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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 43
The impact of school strategies and the home environment on home learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in children with and without developmental disorders

AUTHOR(S)
Elke Baten; Fieke Vlaeminck; Marjolein Mués (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Using the Opportunity-Propensity Model (Byrnes in Dev Rev 56:100911, 2020; Byrnes & Miller in Contemp Educ Psychol 32(4);599–629, 2007), the current study investigated which factors helped predicting children’s home learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby examining differences between children with (DD; n = 779) and without (TD; n = 1443) developmental disorders. MANCOVA results indicated more negative experiences for DD children and their parents. SEM-results revealed the alignment between different teachers and autonomous motivation in children as the most important predictors for the outcome variables. Less predictors were significant for DD as compared to TD children which suggests other factors are at play in the DD group. Limitations, strengths and suggestions for future research are being discussed, together with some implications for classroom practices and remote learning approaches.
Are there any changes in mothers' attitudes? Analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 quarantine on child-rearing attitudes

AUTHOR(S)
Mehmet Toran; Bülent Özden

Published: January 2022   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The present study aims to examine the impact of the time spent by mothers at home with their children during the quarantine period that was implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the mothers’ child-rearing attitudes, taking into consideration some variables and the experiences of mothers. The study was designed using embedded mixed design, in which qualitative and quantitative research methods were used together. The quantitative research group consisted of 673 mothers and the qualitative research group consisted of 16 mothers. The research data was gathered online using the Lime Survey platform, and the interviews with the mothers were also held online. Demographic information form, the Child Rearing Attitude Scale, and a semi-structured interview form were used as data collection tools. Moderator variable analysis was used for the quantitative research data and descriptive analysis was used for the qualitative research data in support of the quantitative data.
Early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on promotion of infant activity, strength and communication: a qualitative exploration

AUTHOR(S)
Kailey Snyder; Priyanka Chaudhary; Angela Pereira (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Acta Psychologica

Fostering physical activity, muscle strengthening and communication skills in diverse environments are vital to ensuring healthy infant development; however, promotion of these skills may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore healthcare workers, parents and childcare providers' perceptions of the pandemic's influence on how they engage with infants to promote physical activity, muscle strength and communication. 37 subjects (12 = parents; 12 = childcare providers, 13 = healthcare workers) participated in a semi-structured interview. Data were analyzed via an inductive content analysis.

Digital parenting during the COVID-19 lockdowns: how Chinese parents viewed and mediated young children’s digital use

AUTHOR(S)
Simin Cao; Chuanmei Dong; Hui Li

Published: December 2021   Journal: Early Child Development and Care
The COVID-19 lockdowns had forced young children to take digital preschooling and their parents to practize digital parenting. This study explored how Chinese parents viewed and mediated early digital use during the lockdowns. A total of 2491 parents were recruited nationally and surveyed online in late 2020. The results indicated that: (1) Chinese parents held mixed views of early digital use with some being positive (25.09%), and negative (35.13%), and balanced or ambivalent (32.64%); (2) they were concerned about the negative impact on early learning and development even though the lockdown has led to an inevitable surge in digital use; and (3) they mainly perceived parental roles as guides (35.84%) and supervisors (32.04%) and adopted four digital parenting approaches: supervision, active mediation, restrictive mediation, and co-use or co-view. The findings imply that Chinese parents were not ready to cope with the challenges caused by early digital use.
Infants’ and toddlers’ digital media use and mothers’ mental health: a comparative study before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Bruna Gabriella Pedrotti; Manoela Yustas Mallmann; Carla Regina Santos Almeida (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
This study compared children's and mothers’ digital media use and mothers’ mental health in two samples: one accessed before (Group 1; N = 257; M = 33.18 years; SD = 4.79) and the other accessed during (Group 2; N = 256; M = 33.51 years; SD = 4.96) the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Mothers of children up to 3 years old (Group 1: M = 17.95 months, SD = 9.85; Group 2: M = 16.48 months, SD = 10.15) answered an online survey. Bivariate analysis, factorial ANOVA tests, and multiple linear regression were performed. Results suggest that mothers’ and children's media use duration was higher during the pandemic only among children over 12 months. Mothers’ media use duration (β = .18) and mothers’ intention to offer media (β = .23) contributed to the explanation of children's media use duration (F(4, 474) = 16.81; p < .001; R2 = .12; R2 adjusted = .117). Higher mothers’ common mental disorders symptoms were also positively correlated to mothers’ intention to offer media to children both before and during the pandemic. Results suggest that interventions focusing on infants and toddlers screen time reduction should target maternal aspects such as mental health, maternal screen time, and intention to offer media, taking into account the mothers’ needs when planning these actions.
“Why can't I see my friends and family?”: Children's questions and parental explanations about Coronavirus

