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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The mediating role of social internet use on the correlation of parental efficacy, peer influence and social functioning of adolescents in the current era

AUTHOR(S)
Kehinde Lawrence

Published: April 2021   Journal: Current Research in Behavioral Sciences
The goal of this study was to examine the mediating role of social internet use on the correlation of parental efficacy, peer influence and social functioning of adolescents. Methodologically, data was collected from a sample of 496 adolescents (Male = 18.5%; Female = 81.5%, M age = 15.9), the idea that the relationship between parental efficacy, peer influence and social functioning of adolescents could be influenced by the mediating power of social internet use was tested.
Digital literacy in education systems across ASEAN: key insights and opinions of young people
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2021
Strengthening the digital literacy of its youth populations has been a key challenge for ASEAN countries. Digital literacy refers to a person’s ability to use digital platforms for finding, consuming, evaluating, creating and communicating digital content. In an increasingly digitalized world, young people’s success often depends on such skills as it determines their capability to participate in a modern labour force and make well-informed decisions on matters that affect their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of ASEAN societies and further highlighted the importance of digital literacy . The educational, private and work life of young people has changed dramatically with the rise of online learning and remote working. Investing in the digital skills of young girls and boys will help them adapt to this new situation, acquire new skills and knowledge, increase their ability to connect with different people and communities and express their voices, contribute to the success of ASEAN businesses in increasingly competitive global markets and help ASEAN nations to achieve their social development goals through its empowering effect on young people.
Pregnant women’s daily patterns of well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland: longitudinal monitoring through smartwatch technology

AUTHOR(S)
Hannakaisa Niela-Vile´n; Jennifer Auxier; Eeva Ekholm (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Plos One
Technology enables the continuous monitoring of personal health parameter data during pregnancy regardless of the disruption of normal daily life patterns. Our research group has established a project investigating the usefulness of an Internet of Things–based system and smartwatch technology for monitoring women during pregnancy to explore variations in stress, physical activity and sleep. The aim of this study was to examine daily patterns of well-being in pregnant women before and during the national stay-at-home restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland.
Problematic internet-related behaviors mediate the associations between levels of internet engagement and distress among schoolchildren during COVID-19 lockdown: a longitudinal structural equation modeling study

AUTHOR(S)
I-Hua Chen; Chao-Ying Chen; Amir H. Pakpour (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), policies based on the nature of “spatial distancing” have been implemented and have resulted in school suspensions and online learning among schoolchildren. In order to examine the impact of such policies on schoolchildren, the aims of the present study were to (i) assess changes in the level of engagement in three internet-related activities (smartphone use, social media use, and gaming) before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, including prolonged and problematic engagement in these activities; (ii) investigate the differences of psychological distress before and after COVID-19 outbreak; and (iii) to use structural equation modeling to investigate the mediating roles of problematic internet-related behaviors in the causal relationships of psychological distress and time spent on internet-related activities.
Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italy was the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown. Children and their families lived in nearly complete isolation for almost two months. Students missed 65 days of school compared to an average of 27 missed days among high-income countries worldwide. This prolonged break is of concern, as even short breaks in schooling can cause significant loss of learning for children and lead to educational inequalities over time. At least 3 million Italian students may not have been reached by remote learning due to a lack of internet connectivity or devices at home.

This report explores children’s and parents’ experiences of remote learning during the lockdown in Italy, drawing on data collected from 11 European countries (and coordinated by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center). It explores how children's access and use of digital technologies changed during the pandemic; highlights how existing inequalities might undermine remote learning opportunities, even among those with internet access; and provides insights on how to support children’s remote learning in the future.

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La didattica a distanza durante l’emergenza COVID-19: l’esperienza italiana

L'Italia e’ stata il primo paese in Europa ad aver applicato la misura del lockdown su tutto il territorio. I bambini e le loro famiglie hanno vissuto in quasi completo isolamento per circa due mesi. Gli studenti hanno perduto 65 giorni di scuola rispetto ad una media di 27 negli altri paesi ad alto reddito del mondo. Questa interruzione prolungata rappresenta motivo di preoccupazione, in quanto persino interruzioni piu’ brevi nella didattica possono causare significative perdite nel livello di istruzione dei ragazzi e portare  col tempo a diseguaglianze educative. Almeno 3 milioni di studenti in Italia non sono stati coinvolti nella didattica a distanza a causa d una mancanza di connessione ad internet o di dispositivi adeguati a casa.

