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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 61
Gender disparities in increased parenting time during the COVID-19 pandemic: a research note

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer March Augustine; Kate Prickett

Published: July 2022   Journal: Demography
Public health measures aimed at curbing the transmission of COVID-19 increased parenting responsibilities during the early stages of the pandemic. This research note examines time-use data from the American Time Use Surveys to provide several fresh insights as to how mothers took on a disproportionate share of this responsibility compared to fathers during this period. First, the gender gap in total parenting time narrowed by 18%. Meanwhile, the gender disparity in time in educational activities increased by 113% and was not explained by changes in mothers’ labor force participation. Mothers also took on 20% more time in secondary caregiving compared to fathers. Estimates among working parents indicated that the amount of time in which mothers coupled paid work with caregiving increased by 346% compared to fathers. These results highlight how fathers marginally increased their caregiving responsibilities compared to mothers, but not in activities that parents tend to rate as more stressful or intensive, such as supervising children's schooling and multitasking at work. The estimates provide clear evidence of the unequal caregiving burden placed on mothers during the pandemic.
Essential work and emergency childcare: identifying gender differences in COVID-19 effects on labour demand and supply

AUTHOR(S)
Jordy Meekes; Wolter H. J. Hassink; Guyonne Kalb

Published: July 2022   Journal: Oxford Economic Papers,
This study examines whether the COVID-19 crisis affects women and men differently in terms of employment, working hours, and hourly wages, and whether the effects are demand or supply driven. COVID-19 impacts are studied using administrative data on all Dutch employees up to December 2020, focussing on the national lockdowns and emergency childcare for essential workers in the Netherlands. First, the impact of COVID-19 is much larger for non-essential workers than for essential workers. Although female non-essential workers are more affected than male non-essential workers, on average, women and men are equally affected, because more women than men are essential workers. Second, the impact for partnered essential workers with young children, both men and women, is not larger than for others. Third, single-parent essential workers respond with relatively large reductions in labour supply, suggesting emergency childcare was insufficient for them. Overall, labour demand effects appear larger than labour supply effects.
Gender differences in housework and childcare among Japanese workers during the COVID‐19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Toshihide Sakuragi; Rie Tanaka; Mayumi Tsuji (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Occupational Health

Although gender stereotypes regarding paid work and unpaid work are changing, most wives are responsible for taking care of the family and home in Japan. It is unclear how time spent on housework and childcare has changed between working men and women during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. The purpose of this study is to investigate how working men and women’s responsibilities for housework and childcare changed during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan depending on work hours, job type, the number of employees in the workplace, and frequency of telecommuting. A cross-sectional analysis (N = 14,454) was conducted using data from an Internet monitoring study (CORoNa Work Project), which was conducted in December 2020. A multilevel logistic model with nested prefectures of residence was conducted to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for change in time devoted to housework and childcare among men and women adjusting for age, household income, presence of spouse who work, work hours, job type, the number of employees in the workplace, frequency of telecommuting, and the incidence rate of COVID-19 by prefecture.

Mothers' domestic responsibilities and well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown: the moderating role of gender essentialist beliefs about parenthood

AUTHOR(S)
Kjærsti Thorsteinsen; Elizabeth J. Parks-Stamm; Marie Kvalø (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Sex Roles
The present work investigates how the increased domestic responsibilities created by the Spring 2020 lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway and gender ideologies relate to the well-being of mothers with elementary school children. In June 2020, a cross-sectional online study including current and retrospective measures with 180 mothers (Mage = 39.96 years, SD = 6.11) of elementary school children across Norway was conducted. First, in line with earlier research on the strain of the pandemic on parents, and especially mothers, this study found that Norwegian mothers’ well-being during the lockdown significantly declined compared to before the lockdown (both measured retrospectively). Furthermore, mothers’ well-being after the Spring 2020 lockdown did not immediately return to pre-lockdown levels. Finally, it predicted that gender ideologies (i.e., essentialist beliefs about parenthood) would exacerbate the negative impact of increased domestic responsibilities (i.e., childcare and housework) on mothers’ well-being (i.e., higher standard-higher stress hypothesis).
Factors associated with adolescent pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review of socioeconomic influences and essential interventions

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly Kons; Adriana A. E. Biney; Kristin Sznajder

