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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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Increase in suicide following an initial decline during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

AUTHOR(S)
Takanao Tanaka; Shohei Okamoto

Published: January 2021   Journal: Nature Human Behaviour (
There is increasing concern that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic could harm psychological health and exacerbate suicide risk. Here, based on month-level records of suicides covering the entire Japanese population in 1,848 administrative units, this study assessed whether suicide mortality changed during the pandemic. Using difference-in-difference estimation, this study found that monthly suicide rates declined by 14% during the first 5 months of the pandemic (February to June 2020). This could be due to a number of complex reasons, including the government’s generous subsidies, reduced working hours and school closure. By contrast, monthly suicide rates increased by 16% during the second wave (July to October 2020), with a larger increase among females (37%) and children and adolescents (49%).
Common mental disorders in mothers of children attending out-patient malnutrition clinics in rural North-western Nigeria: a cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Aminu T. Abdullahi; Zubaida L. Farouk; Abdulazeez Imam

Published: January 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health
Children with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition are managed routinely within out-patient malnutrition treatment programs. These programs do not offer maternal mental health support services, despite maternal mental health playing a significant role in the nutritional status of children. Additionally, the burden of maternal Common Mental Disorders (CMDs) is poorly described among mothers of children attending these programs. This study thus determined the burden and risk factors for maternal CMDs among children attending out-patient malnutrition clinics in rural North-western Nigeria
Adolescents’ and parents’ anxiety during COVID-19: is there a role of cyberchondriasis and emotion regulation through the internet

AUTHOR(S)
Gülendam Akgül; Derya Atalan Ergin

Published: January 2021   Journal: Current Psychology
COVID-19 pandemic period presents a unique context for the investigation of anxiety symptoms among adolescents and their parents. This study investigated adolescents’ and their parents’ anxiety symptoms, the effects of parental cyberchondriasis and adolescents’ emotion regulation on anxiety symptoms.
Mindfulness training on the resilience of adolescents under the COVID-19 epidemic: a latent growth curve analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Yue Yuan

Published: January 2021   Journal: Personality and Individual Differences
As a preventive measure during the COVID-19 epidemic, we have had to stay at home for a long time. The lifestyle of adolescents has undergone severe changes. Almost every school started online education for the first time. Some adolescents have shown low resilience when faced with these changes. Most previous research has focused on mindfulness training and resilience by using cross-sectional or two-point tracking designs. However, little is known about the developmental trajectories of the impact of mindfulness training on resilience, particularly during this epidemic. Therefore, this study aims to explore how the developmental trajectories of resilience are impacted by mindfulness training.
The role of only-child status in the psychological impact of COVID-19 on mental health of Chinese adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Yujia Cao; Liyuan Huang; Tong Si (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

The impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on public mental health in 2019 is verified, but the role of only-child status in the mental health of adolescents confined at home during the COVID-19 epidemic has not been investigated and is not clear. This study aims to assess the impact of only-child status on the mental health of adolescents confined at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The exposure risk to COVID-19, adverse experience, parent-child relationship, and resilience have also been measured and considered.

Preventing a 'lockdown generation' in Europe and Central Asia
Institution: *UNICEF, European Training Foundation
Published: December 2020

Young people have been among those most socially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but, at the same time, also the most prepared to cope with the quick shift towards virtual environments that the pandemic created. For many young people in the Europe and Central Asia Region, COVID-19 interrupted their schooling, left them jobless, and has made it more difficult to integrate into the labour market. Facing school closures and uncertainty about their futures, young people say that they feel isolated and are dealing with levels of stress, anxiety and depression. UNICEF and the European Training Foundation (ETF) have partnered to examine the challenges, opportunities and – most importantly – the sentiments and views of young people concerning their current and future prospects in the time of COVID-19. 


Trajectories of anxiety and depressive symptoms during enforced isolation due to COVID-19 in England: a longitudinal observational study

AUTHOR(S)
Daisy Fancourt; Andrew Steptoe; Feifei Bu

Published: December 2020   Journal: The Lancet Psychiatry
There is major concern about the impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak on mental health. Several studies suggest that mental health deteriorated in many countries before and during enforced isolation (ie, lockdown), but it remains unknown how mental health has changed week by week over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to explore the trajectories of anxiety and depression over the 20 weeks after lockdown was announced in England, and compare the growth trajectories by individual characteristics.
Parents’ perceptions of student academic motivation during the COVID-19 lockdown: a cross-country comparison