Questo rapporto analizza l’esperienza della didattica a distanza di ragazzi e genitori in Italia durante il lockdown, sulla base dei dati raccolti in 11 paesi europei (e coordinati dal Centro comune di ricerca della Commissione Europea). Studia il cambiamento nell’accesso e nell’uso delle tecnologie digitali dei bambini e ragazzi durante la pandemia; mette in evidenza come le diseguaglianze esistenti possano diminuire le opportunità offerte dalla didattica a distanza, anche tra coloro che hanno accesso ad internet; e fornisce approfondimenti su come sostenere la didattica a distanza di bambini e ragazzi in futuro.

Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italy was the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown. Children and their families lived in nearly complete isolation for almost two months. Students missed 65 days of school compared to an average of 27 missed days among high-income countries worldwide. This prolonged break is of concern, as even short breaks in schooling can cause significant loss of learning for children and lead to educational inequalities over time. At least 3 million Italian students may not have been reached by remote learning due to a lack of internet connectivity or devices at home.

This report explores children’s and parents’ experiences of remote learning during the lockdown in Italy, drawing on data collected from 11 European countries (and coordinated by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center). It explores how children's access and use of digital technologies changed during the pandemic; highlights how existing inequalities might undermine remote learning opportunities, even among those with internet access; and provides insights on how to support children’s remote learning in the future.

***

La didattica a distanza durante l’emergenza COVID-19: l’esperienza italiana

L'Italia e’ stata il primo paese in Europa ad aver applicato la misura del lockdown su tutto il territorio. I bambini e le loro famiglie hanno vissuto in quasi completo isolamento per circa due mesi. Gli studenti hanno perduto 65 giorni di scuola rispetto ad una media di 27 negli altri paesi ad alto reddito del mondo. Questa interruzione prolungata rappresenta motivo di preoccupazione, in quanto persino interruzioni piu’ brevi nella didattica possono causare significative perdite nel livello di istruzione dei ragazzi e portare  col tempo a diseguaglianze educative. Almeno 3 milioni di studenti in Italia non sono stati coinvolti nella didattica a distanza a causa d una mancanza di connessione ad internet o di dispositivi adeguati a casa.

Questo rapporto analizza l’esperienza della didattica a distanza di ragazzi e genitori in Italia durante il lockdown, sulla base dei dati raccolti in 11 paesi europei (e coordinati dal Centro comune di ricerca della Commissione Europea). Studia il cambiamento nell’accesso e nell’uso delle tecnologie digitali dei bambini e ragazzi durante la pandemia; mette in evidenza come le diseguaglianze esistenti possano diminuire le opportunità offerte dalla didattica a distanza, anche tra coloro che hanno accesso ad internet; e fornisce approfondimenti su come sostenere la didattica a distanza di bambini e ragazzi in futuro.

Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
Mariya Stoilova; Sonia Livingstone; Rana Khazbak

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: January 2021

Children’s lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies. Yet, when it comes to understanding the long-term effects of internet use and online experiences on their well-being, mental health or resilience, the best we can do is make an educated guess. Our need for this knowledge has become even more acute as internet use rises during COVID-19. This report explores what has been learned from the latest research about children’s experiences and outcomes relating to the internet and digital technologies. It aims to inform policy-makers, educators, child-protection specialists, industry and parents on the best evidence, and it proposes a future research agenda.

Psychological distress and internet-related behaviors between schoolchildren with and without overweight during the COVID-19 outbreak

AUTHOR(S)
Chao-Ying Chen; I-Hua Chen; Kerry S. O’Brien

Published: January 2021   Journal: International Journal of Obesity
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and its resulting social policy changes may result in psychological distress among schoolchildren with overweight. This study thus aimed to (1) compare psychological distress (including fear of COVID-19 infection, stress, anxiety, and depression), perceived weight stigma, and problematic internet-related behaviors between schoolchildren with and without overweight; (2) assess whether perceived weight stigma and problematic internet-related behaviors explained psychological distress.
Physical activity and screen time of children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany: a natural experiment

AUTHOR(S)
Steffen C. E. Schmidt; Bastian Anedda; Alexander Burchartz (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Scientific Reports
The impact of COVID-19 on social life has been drastic and global. However, the different numbers of cases and different actions in different countries have been leading to various interesting yet unexplored effects on human behavior. In the present study, we compare the physical activity and recreational screen time of a representative sample of 1711 4- to 17-year-olds before and during the strictest time of the first COVID-19 lockdown in Germany. We found that sports activity declined whereas recreational screen time increased. However, a substantial increase in habitual physical activities leads to an overall increase in physical activity among children and adolescents in Germany. The effects differ in size but not in their direction between age groups and are stable for boys and girls. We conclude from this natural experiment that physical activity among children and adolescents is highly context-driven and mutual and does not act as a functional opposite to recreational screen time.
Lessons for child–computer interaction studies following the research challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Natalia Kucirkova; Cecilie Evertsen-Stanghelle; Ingunn Studsrød (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been experienced differently in and within individual countries and thus has had a different impact on the individual researchers in the child–computer interaction studies. There were several challenges that our research group experienced during the pandemic period, with a rapid transition to digital working conditions and a society managing altered living conditions. The changes happened on all levels of the society, and they affected our key participants — children, teachers, designers of children’s digital books and publishers. In this Viewpoint article the lessons learnt from the changes in our study designs and data collection processes due to lockdown and other restrictions related to the pandemic have been highlighted.
Best of UNICEF Research and Evaluation 2020

