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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 205
The effects of COVID-19-related stress among parents and children in Ohio child care programs: a mixed-methods study

AUTHOR(S)
Kimberly Burkhart; Sonia Minnes; Owusua Yamoah (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Children's Health Care
COVID-19-related stress effects on the caregiver and child are largely unexplored. Caregivers (N = 114) of children between the ages of 3 months and 10 years accessing Ohio child care completed a parent survey (fall 2020), and additional caregivers (N = 20) completed an interview. Caregivers reported a mean of 70 (SD = 19; scale 1–100) on COVID-19-related stress. In adjusted regression models, higher caregiver-reported COVID-19-related stress was associated with increased odds of child aggression and poor social skills. Exploratory analyses indicated that these associations may be partly mediated by the caregiver working from home and losing their temper. Qualitative findings reflect caregiver COVID-19 stress and complement quantitative findings. Caregivers and children who experience COVID-19 stress should be monitored for persistent problems.
The importance of social supports in education: survey findings from students with disability and their families during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Helen Dickinson; Catherine Smith; Sophie Yates (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Disability & Society
Emergency situations such as pandemics typically widen inequities, and Australian children and young people with disability already face significant inequities in the education system. This paper draws on survey data from over 700 respondents exploring education experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families reported being left behind, finding it difficult to access education remotely, and that this was having a significant impact on wellbeing and mental health. This paper finds that of all support offered by schools, social supports have a stronger association with learner engagement than educational interventions. This finding indicates the importance of social and emotional supports in learning.
Perinatal mental health support and early childhood home visitation during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Dorian E. Traube; Abigail Palmer Molina; Sheila YingWangKay (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Prevention Science
COVID-19 has disrupted many of the preventive service sectors designed to serve mothers at-risk for developing postpartum depression, forcing a rapid transition to telehealth-based modes of delivery. The purpose of this study was to explore differences in early childhood home visitation service provision (enrollment and depression screening) among mothers receiving home visitation services prior to and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional factors related to receipt of virtual home visitation services, family risk factors, and the maternal depressive symptoms were examined. Linear and logistic regression were utilized to examine whether there were differences in family risk factors, the percentage of mothers being screened for depression and maternal depressive symptoms, and associations between risk factors and positive depression screenings, while accounting for clustering by site.
True resilience: a look inside COVID’s effect on children with medical complexity and their families

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah M. Mitchell

Published: October 2021   Journal: Current Pediatrics Reports

Vulnerable children with medical complexity are silent victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, impacted by lack of resources and sick caregivers. This article examines ways in which the pandemic has increased the significant difficulties already experienced by these patients and their families. Increased awareness will lead to improvement in the disparities experienced by this population and improve the ability of healthcare providers to care for them. The number of children living with medical complexity is rapidly increasing. They face unique circumstances which can lead to compromise in care. This population is especially at risk for complications related to COVID, so may have a more prolonged admission with more morbidities. Children of ethnic minorities are also more impacted by severe illness and death. Finally, access to palliative care has been limited, which is a huge part in caring for these children who have life-long medical care needs.

Providing therapeutic services to women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and learnings

AUTHOR(S)
Alison Fogarty; Priscilla Savopoulos; Monique Seymour (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105365

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many therapeutic services for children and their parents who had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) were required to rapidly transition to telehealth. The current study aims to explore parents' experiences of participating in a parent-child telehealth intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also aimed at exploring clinicians' experiences of delivering the service, including key strengths and challenges. Participants were five mothers who took part in Berry Street's Restoring Childhood service during the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne, Australia, and 14 Restoring Childhood clinicians, delivering the service across metropolitan and regional sites

Home, but left alone: time at home and child abuse and neglect during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Lindsey Rose Bullinger; Angela Boy; Megan Feely (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
This study used high-frequency mobile phone movement data and quick-release administrative data from Georgia to examine how time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is related to child maltreatment referrals. Findings show that referrals plummeted by 58% relative to previous years, driven by fewer referrals from education personnel. After this initial decline, however, each 15 minutes at home was associated with an increase in referrals of material neglect by 3.5% and supervisory neglect by 1%. Our results describe how children have fared during the initial wave of the pandemic, and the results have long-term implications for child development and well-being.
Evaluation of changes in pediatric emergency department utilization during COVID-19 pandemic: changes during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nilden Tuygun; Can Demir Karacan; Aytaç Göktuğ (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Archives de Pédiatrie

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic period, the use of emergency services with pediatric non-COVID patients has decreased considerably. We aimed to examine whether there was a change in the demographic data, triage profile, causes, management, and cost of pediatric emergency department (PED) visits of non-COVID patients during the pandemic period. This study was a retrospective, single-center, observational comparative study that was conducted at the PED. Patient records were examined during “the pandemic spring” and the same period of the previous year.

Home Thrive ScaleTM: case management tool towards preventing family separation and ensuring children thrive in family-based and alternative care options

AUTHOR(S)
Audria Choudhury

Published: September 2021   Journal: Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond
Case management can be a complex process where multiple factors must be considered for the safety and well-being of a child in any care option. Miracle Foundation’s proprietary Home Thrive ScaleTM is a strengths-based assessment tool that makes it easier to identify strengths, risks and address areas of support within a family home over time. A home’s safety is measured based on five well-being domains—family and social relations, health and mental health, education, living conditions and household economy—with the child and family’s thoughts at the core. Intervention options are then offered to put assessments into action. The tool serves to both prevent family breakdowns and reintegrate children from institutions back into families (or other family-based or alternative care options). This study provides an overview of the tool, including its purpose, set-up and functionality within a case management system. The use of the tool is illustrated with the COVID-19 situation in India where masses of children were rapidly placed from institutions back into families without preparation.
Providing contact with nature for young generation - a case study of preschools in the City of Poznań, Poland

