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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 792
In the face of a pandemic: adapting a mentalization-focused treatment that promotes attachment with birth parents and young children in foster care

Phyllis Cohen; Kate Hariton; Ashley Rodriguez

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Child Psychotherapy
The central focus of the Building Blocks Program is to increase the mentalizing capacity of high-risk birth mothers whose young children under the age of five have been placed in foster care. In Building Blocks, therapists are trained to provide dyadic psychotherapy with a birth mother and her child during court-mandated supervised visits, with the aim of reducing cycles of trauma, abuse and neglect, and facilitating a more secure attachment. The program is psychoanalytically informed, grounded in theories of attachment, mentalization and reflective functioning. On March 14, 2020, due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus, it became clear that the birth parents could no longer safely visit with their children in person. In addition, court hearings that might have allowed the retention of parental rights were postponed, leaving many parents devastated. This paper first describes how the Building Blocks approach has been adapted during the pandemic. Second, two case examples are presented that highlight the pre-pandemic work of Building Blocks, as well as the innovative and creative ways the treatment model was adapted when it became unsafe to conduct dyadic therapy at the clinic. Using virtual video platforms, the Building Blocks Program has applied the model of ‘Nested Mentalization,’ providing support and scaffolding for the therapists, parents and children.
An exploratory case study of mindfulness techniques in a high school band program during the COVID-19 pandemic

Karen M. Koner; Abigayle Weaver

Published: October 2021   Journal: Update: Applications of Research in Music Education
The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of mindfulness practices on high school band students. This action research project took place in spring 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders. Four students enrolled in the high school band participated in five weeks of mindfulness practice interventions over the virtual format alongside their instrumental music director. Mindfulness practices included diaphragmatic breathing, relaxation imagery, cued relaxation, and stretching. Throughout the five weeks, student participants discussed improved focus, improvement of stress management, and increased frequency of mindfulness practice. However, four months after data collection was complete, three of the four student participants continued to practice mindfulness techniques on their own time to assist with nervousness, anxiety, and stress.
Remote learning experience for children with developmental disabilities during COVID-19 pandemic in an ethnically diverse community

Maria Valicenti-McDermott; Molly O’Neil; Amy Morales-Lara (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Child Neurology
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 education in New York City quickly transitioned to remote learning. This is a structured interview with 50 consecutive families of children with developmental disabilities about their experience with remote learning 2 months after COVID-19 lockdown. It observed that setting up the remote learning system was challenging for families who were born outside of the United States, spoke limited English, or had a lower level of education. Though some special education supports were in place, remote learning for children with developmental disabilities led to gaps in their therapeutic services. Children with more severe developmental disabilities joined less than 2 hours of remote learning per day and had a decrease in their therapeutic services. Most children (80%) relied on their parents for education. Additionally, for low-income communities, with families who spoke languages other than English, remote learning revealed a new barrier to access: technology.
Pilot wellness program with adapted social–emotional learning and COVID-19 curriculum for refugee youth

Julia Rosenberg; Patricia McDonough Ryan; Caroline O’Brien (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Health Education & Behavior
Refugee children are less likely than their non-refugee peers to receive timely diagnoses and treatment for mental and/or behavioral health problems, despite facing multiple risk factors including potential exposure to trauma during premigration, migration, and postmigration experiences. Social–Emotional Learning offers preventive mental health education for children through well-established, evidenced-based curricula. Although there are clear benefits of Social–Emotional Learning curricula, which can help children achieve long-term success emotionally and academically, Social–Emotional Learning curricula are not easily accessible for refugee children, often because of language and socioeconomic barriers. This pilot study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of an adapted Social–Emotional Learning program that included culturally specific, multilingual, trauma-informed wellness, and physical education during the COVID-19 pandemic: EMPOWER (Emotions Program Outside the Clinic With Wellness Education for Refugees).
The effect of COVID-19 on anxiety levels of children with CF and healthy peers

