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Anthony Cousien; Eric Acquaviva; Solen Kernéis (et al.)
Recent studies have reported a deterioration in children’s mental health since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with an increase in anxiety and mood disorders. Rates of suicide ideation and suicide attempts among children were also higher when COVID-19–related stressors were heightened in 2020. This study aimed to better assess temporal trends in suicide attempts among children while adjusting for annual and seasonal fluctuations. It conducted a cross-sectional study of surveillance data collected over the past 10 years at the Robert Debré Hospital in Paris, France, which is one of the largest pediatric centers in Europe.
Federica Bianco; Annalisa Levante; Serena Petrocchi (et al.)
Worldwide, at least 13% of people between the ages of 10 and 19 live with a diagnosed mental-health disorder, according to the latest State of the World’s Children report, published this week by the United Nations children’s charity UNICEF. It’s the first time in the organization’s history that this flagship report has tackled the challenges in and opportunities for preventing and treating mental-health problems among young people. It reveals that adolescent mental health is highly complex, understudied — and underfunded. These findings are echoed in a parallel collection of review articles published this week in a number of Springer Nature journals. Anxiety and depression constitute more than 40% of mental-health disorders among young people (those aged 10–19). UNICEF also reports that, worldwide, suicide is the fourth most-common cause of death (after road injuries, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence) among adolescents (aged 15–19). In eastern Europe and central Asia, suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in that age group — and it’s the second-highest cause in western Europe and North America.
Yiqing He; Yuanrong Li
Phyllis Cohen; Kate Hariton; Ashley Rodriguez
Anna Berry; Tom Burke; Alan Carr
This longitudinal cohort study aimed to examine the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland on parents of children with externalising difficulties, in comparison to parents of children without such difficulties. Parents of 159 children completed online self-report measures at three time points during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; (a) Delay and Mitigation Phase (March 2020 to May 2020), (b) Reopening of Society Phase (June 2020 to July 2020) and (c) Wave 2 Case Acceleration Phase (September 2020 to October 2020). Participants were allocated to the clinical group if they met the clinical cut off point on the Conduct or Hyperactivity/Inattention subscales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at Time 1.
Rabiye Akın Işık; Nebahat Bora Güneş; Yunus Kaya
This study evaluated the experiences of children between ages 6 and 12 based on their mothers' perspectives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten mothers living in Ankara, Turkey with children in the aforementioned age range, participated in this study. Data were collected through focus group interview with a qualitative phenomenological approach followed by thematic data analysis. Three categories were obtained relating to the pandemic, including negative effects, positive effects, and the resultant needs and expectations of parents.
Ragnhild Bjørknes; Gro Mjeldheim Sandal; Silje Mæland (et al.)
Pooja S. Tandon; Chuan Zhou; Ashleigh M. Johnson
Children’s physical activity and screen time are likely suboptimal during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may influence their current and future mental health. To describe the association of physical activity and screen time with mental health among US children during the pandemic. This cross-sectional survey was conducted from October 22 to November 2, 2020, among 547 parents of children aged 6 to 10 years and 535 parent-child dyads with children and adolescents (hereinafter referred to as children) aged 11 to 17 years and matched down to 500 children per cohort using US Census–based sampling frames. Children aged 11 to 17 years self-reported physical activity, screen time, and mental health, and their parents reported other measures. Parents of children aged 6 to 10 years reported all measures. All 1000 cases were further weighted to a sampling frame corresponding to US parents with children aged 6 to 17 years using propensity scores.
S. M. Mahbubur Rashid; Jannatul Mawah; Ema Banik (et al.)
Use of technological gadgets has rapidly been increasing among adolescents, which may result in health issues and technology addiction. This study focuses on the prevalence of usage of technological gadgets and health-related complications among secondary school-going children of Bangladesh. A total of 1803 secondary school students from 21 different districts of Bangladesh participated in the study. The children were asked questions relating to their access to electronic gadgets, time spent on outdoor activities, and whether they experienced any health-complications as an after-effect of the usage. A binary logistic regression model was adapted considering time spent on gadgets as an independent variable and health problems (physical and mental) as the dependent variable.
Vera Clemensa; Petra Beschoner; Marc N. Jarczok (et al.)
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the risk for mental health problems. However, there is a lack of data targeting the role of ACEs for one of the most prevalent mental health problems in health-care professionals: burnout. We aimed to assess the relationship between ACEs and the core burnout dimension ‘emotional exhaustion’ (EE). As health-care professionals have been facing particular challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we furthermore aimed to assess the role of COVID-19 associated burden in the interplay between ACEs and EE. During the first lockdown in Germany, a total of 2500 medical healthcare professionals were questioned in a cross-sectional online survey. Questions targeted, among others, sociodemographics, ACEs, COVID-19-associated problems (e.g. increase of workload, worries about relatives and patients) and emotional exhaustion, measured by the respective dimension of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI).
Joo-hyang Park; Ji-young Park; Kyong-sun Jin
Kristen Maunder; Fiona McNicholas
Carer burden amongst carers of youth with an eating disorder is substantial and if not addressed can lead to negative outcomes for the patient, carer and family. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made caring for youth with an ED even more onerous and preliminary research is beginning to emerge demonstrating the profound negative impact the pandemic is having upon individuals with EDs and their carers. This review briefly summarizes what is known about carer burden in families where a young person has an ED, considers the additional impact consequent to COVID-19 and highlights the need for interventions aimed at alleviating this. Pre-COVID-19 research identifies high levels of psychological and physical strain amongst those caring for a child with an ED. Themes are beginning to emerge as to why COVID-19 may further exacerbate carer burden: (1) reduced access to ED services; (2) increased physical vulnerability and exacerbation of psychiatric co-morbidity amongst youth with EDs; (3) increased practical demands placed on carers; and (4) social isolation and decreased social support.
This paper reviews the literature on the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and the reactions of vulnerable children. Research reveals increases in clinically significant depression, suicidal ideation and behavior, and some anxiety symptoms. Substance use studies suggest an inadvertent decrease in substance use in some youth though findings are inconsistent across substances and for males and females. Children with pre-existing emotional and behavioral problems are especially vulnerable though some children appear to improve in the context of public health measures which have decreased the stresses associated with school and socialization. In addition, children with pre-existing problems are likely to have established resources and relationships that may protect them relative to other children.
Emily G. Vira; Therése Skoog
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on violence against children and women during COVID-19.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response