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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 385
‘Lockdown's changed everything’: mothering adult children in prison in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kelly Lockwood

Published: October 2021   Journal: Probation Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic occurred at a time when families of prisoners were gaining visibility in both academia and policy. Research exploring the experiences of families of prison residents has tended to focus on intimate partners and children, despite parents of those in prison being more likely than partners or children to maintain contact. The small body of work focusing on parents has identified their continued care for their children and highlights the burden of providing this care. With the ethics of care posing an ideological expectation on women to provide familial care, the care for adult children in custody is likely to fall to mothers. However, with restricted prison regimes, the pandemic has significantly impeded mothers’ ability to provide this ‘care’. Adopting a qualitative methodology, this paper explores the accounts of mothers to adult children in custody during the pandemic across two UK prison systems, England and Wales, and Scotland; exploring the negotiation of mothering in the context of imprisonment and the pandemic and highlighting important lessons for policy and practice.
Humour and TikTok memes during the 2020 pandemic lockdown: tensions of gender and care faced by Chinese mothers working from home

Xiao Han; Giselinde Kuipers

Published: October 2021   Journal: China Information
This article examines a humorous meme that emerged on Chinese TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic in China. Using #workfromhomewithchildcare, Chinese working mothers shared humorous clips of their experience of working from home with their children who were also at home during the pandemic lockdown. By analysing the themes, protagonists, and humour techniques of a sample of 85 videos, we ask why the mood of these clips is so strongly marked by humour, and what this tells us about contemporary Chinese society, particularly about the position of women and mothers. This study shows that these memetic clips consist of three distinct genres of mothers working from home: (1) ‘balancing mothers’ who balance between work and childcare, (2) ‘pedagogic mothers’ who give childcare tips, and (3) ‘commercially oriented’ mothers who offer tutorials by means of product placement and advertisement. While these memes express what Mary Douglas called ‘a joke in the social structure’ without offering either relief or critique, they do create an online joking culture that offers temporary relief as well as awareness that others are in the same position.
Parental support, learning performance, and socioemotional development of children and teenagers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bhoj B. Balayar; Michael R. Langlais

Published: October 2021   Journal: The Family Journal
In spring and fall 2020, most schools across the globe closed due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online and remote learning (ORL) modalities were implemented to continue children’s education and development. Yet, the change in educational delivery increased parental responsibilities in cultivating their children. This study examined the determinants related to students’ learning performance before and during the COVID-19 period in association with psychosocial behaviors (such as socialization, internalizing and externalizing behavior, and motivation) and other factors, including parents’ support received, the teaching modality, and access to digital resources. The current study included 80 parents of elementary and middle school children who completed an online survey.
The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in primary schools in the Czech Republic: parental perspectives

Irena Smetackova; Stanislav Stech

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Education
The article presents results of a survey among parents of primary-school pupils, in which they commented on education during school closures due to the COVID-19 disease pandemic in the spring of 2020. The questionnaire mapped family arrangements, parents' competencies, parenting practices concerning learning, and communication with the school. It was administered to more than 2,500 respondents at the end of the period of school closures (May–June 2020). The analysis focused on the question of whether the parents of pupils in primary schools assessed the home-based distance learning as well handled and whether they felt concerned about their child's future school results.
Actor–partner association of work–family conflict and parental depressive symptoms during COVID-19 in China: does coparenting matter?

Shengqi Zou; Xinchun Wu; Yizhen Ren (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Parental depressive symptoms and their related factors have not been widely examined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the current study examined the actor and partner associations of work–family conflict and parental depressive symptoms. Considering the new demands and challenges for families during the COVID-19 pandemic, we further explored the moderation effect of coparenting. A cross-sectional online survey with 985 paired fathers and mothers was conducted in Mainland China. In 11.6% of families, only mothers reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; in 10.6% families, only fathers reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; in 9.5% families, the mother and father reported mild to moderate depressive symptoms.
Impact of the COVID-19 lockdown in Malaysia: an examination of the psychological well-being of parent-child dyads and child behavior in families with children on the autism spectrum