Muruvvet Yanaz; Cansu Yilmaz Yegit; Almala Pinar Ergenekon (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatrics International

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic disease causing recurrent respiratory tract infections. Viral respiratory tract infections are more severe in CF. The first case of COVID-19 was seen in Turkey on March 11, 2020 and nationwide school closure and lockdown were implemented. School closure and home confinement might have adverse effects on children’s physical and mental health. In this study, we aimed to compare the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on psychological reactions of CF patients and healthy controls. This is a controlled cross-sectional study including 7-18 year-old children with CF. The survey included questions regarding family environment and peer relations, self care and psychological reactions to COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaire was applied to children via telephone call under parental supervision.

Sleep during COVID-19-related school lockdown, a longitudinal study among high school students

Ingvild West Saxvig; Ståle Pallesen; Børge Sivertsen (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Sleep Research
There has been great concern about the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related school lockdown on adolescent health. The aim of the present study was to compare sleep patterns before and during COVID-19-related school lockdown, in a large sample of high school students. The present study is based a prospective, longitudinal survey on adolescent sleep health. Phase 1 was conducted in 2019, whereas phase 2 was conducted in 2020 (response rate 60.2%), during the last 10 days of a 60-day long school lockdown. Main outcomes comprised sleep parameters from the Munich ChronoType Questionnaire (MCTQ). A total of 2,022 students provided valid responses to MCTQ in both survey phases.
The impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on parents of children with externalising difficulties in Ireland: a longitudinal cohort study

Anna Berry; Tom Burke; Alan Carr

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Clinical Practice

This longitudinal cohort study aimed to examine the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland on parents of children with externalising difficulties, in comparison to parents of children without such difficulties. Parents of 159 children completed online self-report measures at three time points during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; (a) Delay and Mitigation Phase (March 2020 to May 2020), (b) Reopening of Society Phase (June 2020 to July 2020) and (c) Wave 2 Case Acceleration Phase (September 2020 to October 2020). Participants were allocated to the clinical group if they met the clinical cut off point on the Conduct or Hyperactivity/Inattention subscales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at Time 1.

Experiences of children (ages 6–12) during COVID-19 pandemic from mothers' perspectives

Rabiye Akın Işık; Nebahat Bora Güneş; Yunus Kaya

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of child and adolescent Psychiatric Nursing

This study evaluated the experiences of children between ages 6 and 12 based on their mothers' perspectives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten mothers living in Ankara, Turkey with children in the aforementioned age range, participated in this study. Data were collected through focus group interview with a qualitative phenomenological approach followed by thematic data analysis. Three categories were obtained relating to the pandemic, including negative effects, positive effects, and the resultant needs and expectations of parents.

‘We are unlikely to return to the same world, and I do not want it to destroy my future’: young people's worries through the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic

Ragnhild Bjørknes; Gro Mjeldheim Sandal; Silje Mæland (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
This study aims to explore what worries youth were having during the seventh to ninth week of the COVID-19 lockdown. Our findings build on the responses to an open-ended survey question from 1314 youths. The worries covered three main themes: ‘That my mom dies, then I am left all alone’: worries related to COVID-19 virus infection; ‘To me, this is lost youth’: worries about the consequences of measures for the present life and near future; and ‘I will face a very difficult life in the future’: worries about the consequences of measures for the outlook on life. Young people worried that the measures would have a huge impact on their present life and outlook on life. The costs of restriction measures were unevenly distributed and indicated that the measures affected their mental health. Listening to youth voices during the pandemic is important for practitioners, educators and policymakers.
Welcoming new life under lockdown: Exploring the experiences of first-time mothers who gave birth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anna Gray; Julie Barnett

Published: October 2021   Journal: British Journal of Health Psychology

This study aimed to explore how first-time mothers in the UK experienced new parenthood during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This study used a cross-sectional exploratory, qualitative interview design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten first-time mothers who had given birth since COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

The mediating role of COVID-19-related burden in the association between adverse childhood experiences and emotional exhaustion: results of the egePan – VOICE study