Published: June 2022   Journal: International Journal of Sexual Health
A literature review was conducted to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on documented preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa such as poverty, inequitable gender norms, low access to education, and reproductive health services. The terms “sub-Saharan Africa,” “Gender Norms,” “Poverty,” and “Adolescent Pregnancy” were used to search the literature for preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in academic and grey literature. “COVID-19” was added to investigate the potential consequences of the pandemic. The literature revealed similar experiences in adolescent girls during the Ebola outbreak, which lead to the analysis of government and healthcare official responses to previous epidemics.
When family interrupted work: the implications of gendered role perception in the face of COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
S. Susie Lee; Melody M. Chao; Hongwei He (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Social Issues
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are confronted with the work-from-home challenge, which often results in work-family interference. Although prior to COVID-19, the influence of traditional gender role expectations was shown to be reduced over time, it is unclear whether and how such traditional worldview might influence judgments towards men and women when family interrupted work under the threat of COVID-19. This study presented and tested competing predictions derived from the gender role theory. An experimental study with 971 adults showed that during (vs. before) COVID-19 pandemic, men were evaluated more negatively when they experienced family interruption to work compared with women. The negative evaluation further led to more punitive reactions and less support at work. The results suggested that gender role expectations reinforced the traditional status quo by punishing status-quo-breakers under the threat of COVID-19.
Who is doing the chores and childcare in dual-earner couples during the COVID-19 era of working from home?

AUTHOR(S)
Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia

Published: May 2022
In 2020, parents' work-from-home days increased fourfold following the initial COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period compared to 2015–2019. At the same time, many daycares closed, and the majority of public schools offered virtual or hybrid classrooms, increasing the demand for household-provided childcare. Using time diaries from American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and looking at parents in dual-earner couples, this study examines parents' weekday workday time allocated to paid work, chores, and childcare in the COVID-19 era by the couple's joint work location arrangements. It determines the work location of the ATUS respondent directly from their diary and proxy the partner's work-from-home status using the share of workers reporting work from home in their occupation. When their partners worked on-site, mothers and fathers working from home spent more time on childcare, especially mothers, compared to those on-site; fathers spent more time on household chores. However, only mothers' total unpaid and paid work burden was higher.

Free time, gender and the pandemic: an exploration of children's daily routines in the times of COVID-19 in Chile

AUTHOR(S)
Rocío Díaz; Mariana Contreras; Isabel Yáñez (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Children & Society
This article discusses the differentiation by gender displayed by children between 8 and 12 years old on how they used their free time during the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile. This study had a qualitative approach, where 43 in-depth interviews were conducted with children from three different regions of the country, using participatory photo-elicitation as the central tool.
Childcare, work or worries? What explains the decline in parents' well-being at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany?

AUTHOR(S)
Basha Vicari; Gundula Zoch; Ann-Christin Bächmann (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Research

This study examines how care arrangements, general and altered working conditions, and worries influenced subjective well-being at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic for working parents in Germany. Prior research suggests several reasons for declines in subjective well-being, particularly for working mothers. This study employs Pearlin's (1989) stress process model to explore the role of parental childcare, altered working conditions and amplified worries of working parents in terms of increased stressors and modified resources to cope with the extraordinary situation.

Childcare, COVID-19 and female firm exit: impact of COVID-19 school closure policies on global gender gaps in business outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
Markus Goldstein; Paula Gonzalez; Sreelakshmi Papineni (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
This paper estimates the impact of a large negative childcare shock on gender gaps in entrepreneurship using the shock created by national COVID-19 school closure policies. The paper leverages a unique data set of monthly enterprise data collected from a repeated cross-section of business owners across 50 countries via Facebook throughout 2020 and in 2021. The paper shows that, globally, female-led firms were, on average, 4 percentage points more likely to close their business and experienced larger revenue declines than male-led firms during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (male firms closed at a rate of 17 percent in 2020, and 12 percent in 2021). The gender gap in firm closures persisted into 2021. The closing of schools, a key part of the care infrastructure, led to higher business closures, and women with children were more likely to close their business in response to a school closure policy than men with children. Female entrepreneurs were found to take on a greater share of the increase in the domestic and care work burden than male entrepreneurs. Finally, the paper finds that women entrepreneurs in societies with more conservative norms with respect to gender equality were significantly more likely to close their business and increase the time spent on domestic and care responsibilities in response to a school closure policy, relative to women in more liberal societies. The paper provides global evidence of a motherhood penalty and childcare constraint to help explain gender inequalities in an entrepreneurship context.
Balancing work and childcare: evidence from COVID-19 school closures and reopenings in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Pierre E. Biscaye; Dennis Egger; Utz J. Pape

