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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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School wellbeing and psychological characteristics of online learning in families of children with and without hearing loss during the Covid‐19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Bianca Maria Serena Inguscio; Maria Nicastri; Ilaria Giallini (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Psychology in the Schools
This study investigated the psychological characteristics of online learning on Italian students with and without hearing loss (HL) and on their parents, who were forced into isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. An online survey collected information on socio-demographic data and opinions concerning online learning from 61 children (mean age 11; 25 males, 36 females), including 43 with HL and also from their parents; additionally, school wellbeing and anxiety were assessed.
Occupational disruption: the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the behavioral inflexibility and anxiety of autistic children

AUTHOR(S)
Aaron Dallman; Catherine M. Perry; Jessica E. Goldblum (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy

The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented changes to the lives of many. The aim of this paper was to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted behavioral inflexibility (BI) and anxiety among autistic children and how autistic children and their families have adapted to COVID-19-related routine changes. This sequential mixed-method study included two phases. During the first phase, parents of autistic children (N = 48) completed an online survey consisting of the Behavioral Inflexibility Scale (BIS) and the Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale – Autism Spectrum Disorder (PRAS-ASD). During the second phase, a subset of parents (parents of adolescents, N = 11) was invited to participate in a virtual focus-group.

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on stress and access to services for licensed and kinship caregivers and youth in foster care

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah J. Beal; Katie Nause; Mary V. Greiner

Published: July 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Children in foster care in the United States face unique challenges related to access to health and education services. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those services were temporarily disrupted, adding burden to an already strained system. This observational study describes the experiences of licensed and kinship caregivers (N = 186) during the peak of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and as restrictions to services were lifted, to understand the overall impact of COVID-19 on this already vulnerable population. Purposive sampling methods were used, where caregivers known to have received placement of children prior to, during, and following COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were identified and recruited to complete a 45-minute phone-administered survey assessing stress, risks for contracting COVID-19, strain resulting from COVID-19, and access to services for children in foster care in their care across five domains: healthcare, mental health, education, child welfare, and family visitation. Differences by caregiver type (licensed, kinship) and timing in the pandemic were examined.
Ensuring emotional and psychological wellbeing in children through bibliotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sophia Adeyeye; Opeyemi Oboh

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Librarianship
Sudden lifestyle changes and disruption necessitated by the COVID-19 precautionary measures resulted in children becoming frightened, bored, isolated and anxious which automatically posed a threat to their emotional and psychological wellbeing. These set of children could be helped through therapeutic reading of books. Reading stories provides children with opportunities to gain insight and learn healthier ways to face the uncertainty caused by their inability to do things that they normally do like going to school, visit friends, go to parties, visit parks, visit the library and so on. The study used a prestest - posttest quasi- experimental methodology which lasted for a duration of 10 weeks, the study population were twenty-five (25) within the age bracket of 7-16 years old.
Effectiveness of the PlayStrong Neuro-Filial Parenting Program: a program evaluation of an online pilot during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Georgie Wisen-Vincent; Rebecca Bokoch

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Play Therapy
This study piloted an online play-based parenting program informed by filial therapy, child–parent relationship therapy, and interpersonal neurobiology during COVID-19. The purpose of this program evaluation was to explore its potential effectiveness in improving child behaviors, mindful parenting, parent–child relationship quality, and protective factors. This study used a mixed method design to gather quantitative data from standardized measures and qualitative data from surveys. Parents of children 4–10 years old (N = 11) participated in 6 weekly 1.5-hr sessions which included teaching a new skill, asking questions, offering support, and sharing video or descriptions about using play-based parenting skills at home.
Effects of an online solution-focused psychoeducation programme on children's emotional resilience and problem-solving skills

AUTHOR(S)
Melih Burak Özdemir; Ayşe Bengisoy

Published: July 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
This study investigates the effects of a solution-oriented and approach-based psychoeducation programme, initiated in December 2019 and conducted online during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, on children’s emotional resilience and problem-solving skills. In the world that was closed with the pandemic, children were kept away from the social support system of teachers and friends. Pandemic isolated the children. The negative experiences associated with COVID-19 have placed both traditional approaches and important online learning and support applications on the agenda, since both can help to solve the problems we face. Educators and experts have provided psychological support services, questioning the methods used to reach people during the pandemic and rediscovering alternative ways of connecting with individuals through online media. The online framework of this study emerged in response to the needs caused by the pandemic. The study is designed using a real experimental pattern and is based on a pretest-posttest, experimental/control-group model.
Overload of caregivers of children with mental disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Valdir Severino Junior; Thaysa Molina; Carla Belei-Martins (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Human Sciences Research

The coronavirus pandemic brought significant changes in people’s lives and, for caregivers of those with mental disorders, there was an increase in the burden. This study aimed to analyze the burden on caregivers of children with mental disorders. A cross-sectional, descriptive study with caregivers of children aged four to 12 years in psychiatric outpatient follow-up, who answered questions and the Zarit Burden Interview.