Hui Xian Fong; Kim Cornish; Hannah Kirk (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have adversely impacted children on the autism spectrum and their families, especially in Malaysia where this population is often marginalized. The current quantitative research aimed to investigate the impact of the Malaysian COVID-19 lockdown on the behavior and psychological distress of children formally diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) as well as the psychological distress and well-being of their parents, in comparison with a typically developing (TD) control group.  The children's ages ranged between 5 and 17 years. The sample included 72 ASC parent-child dyads and 62 TD parent-child dyads. The primary caregiver completed an online survey including the following: demographic and diagnostic information; ASC symptoms; children's inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, perceived stress, depression, and anxiety; parents' perceived stress, depression, anxiety, and well-being based on their experience pre- and mid-lockdown (March 18th to June 9th 2020) in Malaysia.

Attitudes of parents with regard to vaccination of children against COVID-19 in Poland: a nationwide online survey

Mateusz Babicki; Dagmara Pokorna-Kałwak; Zbigniew Doniec (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Vaccines
Within a few months, the scientific world achieved a great success, developing effective and safe vaccines against COVID-19. Many countries with full access to vaccines have introduced recommendations for the vaccination of not only people who are at risk of developing severe COVID-19, i.e., the elderly and chronically ill, but all members of society, including children aged 12 and above as the currently registered preparations can be used above the said age. However, the use of COVID-19 vaccines in children arouses strong emotions, with their sense being frequently questioned. The aim of the paper was to assess the attitudes of Polish parents with regard to vaccinations against COVID-19 administered to their children. The study was conducted with the use of the authors’ original questionnaire, which was distributed online.
Association between breastfeeding attitudes and postpartum depression among mothers with premature infants during COVID-19 pandemic

Noor Fairuzi Suhana Yahya; Nur Islami Mohd Fahmi Teng; Najwa Shafiee (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Breastfeeding is the best form of feeding for premature infants. However, mothers with premature delivery are frequently reported to be depressed, and this has been especially the case during the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study aimed to measure the level of breastfeeding attitude and its association with postpartum depression among mothers with premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 248 mothers with a premature infant were observed in this cross-sectional study from the chosen NICUs of government hospitals in Selangor, Malaysia. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Score (IIFAS) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, along with sociodemographic questionnaires, were used to obtain information on the mothers’ attitudes towards breastfeeding and the risk of postpartum depression.
Impact of COVID-19 restrictions on preschool children’s eating, activity and sleep behaviours: a qualitative study

Joanne Clarke; Ruth Kipping; Stephanie Chambers

Published: October 2021   Journal: BMJ Open
In spring 2020, the first COVID-19 national lockdown placed unprecedented restrictions on the behaviour and movements of the UK population. Citizens were ordered to ‘stay at home’, only allowed to leave their houses to buy essential supplies, attend medical appointments or exercise once a day. This study explored how lockdown and its subsequent easing changed young children’s everyday activities, eating and sleep habits to gain insight into the impact for health and well-being.
Parents’ perspectives on a smartwatch intervention for children with ADHD: Rapid deployment and feasibility evaluation of a pilot intervention to support distance learning during COVID-19

Franceli L. Cibrian; Elissa Monteiro; Elizabeth Ankrah (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Plos One
Distance learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic presented tremendous challenges for many families. Parents were expected to support children’s learning, often while also working from home. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at particularly high risk for setbacks due to difficulties with organization and increased risk of not participating in scheduled online learning. This paper explores how smartwatch technology, including timing notifications, can support children with ADHD during distance learning due to COVID-19. A 6-week pilot study of a Digital Health Intervention (DHI) was implemented with ten families. The DHI included a smartwatch and a smartphone. Google calendars were synchronized across devices to guide children through daily schedules.
Needs assessment for physical activity information during COVID-19 among a nationally representative sample of parents and children ages 6–17 in the United States: a cross-sectional study