AUTHOR(S)
Amanda S. Haber; Sona C. Kumar; Hannah Puttre (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Mind, Brain, and Education
Question-explanation exchanges in parent–child interactions foster children's early learning, especially when children are inquiring about unobservable scientific phenomena such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As with other unobservable entities, children must rely on adults to acquire knowledge about COVID-19. Yet, we know very little about what children understand about COVID-19 or its consequences. This study explored developmental changes in children's questions about COVID-19 and parents' explanations. Parents (n = 182) of children (aged 3–8) completed an online survey, which included demographic information, parents' explanations, and children's questions. Parents' explanations referenced germs, used illness analogies, and mentioned mitigation strategies. Most of children's COVID-related questions focused on the consequences of COVID-19. Whereas older children asked more about death, younger children asked about loss of activities.
Mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic among children and adolescents: what do we know so far?

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe I. Listernick; Sherif M. Badawy

Published: December 2021   Journal: Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented time in global history and has many emerging challenges and consequences. While much of the world was focused on the physiological effects and medical interventions or preventions, this article highlights the effects on pediatric mental health. While research is still ongoing, preliminary data suggest a significant impact on the psychosocial wellbeing of the pediatric population. This article hopes to highlight the underlying etiology for this effect and possible mitigations including emphasis on mHealth as well as the future of telemedicine.
Association between children’s engagement in community cultural activities and their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from A-CHILD study

AUTHOR(S)
Yui Yamaoka; Aya Isumi; Satomi Doi (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Social learning experiences developed through engagement in community cultural activities can affect a child’s development. Few studies have examined how children’s engagement in community activities is related to their mental health. This study aimed to examine associations between children’s participation in community cultural activities and their mental health. We targeted all sixth-grade children in all 69 primary schools in Adachi City, Tokyo, using the Adachi Child Health Impact of Living Difficulty (A-CHILD) study (n = 4391). Parents answered the validated Japanese version of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to assess child mental health, the child’s engagement in community cultural activities. The community activity in which children most frequently participated was local festivals.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 18 | Issue: 24 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Mental Health | Tags: child development, child mental health, community participation, COVID-19 response, lockdown, social distance | Countries: Japan
The Changing childhood project: a multigenerational, international survey on 21st century childhood
Institution: *UNICEF, Gallup
Published: November 2021

We are living through an era of rapid and far-reaching transformation. As the world has changed — becoming more digital, more globalized, and more diverse — childhood is changing with it. The Changing Childhood Project — a collaboration of UNICEF and Gallup — was created to explore these shifts, and to better understand what it means to be a child in the 21st century. The project seeks to answer two questions: What is it like growing up today? And how do young people see the world differently? To answer these questions, we wanted to hear from children and young people themselves. Comparing the experiences and views of young versus older people offers a powerful lens to explore how childhood is changing, and where generations diverge or converge. The ultimate goal of the project is to centre young people — their experiences and perspectives — in the work of improving life for all children, today and into the future.