Caregiver perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on the psychosocial and behavioral health of children with ASD in the United States: a questionnaire-based survey

AUTHOR(S)
Dominique Schwartz; Prageet K. Sachdev; Laura Hewitson (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: COVID
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were particularly vulnerable to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study we conducted an anonymous caregiver survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychosocial and behavioral health of children with ASD. Data from 700 responses identified several significant factors predicting greater difficulties for the child including pre-existing behavioral challenges (OR = 5.179; 95% CI: 2.696, 9.951), disrupted sleep (OR = 2.618; 95% CI 1.341, 5.112), and a diagnosis of depression (OR = 3.425; 95% CI: 1.1621, 4.116). Greater difficulties for caregivers in managing their child’s behaviors were associated with sleep disturbances (OR = 1.926; 95% CI: 1.170, 3.170), self-injurious behavior (OR = 3.587; 95% CI: 1.767, 7.281), and managing the child’s school activities (OR = 3.107; 95% CI: 1.732, 5.257) and free time (OR = 3.758; 95% CI: 2.217, 6.369). However, being under the care of a neuropsychiatrist was associated with less difficulty in managing the child’s behaviors (OR = 2.516; 95% CI: −1.046, −5.382). Finally, the presence of comorbidities (OR = 2.599; 95% CI: 1.053, 4.067) and a greater difficulty in managing the child’s school activities (OR = 2.531; 95% CI: 1.655, 3.868) and free time (OR = 1.651; 95% CI: 1.101, 2.478) were associated with an increased likelihood of caregiver desire for their child to return to in-person school in the fall. The COVID-19 pandemic had a wide-ranging impact on the behaviors of children with ASD and challenges for their caregivers.
Trajectories and associations between maternal depressive symptoms, household chaos and children's adjustment through the COVID-19 pandemic: a four-wave longitudinal study

AUTHOR(S)
Avigail Gordon-Hacker; Yael Bar-Shachar; Alisa Egotubov (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures have adversely affected the lives of people worldwide, raising concern over the pandemic's mental health consequences. Guided by a systemic model of family functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic (Prime et al., 2020), the current study aimed to examine how caregiver well-being (i.e., maternal depressive symptoms) and family organization (i.e., household chaos) are related to longitudinal trajectories of children's emotional and behavioral problems. Data were collected at four time points during and after home lockdown periods. Mothers of children (N = 230; 55% male) between the ages of two to five years were asked to complete questionnaires via an Israeli online research platform.
The pandemic seen through the eyes of the youngest people: evaluating psychological impact of the early COVID-19 related confinement on children and adolescents through the analysis of drawings and of an e-survey on their parents

AUTHOR(S)
Sonia Di Profio; Sara Uccella; Paola Cimellaro (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Minerva pediatrica
COVID-19 is having a significant impact on long term children’ and adolescents’ psychological health. This study aimed to evaluate the direct early psychological and behavioural signs related to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and related confinement on children and adolescents. Children and adolescents’ drawings were collected for a limited time window (16th March-10th April 2020) and analyzed. Their parents were asked in the following month to answer a qualitative e-survey on somatic complaints and behavioral changes of the participating children/adolescents.
Physical distancing and mental well-being in youth population of Portugal and Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jesus D. C. Gil; Pedro Manuel Vargues Aguiara; Sofia Azeredo-Lopes (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Portuguese Journal of Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic may affect youth’s physical and mental well-being, partially because of the countries’ rules to contain the virus from spreading. However, there is still uncertainty about the impact of physical distancing on youth’s mental health. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of feeling agitated, anxious, down, sad, or low mood (FNF) due to physical distance measures and verify which factors are associated with young Portuguese and Brazilian people. It used cross-sectional data from the instrument “COVID-19 Barometer: Social Opinion” in Portugal (March 2020 and September 2021) and from “COVID-19 Social Thermometer” in Brazil (August 2020 to April 2021); these surveys included data regarding the health and socioeconomic impact on the population.
Family attitudes toward the use of technological devices by children during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Esra Tural Büyük; Hatice Uzsen; Merve Koyun

Published: July 2022   Journal: Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions
This study aimed to find out the technological device using behaviors of the children and the attitudes of their families regarding this during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The study was a descriptive research composed of the mothers of 0- to 18-year-old children who were contacted through social media. Descriptive statistics of data were carried out with frequency and percentage distribution based on the demographic characteristics of the mothers. The mean age of the parents included in the study was found to be 35 ± 7 years; 89.1% were females and 31% were secondary school graduates.
Effects of socioeconomic status, parental stress, and family support on children's physical and emotional health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sara Scrimin; Libera Ylenia Mastromatteo; Ani Hovnanyan (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
The current study conducts an exploratory study on children’s emotional and physical health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The direct and interactive effects of parental stress, family socioeconomic status (SES), and family support on child adjustment were investigated. A total of 116 children of varied socioeconomic and their parents were interviewed. Parents with low household income perceived greater distress related to uncertainty and health worries compared to those with higher household income. However, it was among high-SES families that parental distress was associated with child difficulties. At a multivariate level, children’s health was associated with SES, family support, and parental COVID-19 stress. Among families with low household income, when parents perceived low/average COVID-19 stress, family support worked as a protective factor for children’s adjustment. Understanding how COVID-19 relates with children’s emotional and physical health within families with low and high household income may help to inform recommendations for best practices, for example through family support interventions.
Child, adolescent, and parent mental health in general population during a year of COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium: a cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Amélyne Wauters; Julien Tiete; Joana Reis (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Discover Mental Health volume

This study aims to evaluate the mental health status of children, adolescents and their parents during the first year of COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium. Analysis compared results before and during the second national lockdown, which started on November 2nd 2020. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted between May 2020 and April 2021.

Parents and school-aged children's mental well-being after prolonged school closures and confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico: a cross-sectional online survey study

AUTHOR(S)
Daniela Leon Rojas; Fabiola Castorena Torres; Barbara M. Garza-Ornelas (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: BMJ Paediatrics Open

This study aimed to determine parents’ and school-aged children’s mental well-being after experiencing confinement and prolonged school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a cross-sectional design, an online survey was applied to parents of school-aged children inquiring about their mental well-being and COVID-19 pandemic changes in their home and working lives. To assess the presence of depression, anxiety and stress in parents, the participants responded to the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale - 21 scale. To assess psychosocial dysfunction and sleep disturbances in children, participants responded to the Pediatric Symptom Checklist and the Children Sleep Habits Questionnaire.

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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.