Vera Clemensa; Petra Beschoner; Marc N. Jarczok (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the risk for mental health problems. However, there is a lack of data targeting the role of ACEs for one of the most prevalent mental health problems in health-care professionals: burnout. We aimed to assess the relationship between ACEs and the core burnout dimension ‘emotional exhaustion’ (EE). As health-care professionals have been facing particular challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we furthermore aimed to assess the role of COVID-19 associated burden in the interplay between ACEs and EE. During the first lockdown in Germany, a total of 2500 medical healthcare professionals were questioned in a cross-sectional online survey. Questions targeted, among others, sociodemographics, ACEs, COVID-19-associated problems (e.g. increase of workload, worries about relatives and patients) and emotional exhaustion, measured by the respective dimension of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI).

What did COVID-19 change? The impact of COVID-19 on Korean parents’ and children’s daily lives and stress

Joo-hyang Park; Ji-young Park; Kyong-sun Jin

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
The COVID-19 outbreak has not only posed a threat to physical health but has also changed our daily lives. This study explored how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Korean parents’ and children’s daily lives and stress levels. Parents’ childcare time, children’s screen time, the time spent for social interactions and learning, and parents’ and children’s stress levels before and after the pandemic were compared. The main caregivers’ childcare time increased significantly during the pandemic (4.00 h/day). For children, the time spent for screen time (1.76 h) and online interactions (0.95 h) increased significantly, whereas face-to-face interaction time (4.17 h) and time spent learning (2.16 h) decreased significantly.
Exploring carer burden amongst those caring for a child or adolescent with an eating disorder during COVID-19

Kristen Maunder; Fiona McNicholas

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders volume

Carer burden amongst carers of youth with an eating disorder is substantial and if not addressed can lead to negative outcomes for the patient, carer and family. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made caring for youth with an ED even more onerous and preliminary research is beginning to emerge demonstrating the profound negative impact the pandemic is having upon individuals with EDs and their carers. This review briefly summarizes what is known about carer burden in families where a young person has an ED, considers the additional impact consequent to COVID-19 and highlights the need for interventions aimed at alleviating this. Pre-COVID-19 research identifies high levels of psychological and physical strain amongst those caring for a child with an ED. Themes are beginning to emerge as to why COVID-19 may further exacerbate carer burden: (1) reduced access to ED services; (2) increased physical vulnerability and exacerbation of psychiatric co-morbidity amongst youth with EDs; (3) increased practical demands placed on carers; and (4) social isolation and decreased social support.

Brief report: feasibility and acceptability of a remote-based nutrition education program for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: a COVID-19 pilot study

Riley H. Shurack; Jeanette M. Garcia; Keith Brazendale (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
This paper aims to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a remote-based nutrition education program during COVID-19 for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ten adolescents with ASD participated in a 4-week nutrition education program utilizing Zoom software during COVID-19. Topics included shopping for healthy food, and food preparation safety measures. Attendance was collected for each session. Participants, parents, and the classroom teacher completed post-program surveys and interviews. The course attendance rate was 97%. Every adolescent reported they would participate in similar future programs, and the teacher/parents felt the program was a positive experience for the participants. The remote-based nutrition education program appeared to be feasible and acceptable to participants. Future research should focus on program efficacy.
Children’s psychological reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic

Betty Pfefferbaum

Published: October 2021   Journal: Current Psychiatry Reports

This paper reviews the literature on the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and the reactions of vulnerable children. Research reveals increases in clinically significant depression, suicidal ideation and behavior, and some anxiety symptoms. Substance use studies suggest an inadvertent decrease in substance use in some youth though findings are inconsistent across substances and for males and females. Children with pre-existing emotional and behavioral problems are especially vulnerable though some children appear to improve in the context of public health measures which have decreased the stresses associated with school and socialization. In addition, children with pre-existing problems are likely to have established resources and relationships that may protect them relative to other children.

1 - 15 of 792

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.