Institution: The World Bank
Published: March 2022
This paper identifies the impact of childcare responsibilities on adult labor supply in the context of COVID-19-related school closures in Kenya. It compares changes in parents’ labor participation after schools partly reopened in October 2020 for households with children in a grade eligible to return against households with children in adjacent grades. Using nationally-representative panel data from World Bank phone surveys in 2020–21, the findings show that the partial reopening increases affected adults’ weekly labor hours by 22 percent, with increases concentrated in household agriculture. The results suggest that school closures account for over 30 percent of the fall in average work hours in the first few months after COVID-19 cases were detected. The effects are driven by changes in household childcare burdens and child agricultural labor when a student returns to school. The impacts are not significantly different by sex of the adult. Although both women and men increased hours spent on childcare during the pandemic, women benefited more than men from reductions in childcare needs, but took on more of the childcare burden when the returning student was a net childcare provider. The results highlight the importance of siblings in household childcare and suggest that policies that increase childcare availability and affordability could increase adult labor supply in Kenya.
COVID-19 and a “crisis of care”: a feminist analysis of public policy responses to paid and unpaid care and domestic work

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti; Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Labour Review
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gender inequalities, increasing the amount of unpaid care weighing on women and girls, and the vulnerabilities faced by paid care workers, often women working informally. Using a global database on social protection responses to COVID-19 that focuses on social assistance, social insurance and labour market programmes, this article considers whether and how these responses have integrated care considerations.
Girls’ lived experiences of school closures : insights from interviews with girls and mothers in Punjab, Pakistan

AUTHOR(S)
Rabea Malik; Najaf Zahra; Ayesha Tahir (et al.)

Published: February 2022
This note explores findings on the changing household dynamics in response to the mandated Coronavirus (COVID-19) school closures in Punjab, Pakistan. The SMS girl impact evaluation and a complementing qualitative study assessed the lived experiences of girls during school closures. Mothers and daughters in select districts were interviewed via phone. The initial round of interviews tells a story of economic hardship, gendered division of household tasks, loss of learning, lack of engagement with educational TV programming, and fear that some students may not re-enrol when schools reopen.
Examining COVID-19 vaccine uptake and attitudes among 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness

AUTHOR(S)
Alex Abramovich; Nelson Pang; Sharumathy Kunasekaran (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. Little is known about vaccine attitudes and uptake among this population. To address this, the objectives of this study were to explore this group’s COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, and facilitators and barriers impacting vaccine uptake. 2SLGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area were recruited to participate in online surveys assessing demographic characteristics, mental health, health service use, and COVID-19 vaccine attitudes. Descriptive statistics and statistical tests were used to analyze survey data to explore variables associated with vaccine confidence. Additionally, a select group of youth and frontline workers from youth serving organizations were invited to participate in online one-on-one interviews. An iterative thematic content approach was used to analyze interview data. Quantitative and qualitative data were merged for interpretation by use of a convergent parallel analytical design.

Child care and participation in the Global South: an anthropological study from squatter houses in Buenos Aires

AUTHOR(S)
Pía Leavy; Paula Nurit Shabel

Published: January 2022   Journal: Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal
Children and teenagers are often considered as objects of care or as subjects who have the right to be cared for. However, in squatter houses in Buenos Aires, they often take on responsibilities that challenge the ways we understand childcare and participation. This article sets out to analyse the experiences of girls and young women. To do so, it carried out ethnographic work with girls aged 8–19 years within two occupied buildings in a Buenos Aires neighbourhood before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, studying its consequent measures of isolation and social distancing. Firstly, it describes how health measures applied to contain the pandemic reinforced certain stereotypes about children and their care. Secondly, it analyzes the participation of these children in production and reproduction activities inside and outside their homes. This analysis includes the ways in which they deployed strategies for their own care, based on their activism in a political organisation. The analysed material shows tensions between care and participation that occur in the daily practices of young women who inhabit these spaces, which are crossed by moral and legal duties as well as by material needs and violence.
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