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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Child mental health and sleep disturbances during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

AUTHOR(S)
Lauren Dayton; Xiangrong Kong; Terrinieka W. Powell (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Family & Community Health
Many children have experienced unprecedented levels of stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic due to school closures, strained resources, and excess morbidity and mortality. The current study examines change in children's mental health and sleep during the early months of the US pandemic and identifies risk and protective factors. In May 2020, a total of 225 parents reported on the mental health and sleep of each child (N = 392 children) living in their household prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and about their functioning in the past month. McNemar's test examined change in mental health and sleep disturbance across developmental stage. Bivariate and multivariate generalized estimating equations examined predictors of change in mental health and sleep.
US shelter in place policies and child abuse Google search volume during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Corinne A. Riddell; Kriszta Farkas; Krista Neumann (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Preventive Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unemployment, school closures, movement restrictions, and social isolation, all of which are child abuse risk factors. This study aimed to estimate the effect of COVID-19 shelter in place (SIP) policies on child abuse as captured by Google searches. It applied a differences-in-differences design to estimate the effect of SIP on child abuse search volume. It linked state-level SIP policies to outcome data from the Google Health Trends Application Programming Interface.


Young children's traumatic stress reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic: the long reach of mothers' adverse childhood experiences

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa J. Hagan; Danielle R. Roubinov; Alana Cordeiro (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted parental and child mental health; however, it is critical to examine this impact in the context of parental histories of adversity. this study hypothesized that maternal adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and pandemic-related negative life events would predict child traumatic stress symptoms (TSS) and tested potential mediating pathways through maternal pandemic-related TSS and/or poorer maternal sensitivity during the pandemic. Data were collected from a longitudinal sample of low-income, racially/ethnically diverse mothers and their children. Between May and November 2020, mothers (n = 111) of young children (M age = 7.42 years, SD = 0.45) completed questionnaires to assess their own and their child's pandemic-related TSS, exposure to pandemic-related negative events, and parent-child relationship quality. Maternal ACEs, maternal depression, parent-child relationship quality, and child internalizing symptoms had been assessed approximately 1–3 years prior.

Location matters: Regional variation in association of community burden of COVID-19 with caregiver and youth worry

AUTHOR(S)
Andrew T. Marshall; Daniel A. Hackman; Eric Kan (et al.)

Published: September 2022   Journal: Health & Place
This study characterized associations between three indicators of COVID-19's community-level impact in 20 geographically diverse metropolitan regions and how worried youth and their caregivers in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development℠ Study have been about COVID-19. County-level COVID-19 case/death rates and monthly unemployment rates were geocoded to participants’ addresses. Caregivers’ (vs. youths’) COVID-19-related worry was more strongly associated with COVID-19's community impact, independent of sociodemographics and pre-pandemic anxiety levels, with these associations varying by location. Public-health agencies and healthcare providers should avoid adopting uniform “one-size-fits-all” approaches to addressing COVID-19-related emotional distress and must consider specific communities’ needs, challenges, and strengths.
Racial/ethnic disparities in infant sleep in the COVID-19 mother-baby outcomes (COMBO) study

AUTHOR(S)
Maristella Lucchini; Monica R. Ordway; Margaret H. Kyle (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Sleep Health

This study aims to investigate racial and ethnic differences in infant sleep and to examine associations with insurance status and parent-infant bedtime behavioral factors (PIBBF). Participants are part of the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative, Columbia University. Data on infant sleep (night, day and overall sleep duration, night awakenings, latency, infant's sleep as a problem) were collected at 4 months postpartum. Regressions estimated associations between race/ethnicity, insurance status, PIBBF and infants’ sleep.

Distance learning in early childhood during the COVID-19 crisis: family and educators' experiences

AUTHOR(S)
Raquel Plotka; Ruth Guirguis

Published: August 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The COVID-19 crisis presented teachers and families with the challenge of educating young children online. This study explored the experiences with virtual education of 51 parents and 53 teachers of young children.
Student and school characteristics associated with COVID-19-related learning decline among middle and high school students in K-12 schools

AUTHOR(S)
Holly H. Fisher; Georgianne T. Hawkins; Marci Hertz (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of School Health

COVID-19-disrupted schools, including shifts to virtual learning which may have impacted academic progress. This study assessed characteristics associated with changes in academic grades (before and during the pandemic) for different learning modalities for US students ages 13-19. Students (N = 2152) completed a web survey on school-related experiences during the 2020-2021 school year. County social vulnerability and SARS-CoV-2 transmission data were merged with survey data. Multivariable logistic regression analysis for grade change was conducted with student and school characteristics for each learning modality, controlling for community characteristics.