AUTHOR(S)
Iwona Zwierzchowska; Piotr Lupa

Published: September 2021   Journal: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
Contact with nature is valuable for the health, wellbeing and development of children. Meanwhile, the urban environment and the contemporary urban lifestyle limit the opportunity for contact with nature. Given that children aged three to six years spend a significant amount of time in preschool, this study aimed to: 1) investigate children’s opportunities to contact with nature during their time in preschool, including the availability of these schools’ own outdoor spaces and neighbouring green spaces for visiting; 2) recognise preschools’ practices in using available green spaces to enable children to have contact with nature; 3) identify the impact on the outdoor activities provided by preschools of factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and preschool managers’ awareness of the importance of children’s contact with nature.
Rates of myopia development in young Chinese schoolchildren during the outbreak of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Yin Hu; Feng Zhao; Xiaohu Ding (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: JAMA Ophthalmology

Were environmental changes during the outbreak of COVID-19 associated with increased development of myopia in young schoolchildren in China?  In this observational study longitudinally monitoring 2114 students from grade 2 to grade 3, myopia incidence doubled from November and December 2019 to November and December 2020 compared with the same period from 2018 to 2019. The proportion of children without myopia and with spherical equivalent refraction greater than −0.50 D and less than or equal to +0.50 D in grade 3 had increased by 18% by November and December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. These data suggest that development of myopia in young Chinese schoolchildren may have increased during the COVID-19 outbreak; the long-term impact of environmental changes during the COVID-19 outbreak period on the development of myopia in children needs further investigation.

Global, regional, and national progress towards Sustainable development goal 3.2 for neonatal and child health: all-cause and cause-specific mortality findings from the Global burden of disease study 2019
Published: September 2021   Journal: The Lancet
Sustainable Development Goal 3.2 has targeted elimination of preventable child mortality, reduction of neonatal death to less than 12 per 1000 livebirths, and reduction of death of children younger than 5 years to less than 25 per 1000 livebirths, for each country by 2030. To understand current rates, recent trends, and potential trajectories of child mortality for the next decade, we present the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 findings for all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality in children younger than 5 years of age, with multiple scenarios for child mortality in 2030 that include the consideration of potential effects of COVID-19, and a novel framework for quantifying optimal child survival.
Parents of children with disabilities and the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Her Majesty Queen Mathilde

Published: August 2021   Journal: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted authorities and institutions around the world to adopt urgent measures of general application, including limiting social contact and shutting down public spaces to prevent spread of the virus. We now see clearly what had been insufficiently anticipated and planned for. Quarantine and other preventative measures often had painful consequences for those who already lead a more challenging life—the disadvantaged and the vulnerable, and those around them. In the context of the pandemic, parents and caregivers of children with disabilities or complex chronic disorders faced unprecedented, at times insurmountable dilemmas. Schools and residential care facilities closed their doors; non-acute management was severely disrupted. Parents and carers had to decide on their own whether to take their children out of care and return them to the family home, or leave them in the usual living environment, where visits and other social contacts were drastically reduced or prohibited.

Preliminary evaluation of a multicomponent youth development program for siblings separated by foster care: pandemic related impacts to service delivery and youth well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Jeffrey Waid; Cynthia Dantas

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Child Welfare
A preliminary evaluation of a multicomponent youth development program for siblings in foster care was conducted prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pretest posttest measures of youth well-being were collected from sixteen youth, caregivers, and caseworkers over a six-month period. Caregivers reported increased internalizing and externalizing behaviors, sibling relationship difficulties, prosocial behavior, and resilience during the study period. Youth reported reduced school engagement, increased resilience, and prosocial behavior. In-person sibling programming was associated with increased prosocial behavior. Virtual sibling programming was associated with lower hyperactivity, increased prosocial behavior, and increased emotional problems. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Caring for children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations

AUTHOR(S)
Hilda Loria; Jill McLeigh; Kristin Wolfe (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Child Welfare
Through qualitative feedback from professionals in healthcare, mental health, and child welfare, this study explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of children in the child welfare system. Positive outcomes and challenges related to the care of children in foster or kinship care in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic are described. Themes identified included disparities in the child welfare system; utilization of telehealth; cross-sector communication and collaboration; safety considerations; and placement stability and support. The article concludes with recommendations in each of these areas for ensuring the health and well-being of children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic.
Depressed and socioeconomically disadvantaged mothers’ progression into a randomized controlled mobile mental health and parenting intervention: a descriptive examination prior to and during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Kathleen M. Baggett; Betsy Davis; Elizabeth A. Mosley (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Infants of low-income and depressed mothers are at high risk for poor developmental outcomes. Early parenting mediates infant experiences from birth, and early intervention can support sensitive and responsive parent practices that optimize infant outcomes via promoting developmental competencies. However, low-income and depressed mothers experience substantial challenges to participating in early intervention. They also have extremely limited access to interventions targeting depression. Interventions targeting maternal depression and parent practices can improve maternal and infant outcomes. Mobile internet-based interventions overcome numerous barriers that low-resource mothers face in accessing home-based interventions. Pandemic-related stressors likely reduce family resources and exacerbate distress of already heavily-burdened mother-infant dyads. During crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence-based remote coaching interventions are paramount. This article reports on a mobile intervention for improving maternal mood and increasing parent practices that promote infant development. An ongoing randomized controlled trial study provided a unique opportunity to monitor progression from referral to intervention initiation between two groups of depressed mothers: those prior to the pandemic and during the pandemic. The study also examines mother and infant characteristics at baseline. The sample consisted primarily of Black mothers experiencing extreme poverty who self-referred to the study in a large southern city, which is one of the most income disparate in the United States.
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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.