Ashleigh M. Johnson; Emily Kroshus; Pooja S. Tandon

Published: October 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic presented novel barriers to youth physical activity engagement. Identifying what resources parents and children are interested in receiving can support efforts to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on youth physical activity behavior. This study aimed to identify physical activity-related information needs during the COVID-19 pandemic among a nationally representative sample of American parents of children 6–10 years-old and parent-child dyads of children 11–17 years-old. A cross-sectional survey was conducted by a market research company in October–November 2020. Parents and children were asked about their interest in specific types of information about helping their family and themselves, respectively, be active (Yes/No). Weighted percentages were calculated for reported information needs and compared using two-sample test of proportions.

Concerns and effects of COVID-19 in families with babies: results of a nationwide survey in Finland

J. Lammi-Taskula; R. Klemetti; M. Vuorenmaa (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Public Health,

The COVID-19 has changed the everyday life of families. The aim of this study was to examine the concerns and effects of the pandemic on the everyday life of families with babies. The data consist of mothers (n = 4550) and fathers (n = 2955) with 3-6-month-old babies who participated in the national FinChildren survey in autumn 2020. The results were analyzed separately for mothers and fathers according to the number of children. One-child parents were compared to parents with several children by logistic regression adjusted for parents' age, education and economic situation.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on families’ mental health: the role played by parenting stress, parents’ past trauma, and resilience

Eleonora Marzilli; Luca Cerniglia; Renata Tambelli (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
International research has evidenced the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families, and the key role played by parenting stress levels. Although significant associations with parents’ past trauma and resilience have been shown, this study aimed to explore their complex interplay on the relationship between parents’ peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19, parenting stress, and children’s psychopathological difficulties. We recruited 353 parents with children aged two to 16 years via an online survey during the Italian second wave of COVID-19. Parents’ peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19, parenting stress, past trauma and resilience, and children’s psychological difficulties were assessed through self-report and report-form questionnaires. Parents’ past traumas significantly predicted peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19 and children’s psychological difficulties. The relationship between past traumas and children’s psychological difficulties was serial mediated by parents’ peritraumatic distress and parenting stress. Direct and total effects of parent’s resilience on parent’s peritraumatic distress were not significant, but there were significant indirect effects via parenting stress and via parents’ peritraumatic distress and parenting stress, indicating inconsistent mediation.
School–family relations: an educational challenge in times of COVID-19

Mario Ferreras-Listán; Coral I. Hunt-Gómez; Pilar Moreno-Crespo (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap regarding access to educational opportunities, which was included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This descriptive, quantitative study aims to examine the communication strategies employed by secondary schools in Spain during the lockdown, as well as to analyse the co-responsibility of the educational process between schools and families. An ad hoc questionnaire (GIESBAFCOV-19) was designed and implemented to gather information. The results show that, in most cases, mothers were responsible for assisting and supervising their children’s homework as persons in charge of education-related matters. Additionally, before the lockdown was put in place, about half of the participating families received information from the educative centres regarding the disease and sanitary measures. Once the lockdown took place, families put the focus on their children’s schoolwork, not without difficulties in academic and digital literacy.
The behavioural outcomes of children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities as perceived by parents during the COVID-19 lockdown

Kathleen Franz; Michelle E. Kelly

Published: October 2021   Journal: Disabilities
The COVID-19 lockdown and closure of schools, clinics, and community-based services put children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other developmental disabilities (DDs) at increased risk of negative outcomes. This study aimed to investigate parents’ perceptions of their children’s behavioural outcomes during the COVID-19 lockdown, parents’ satisfaction with services during this time, and willingness to engage in telehealth. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Ireland. Parents (n = 89) completed an online questionnaire that included the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ-P). Results demonstrated that children with ASD/DDs were vulnerable to negative outcomes including hyperactivity, emotional symptoms, problems with peers and fewer prosocial behaviors.
16 - 30 of 385

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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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.