockdown and home confinement following the COVID-19 pandemic affected changes in emotional-behavioral functioning of pre-school-aged children using the validated Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) answered by parents shortly before lockdown and 3 weeks into lockdown, and moreover, to examine whether baseline family and social characteristics could predict change in child emotional-behavioral functioning during lockdown.
COVID‐19 in pregnancy – characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women admitted to hospital because of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in the Nordic countries

Hilde Engjom; Anna J. M. Aabakke; Kari Klungsøyr (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica Skip slideshow

Population‐based studies about the consequences of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection (COVID‐19) in pregnancy are few and have limited generalizability to the Nordic population and healthcare systems. This study examines pregnant women with COVID‐19 in the five Nordic countries. Pregnant women were included if they were admitted to hospital between 1 March and 30 June 2020 and had a positive SARS‐CoV‐2 PCR test ≤14 days prior to admission. Cause of admission was classified as obstetric or COVID‐19‐related.

The gendered politics of pandemic relief: labor and family policies in Denmark, Germany, and the United States during COVID-19

Nino Bariola; Caitlyn Collins

Published: March 2021   Journal: American Behavioral Scientist
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified families’ struggles to reconcile caregiving and employment, especially for working mothers. How have different countries reacted to these troubling circumstances? What policies have been implemented to alleviate the pernicious effects of the pandemic on gender and labor inequalities? This research examined the policies offered in Denmark, Germany, and the United States, three countries that represent distinct welfare regimes. It found important differences among the policy solutions provided, but also in the “cultural infrastructures” that allow policies to work as intended, or not.
What happens when schools shut down? Investigating inequality in students’ reading behavior during Covid-19 in Denmark

David Reimer; Emil Smith; Ida Gran Andersen (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
The outbreak of Covid-19 in spring 2020 shut down schools around the world and placed parents in charge of their children’s schooling. Research from the lockdown period documents that families differ in their responses to their new responsibility for their children’s homeschooling by socioeconomic status and that the Covid-19 crisis has  increased educational inequality. The  aim  of  this  paper is  to  examine inequality in  children’s reading behavior before, during and after the lockdown of schools in Denmark by analyzing new digital data from a widely used reading app combined with administrative data.
How COVID-19 school closures interrupted teachers’ care for newly arrived migrant and refugee learners in Denmark

Nina Langer Primdahl; Anne Sofie Borsch; An Verelst (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Teachers play a critical role in providing social and emotional support for newly arrived migrant and refugee learners. Such care ordinarily takes place in the classroom, raising questions about the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 school closures on their care work. In this article we analyze qualitative data from phone interviews with eight teachers in Danish preparatory classes, paying particular attention to the challenges they faced staying in contact with, and supporting, migrant and refugee learners during the school closure. The interviews were coded and thematically analysed, revealing significant changes in the teachers’ care work.
COVID‐19 pandemic‐related psychopathology in children and adolescents with mental illness

Oskar Hougaard Jefsen; Christopher Rohde; Bettina Nørremark (et al.)

Published: July 2020   Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
The coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) pandemic is likely to have negative health consequences way beyond those caused by the virus per se – including significant psychological distress. Children and adolescents who already live with a mental illness may be particularly vulnerable to the distress associated with the pandemic – due to, for example, fear of the virus as well as the significant societal changes launched to minimize spread of the virus (social distancing and quarantine). In this editorial perspective, this study (a) provides data on COVID‐19 pandemic‐related psychopathology in children and adolescents from a large psychiatric treatment setting in Denmark, (b) gives advice on how the likely harmful effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents may be minimized, and (c) proposes six lines of research into pandemic‐related psychopathology with emphasis on children and adolescents.
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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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