AUTHOR(S)
Sonia Zaccoletti; Ana Camacho; Nadine Correia (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The COVID-19 outbreak has ravaged all societal domains, including education. Home confinement, school closures, and distance learning impacted students, teachers, and parents’ lives worldwide. In this study, we aimed to examine the impact of COVID19-related restrictions on Italian and Portuguese students’ academic motivation as well as investigate the possible buffering role of extracurricular activities.
Mental health of parents of special needs children in China during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sui-Qing Chen; Shu-Dan Chen; Xing-Kai Li (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This study assessed the mental health of parents (N = 1450, Mage = 40.76) of special needs children during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey comprising items on demographic data; two self-designed questionnaires (children’s behavioral problems/psychological demand of parents during COVID-19); and four standardized questionnaires, including the General Health Questionnaire, Perceived Social Support, Parenting Stress Index, and Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Five Factor Inventory were conducted. The results showed that there were significant differences among parents of children with different challenges.
School of hard knocks: what can mental health researchers learn from the COVID‐19 crisis?

AUTHOR(S)
Edmund J. S. Sonuga‐Barke

Published: December 2020   Journal: The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Since the COVID‐19 pandemic took hold in the first quarter of 2020, children and their families across the world have experienced extraordinary changes to the way they live their lives – creating enormous practical and psychological challenges for them at many levels. While some of these effects are directly linked to COVID‐related morbidity and mortality, many are indirect – due rather to governmental public health responses designed to slow the spread of infection and minimise the numbers of deaths. These have often involved aggressive programmes of social distancing and quarantine, including extended periods of national social and economic lockdown, unprecedented in the modern age. Debates about the appropriateness of these measures have often referenced their potentially negative impact on people’s mental health and well‐being – impacts which both opponents and advocates appear to accept as being inevitable.
The psychiatric sequelae of the COVID‐19 pandemic in adolescents, adults, and health care workers
Published: December 2020   Journal: Depression and Anxiety
The COVID‐19 pandemic is the most serious global public health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic. This study is the first to assess its mental health impact across the lifespan in the United States in adolescents, adults, and health care workers.
COVID-19’s effect on students: how school counselors rise to the rescue

AUTHOR(S)
Robert Pincus; TeShaunda Hannor-Walker; Leonis S. Wright (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: NASSP Bulletin
The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought about many changes to our society, which will have long-term effects for our youth and adolescents. Due to social isolation and adverse childhood experiences, there are concerns of suicidality, technology addiction, and school safety as schools attempt to transition to a state of normalcy in the months to come. This crisis will require coordinated efforts to assist students in not only getting back on track academically but also in helping students cope with the trauma they have and are continuing to experience. As a result, insights from school counselors can be used to obtain a better understanding of the social and emotional effects of COVID-19 by collaborating with administrators to emphasize using school counselors as a mental health provider in schools. The authors highlight school counselors’ mental health training and their role in combating this issue and provide practical applications that can employed to create a systemic approach for social and emotional prevention and intervention during and after the pandemic.
Measuring COVID-19 related anxiety in parents: psychometric comparison of four different inventories

AUTHOR(S)
Christian Kubb; Heather M. Foran

Published: December 2020   Journal: JMIR Mental Health

The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures to contain the global pandemic can have an impact on the well-being and mental health status of individuals. Parents of young children are particularly at risk for high levels of parental stress due to the current public health crisis, which can impact parenting behaviors and children’s well-being. Although different initial scales have been developed to measure COVID-19–related anxiety, they have not yet been tested sufficiently in parent samples. A brief measure of COVID-19–related anxiety is necessary for both quick assessment in practice and in larger epidemiological studies of parents. The purpose of this study is to compare the distributions, validities, and reliabilities of four different COVID-19 anxiety scales: Fear of COVID-19 Scale, Coronavirus Anxiety Scale, Pandemic Anxiety Scale, and one subscale of the COVID Stress Scales.

Increased psychological distress during COVID-19 and quarantine in Ireland: a national survey

AUTHOR(S)
Tom Burke; Anna Berry; Laura K. Taylor

Published: November 2020   Journal: Journal of Clinical Medicine
The emergence of the coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) resulted in a global pandemic. The psychological impact of an epidemic is multifaceted and acute, with long-term consequences. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey-based design was employed, assessing the psychological impact of COVID-19 on members of the Irish public during the quarantine period of COVID-19 in Ireland. Participants were invited to complete the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) retrospectively (prior to quarantine) and during the quarantine period, as well as measures of illness perceptions, well-being, and a bespoke measure (the Effects of COVID Questionnaire, ECQ), which assessed perceptions of COVID-related stresses associated with personal concerns, caring for children, caring for aging parents, as well as gratitude.
COVID-19 and youth substance use

AUTHOR(S)
Chuck Ingoglia

Published: November 2020   Journal: The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research
An “epidemic hidden in a pandemic”. That is what Andrea Raby, D.O. of Bayless Integrated Healthcare, calls the threat to our youth who are now at increased risk of substance use disorder and overdose in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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.