Cultivating compassion for self and others: a school-based pilot study for peer-nominated caring adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Blake A. Colaianne; Brooke D. Lavelle; Meg L. Small (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
Many have called for school-based student programs that teach skills related to self-care and caring for others. Here, such a program for peer-nominated adolescents was developed and piloted virtually at one high school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of a longitudinal, quasi-experimental evaluation of the program showed high-quality program implementation and promising program impacts. Effect sizes indicated moderate to large program impacts on improvements in adolescents' self-compassion, sense of interdependence, and perspective-taking, and female adolescents' interoceptive awareness, compared to controls. No group differences in compassion for others were found. The need for more research on programs that help adolescents balance compassion for the self and for others is discussed.
Binge-eating behaviors in adolescents and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa Freizinger; Grace B. Jhe; Suzanne E. Dahlberg (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health measures have resulted in a worsening of eating disorder symptoms and an increase in psychological distress. The present study examined symptoms and behaviors in adolescents and young adults with emotional eating, bingeing behaviors and binge eating disorder during the pandemic. Additionally, the study explored if individuals who experienced pandemic-related food availability and food affordability issues experienced increased binge-eating symptoms and negative feelings. Participants (n = 39) were a convenience sample who participated between November 2020 and January 2021 in a weight and lifestyle management program at an urban New England pediatric hospital. Participants completed online surveys that assessed (1) participant’s exposure to COVID-19 related stress and binge-eating behaviors using the COVID-19 Exposure and Family Impact Survey-Adolescent and Young Adult Version (CEFIS-AYA) and the Binge Eating Scale (BES) respectively, (2) participants’ and their families’ ability to attain and afford food and its association with bingeing behaviors, and (3) the relationship between food availability and affordability and negative emotions.

The COVID‐19 pandemic, mask‐wearing, and emotion recognition during late‐childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Maia Chester; Rista C. Plate; Tralucia Powell (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Social Development
Face masks are an effective and important tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including among children. However, occluding parts of the face can impact emotion recognition, which is fundamental to effective social interactions. Social distancing, stress, and changes to routines because of the pandemic have also altered the social landscape of children, with implications for social development. To better understand how social input and context impact emotion recognition, the current study investigated emotion recognition in children (7–12 years old, N = 131) using images of both masked and unmasked emotional faces.
Family communication patterns and parents' intentions to vaccinate their child against COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Nichole Egbert; Ying Zhu; Mina Choi (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Health Communication
This study explored how family communication patterns relate to parental knowledge about COVID-19, vaccine confidence, and intentions to vaccinate their children. Parents from 4 states (Ohio, New York, Georgia, and Texas; n = 702) completed an online survey in March 2021.
Patterns in mental health symptomatology and cigarette, e-cigarette and marijuana use among Texas youth and young adults amid the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie L. Clendennen; Baojiang Chen; Aslesha Sumbe (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Nicotine & Tobacco Research

This study examined patterns in mental health symptomatology and smoking and vaping behaviors among youth and young adults over a 1-year period from before to during the first year of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Participants (n = 2148) were 16–24-year-olds who completed three waves of the Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance Study (TATAMS). Descriptive statistics and mixed effects logistic regression models were used to examine changes in anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and cigarette, e-cigarette, and marijuana use from before COVID-19 (fall 2019) to 6-month follow-up (spring 2020) and 12-month follow-up (fall 2020) periods during COVID-19. Longitudinal associations between mental health symptomatology and smoking and vaping were examined.

Work and family disadvantage: determinants of gender gaps in paid work during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Yasmin A. Mertehikian; Pilar Gonalons-Pons

Published: August 2022   Journal: Socius
This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the increase in gender inequality in paid work during the pandemic to unpack the relative relevance of labor market and work-family conflict processes. Using panel data from the United States Current Population Survey, we examine four mechanisms in an integrated analysis that explicitly includes singleparent households and assesses the moderating role of women’s economic position relative to their partners.
Family strengthening in the context of COVID-19: adapting a community-based intervention from Kenya to the United States

AUTHOR(S)
Eve S. Puffer; Savannah L. Johnson; Kaitlin N. Quick (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Prevention Science
COVID-19 led to widespread disruption of services that promote family well-being. Families impacted most were those already experiencing disparities due to structural and systemic barriers. Existing support systems faded into the background as families became more isolated. New approaches were needed to deliver evidence-based, low-cost interventions to reach families within communities. This research adapted a family strengthening intervention developed in Kenya (“Tuko Pamoja”) for the United States.

The impact of stay-at-home regulations on adolescents' feelings of loneliness and internalizing symptoms

AUTHOR(S)
Marielena Barbieri; Evelyn Mercado

Published: August 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescence

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the daily social lives of adolescents by severely limiting social interactions which likely heightened levels of loneliness and a variety of internalizing symptoms. However, little is known about how social distancing adherence and subsequent stress caused by the novel social regulations impact adolescents' feelings of loneliness, and later mental health difficulties, including anxiety and depression. To close this gap, this study examined the impact of social distancing regulations on adolescents' (N = 79; Mage = 16.16, SD = 1.15; 47 females; 23 males) depression and anxiety symptoms through loneliness by using data from a 5-week longitudinal study conducted on adolescents in the United States during the initial phases of COVID-19.

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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.