Evidence and objective assessment are needed more than ever to help enhance the rights and well-being of the world’s children. Researching the changing world around us and evaluating progress are two sides of the same coin, both critical to reimagining a better future for children. In recognition of this, UNICEF celebrates and showcases innovative and influential research and evaluations from our offices around the world every year. For 2020, Innocenti and the Evaluation Office joined forces to find the most rigorous UNICEF studies with greatest influence on policies and programmes that benefit children.

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How many children and young people have internet access at home? Estimating digital connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic
2.2 billion children and young people aged 25 years or less do not have internet access at home, according to the How Many Children and Youth Have Internet Access at Home report, a joint effort by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Using the latest available household survey data, the report finds significant inequities between countries, regions, wealth groups and urban-rural settings. For example, only 5 per cent of children and young people in West and Central Africa have internet access at home compared to the 33 per cent global average. Differences are starker yet between rich and poor countries, with only 6 per cent of children and young people in low-income countries having internet access compared to 87 per cent in high-income countries.

Significantly expanding internet access is vital for ensuring that all children and young people are learning and acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to support a sustainable future. To this end, UNICEF has joined forces with ITU to launch Giga, an ambitious global initiative to connect every school to the internet. With the support of Generation Unlimited, UNICEF is also working under the Reimagine Education initiative, which aims to address the learning crisis and transform education by giving children and young people equal access to quality digital learning.
Digital literacy as a condition for positive experience of the COVID-19 lockdown for families with preschool children

AUTHOR(S)
G. V. Pavlenko; A. I. Pavlenko

Published: November 2020   Journal: Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
Today the COVID-19 pandemic consequences for the preschool education system is one of the most popular research topics, as the lockdown led to serious disruptions to the usual way of family life that is a key condition for the normal development of a child. In Russia, a typical reaction of the authorities to the pandemic was the massive closure of childcare enterprises, that gave many families an additional burden in the form of the task of mastering the preschool education program. In this situation, digital technologies are of particular importance for the successful organization of preschool education in the family and the preservation of an emotionally positive tone in the family, according to the authors of this paper, the educational potential of which depends on how much the preschool child and his family are involved in them. Based on the results of the study, the authors conclude that digital literacy of family members is one of the conditions for a positive experience of the COVID-19 lockdown for families with preschool children.
Worry and permissive parenting in association with the development of internet addiction in children

AUTHOR(S)
Barbara Chuen Yee Lo; Romance Nok Man Lai; Ting Kin Ng (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The recent COVID-19 pandemic and the preventive measures has led to increased use of the Internet in the daily lives of children. Therefore, Internet addiction has become an increasingly important public health issue worldwide. More than 90% of Hong Kong’s citizens use the Internet, and 70% of children in the age group of 6–17 years have daily access to it. However, internet addiction could pose serious social and health issues. The current study examined the relationship between worry and Internet addiction among children in Hong Kong and investigated the moderating effect of the permissive parenting style on such a relationship. 
The dark side of the web: a risk for children and adolescents challenged by isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Pietro Ferrara; Giulia Franceschini; Giovanni Corsello (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: The Journal of Pediatrics

Children and adolescents who experience a prolonged state of physical isolation during COVID-19 may look for alternative, attractive or unconventional forms of socialization, available in the web world. This may expose them to the risks of unsupervised cyberspace exploration beyond the open web, which may lead them to areas that are usually not available to visitors. They may pass the gates of the “open” and “deep web” sections and enter into the dangerous “dark web” zones, which predominantly host unethical and criminal activities. In those shadowy corners of the worldwide web, there exist dangers ranging from identity theft and drug trade to suicide chat-rooms and child pornography. This commentary, authored by EPA-UNEPSA members of the working group on social pediatrics, briefly discusses the features of the dark web and its implications for children and adolescents. The aim is to raise awareness of pediatricians and families on the growing risk of child exploitation through the web, at a time when vulnerable young people face home lockdowns with potential abusers intruding on their privacy.

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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.