Children are back to school, but is play still in lockdown? Play experiences, social interactions, and children’s quality of life in primary education in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Ana Lourenço; Fernando Martins; Beatriz Pereira (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The right to play is crucial for the overall development of children. Several studies highlight the need to have time and space to play, especially at school where children spend much of their time. Unfortunately, in formal education the obsession with academic achievements sidelines and ignores the importance of play. The neglection of play had already reached a critical stage before the pandemic, so data are needed to realize how the right to play in school is presently affected. This paper aims to understand children’s play experience in primary education during the pandemic. It investigates what activities children participated in and what materials were used, and provides insight into the social interactions between peers. Furthermore, children’s quality of life is explored. A group of 370 Portuguese children answered a questionnaire on play and social interactions, alongside with Peds 4.0TM on health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
What about the baby? Infancy and parenting in the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Julie Ribaudo

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child
This article reviews the evolution of a newborn through the first year of life and the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the infant, parent, and the parent-infant relationship. Babies grow in the context of relationships, and the quality of those relationships affects the physiological and psychological organization of the baby. Precisely because each baby is a being with unique biology, temperament, and ways of experiencing, feeling, and learning, much is to be discovered and understood about them. The baby’s wordless communications require their parents to intuit, infer, hypothesize, and experiment as parents come to know the needs of their baby. As we walk alongside parents who struggle to come to know their infant – even as the infant is coming to know them – we are required to have conceptual knowledge of how a newborn becomes a fully awakened infant. Under typical conditions, the birth of a firstborn baby presents a caregiving challenge and developmental opportunity for the emerging parent. Environmental context can serve to support or interfere in the success of the adjustment. This paper will explore some theoretical underpinnings that contribute to infant and parent well-being and the possible impact of being born during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Growing up in the Covid-19 pandemic: An evidence review of the impact of pandemic life on physical development in the early years

AUTHOR(S)
Max Stanford; Pippa Davie; James Mulcahy

Institution: Early Intervention Foundation
Published: November 2021
This report is a brief review of emerging international and UK evidence on seven key factors associated with children’s early physical health and development, and the extent to which the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic (such as lockdowns and social distancing) have impacted on these factors and affected children’s early physical development, including children from low-income and UK ethnic minority families.
Experiences in Performing Online Developmental Evaluations of Children From the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit During the COVID-19 Pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Gail S. Ross; Jeffrey M. Perlman

Published: November 2021   Journal: Clinical Pediatrics
The Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has created a major shift from onsite examination evaluations in all but the most critical cases to telemedicine visits via secure online portals. The ability to track graduates of neonatal intensive care who are at increased risk for developmental deficits is essential in order to provide early targeted interventions. Thus, there was a critical need to adapt in situ cognitive, language and behavior evaluations of these children to an online testing model that could provide reliable findings, particularly in identifying children with apparent or obvious developmental issues. This brief report describes the effort to develop online assessments of cognitive and language development of high-risk infants at 18 months post-conceptual age, 3 years and 6 years old.
Caregivers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and their children’s behavior

AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie M. Reich; Melissa Dahlin; Nestor Tulagan (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
The COVID-19 pandemic has financial and emotional impacts on families. This study explored how caregivers’ financial strain and mental health are associated with changes in their young children’s behavior during the pandemic. It additionally considered whether having a sense of purpose moderated these associations. Caregivers (n = 300) in the emergency department of a children’s hospital were surveyed anonymously about changes to their employment (e.g., reduced/increased hours and job loss), ability to pay for expenses and whether their child’s behavior had changed. Aligned with the Family Stress Model, caregivers’ financial strain was associated with poor mental health, inconsistent sleep routines, and changes in children’s problematic and prosocial behaviors. A sense of purpose buffered some of these relationships. Families are differently affected by the pandemic and our findings underscore the need for supporting caregivers’ mental health and connecting them with resources.
Comparing the impact of the first and second wave of COVID-19 lockdown on Slovak families with typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder

AUTHOR(S)
Katarína Polónyiová; Ivan Belica; Hana Celušáková (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Autism
The aim of this research was to compare the mental health of families with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or typically developing children, during the first and the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Slovakia. The study is mainly focused on the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among the parents and maladaptive behavior or sleep disturbances of their children. This research sample consisted of 332 caregivers, 155 of which have children with autism spectrum disorder; 179 surveyed during the first wave and 153 during the second wave. Extensive online parent questionnaire was created, including demographic and specific topic–related questions; Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale–42 questionnaire; and two subscales of Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales—internalizing and externalizing maladaptive behavior.
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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.