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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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31 - 45 of 385
Young children’s play during a time of social distancing

Courtney Beers Dewhirst; Casey Cascio; Erin M. Casey

Published: October 2021   Journal: Early Child Development and Care
Through a 48-item questionnaire shared via social media, 546 participants from 47 American States reported on their children’s (ages 0–8) play activities during early social distancing efforts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results from the questionnaire indicate participants took social distancing guidelines seriously by keeping children at home and away from other children during the period of social distancing, thus affecting play behaviours. The study’s findings are significant in that they document some parents’ perspectives of their children’s play during a unique period in American history. The authors discuss implications for parent and child play behaviours including the need for more unstructured play time, realities of parents working from home with children present, and the effects of children having a lack of access to peers to play with for sociodramatic and symbolic play.
Parental stress provoked by short-term school closures during the second COVID-19 lockdown

Isabelle May; Sarah Awad; Matthias S. May (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
Governments of numerous countries implemented school closures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Several investigations have shown the negative impact of social-distancing policies and school closures on children worldwide. Recently, research also demonstrated adverse effects on adults’ well-being. The development of children is strongly affected by their parent’s emotional state. The present study aimed to examine parental stress levels caused by a short period of homeschooling in December 2020 in Germany. A structured survey was set up and distributed randomly via social media and parent associations. We observed a significant increase in stress and concerns. Family conflicts significantly increased, social isolation was feared, and powerlessness and helplessness ascended. Risk factors were parental education levels, parental working time, and teaching features like the frequency of feedback, correction, and accessibility.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with special needs: a descriptive study

Ayse Mete Yesil; Buse Sencan; Emel Omercioglu (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Clinical Pediatrics
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, children with special needs may have challenges. To determine emotional and behavioral challenges, 116 children aged 4 to 6 years, who received special education, were evaluated. COVID-19 negatively affected the families at a rate of 94.6%; 76.5% of the children’s daily routines were worsened. Although the one-on-one time duration with the mother and father increased (73.5% and 66.7%), reading books (40.6%), play (17.2%), and overall activity durations (25.7%) decreased. The median screen time increased from 1 to 3 hours. According to the families, there was a regression in development in 18.8% of children. Special education practices at home were ceased by 17.2% of families, and a significant difference was found between the groups with and without regression in development in terms of the frequency of continuing special education at home. The development of children with special needs is an ongoing urgent situation; thus, besides protecting and promoting physical health during the pandemic, families and children should also be supported for developmental needs.
Comparing the impact of the first and second wave of COVID-19 lockdown on Slovak families with typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder

Katarína Polónyiová; Ivan Belica; Hana Celušáková (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Autism
The aim of this research was to compare the mental health of families with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or typically developing children, during the first and the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Slovakia. The study is mainly focused on the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among the parents and maladaptive behavior or sleep disturbances of their children. Our research sample consisted of 332 caregivers, 155 of which have children with autism spectrum disorder; 179 surveyed during the first wave and 153 during the second wave. Extensive online parent questionnaire was created, including demographic and specific topic–related questions; Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale–42 questionnaire; and two subscales of Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales—internalizing and externalizing maladaptive behavior.
Understanding changes to children's connection to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for child well-being

Samantha Friedman; Susan Imrie; Elian Fink (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: People and Nature

While psychological connection to nature is known to be associated with both pro-environmental behaviours and well-being, there is an urgent need to extend this research to consider impacts from the COVID-19 lockdown period. Examining whether children's connection to nature changed during this period, identifying the drivers of these changes and determining the links between connection to nature and child well-being can each serve to guide post-lockdown initiatives to promote children's connection to nature.

COVID-19 and novel MRNA vaccines in pregnancy: an updated literature review

Eloise Joubert; Akofa C. Kekeh; Chetan N. Amin

Published: October 2021   Journal: BJOG
The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, has affected the world on a pandemic scale resulting in catastrophic outcomes and deaths. Currently, there is limited safety data specific to mRNA vaccine use in pregnant or lactating individuals and the potential risks to a pregnant individual and the fetus are unknown. This is an updated literature review of current information and evidence available to aid in the decision whether to vaccinate against COVID-19 currently being made by pregnant individuals and their healthcare providers so that they are able to make a well-informed recommendation and decision.
True resilience: a look inside COVID’s effect on children with medical complexity and their families

Sarah M. Mitchell

Published: October 2021   Journal: Current Pediatrics Reports

Vulnerable children with medical complexity are silent victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, impacted by lack of resources and sick caregivers. This article examines ways in which the pandemic has increased the significant difficulties already experienced by these patients and their families. Increased awareness will lead to improvement in the disparities experienced by this population and improve the ability of healthcare providers to care for them. The number of children living with medical complexity is rapidly increasing. They face unique circumstances which can lead to compromise in care. This population is especially at risk for complications related to COVID, so may have a more prolonged admission with more morbidities. Children of ethnic minorities are also more impacted by severe illness and death. Finally, access to palliative care has been limited, which is a huge part in caring for these children who have life-long medical care needs.

Maternal psychological distress and children’s internalizing/externalizing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic: the moderating role played by hypermentalization

Federica Bianco; Annalisa Levante; Serena Petrocchi (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
In order to explore the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the caregiver–child relationship, this study investigated the interplay among COVID-19 exposure and children’s internalizing/externalizing problems during the Italian lockdown, hypothesizing a mediation effect played by maternal distress. Additionally, it included maternal reflective functioning (i.e., hypermentalization) as a moderator factor among this interplay. A total of 305 Italian mothers of children aged 6–13 years (M = 10.3; SD = 2.4) filled in an online survey. Findings revealed an indirect effect of maternal COVID-19 exposure on children’s anxious/depressed (k2 = 0.46) and attention problems (k2 = 0.32) via maternal distress.
Studying at home: experience of parents and their young children in an underdeveloped area of Indonesia

Beatriks Novianti Bunga; R. Pasifikus Christa Wijaya; Indra Yohanes Kiling (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Research in Childhood Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused school closures around the world, requiring home-based learning for millions of students. The transition into home-based learning might decrease young children’s access to quality education, especially in underdeveloped areas like East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia. This study aimed to explore how mothers and young children experience studying at home in an underdeveloped area. Data were gathered using the photovoice method. The participants of the study were 12 mothers of children younger than 8 years old. For seven days, participants used their phone cameras to take photos related to their experience of studying at home. Thematic analysis identified two main themes: the learning media for studying at home and challenges of studying at home. The first theme focuses several learning media, including digital and non-digital media, used by participants and their young children during the pandemic. The second theme focuses on issues faced by participants in studying at home, including time-management, disruption in routines, and lack of social interaction. Home-based learning can be improved using the findings of this study.
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.

Parent perceptions of pediatric oncology care during the COVID-19 pandemic: an Australian study

Maria C. McCarthy; Jessica Beamish; Catherine M. Bauld (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatric Blood & Cancer

This study examined parents’ perceptions of their child's oncology care during a period of significant COVID-19 restrictions in Australia. Parents of children, 0–18 years, receiving hospital-based cancer treatment, completed a survey examining their COVID-19 exposure and impact, information and knowledge, and perception of their child's medical care. Recruitment occurred between October and November 2020.

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.

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.
The relationship between COVID-related parenting stress, nonresponsive feeding behaviors, and parent mental health

Leslie Ann Frankel; Caroline Bena Kuno; Ritu Sampige

Published: October 2021   Journal: Current Psychology
COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of families across the United States and all over the world. Stress is known to have a negative impact on parent–child feeding interactions; hence, the purpose of this study is to examine how COVID-related parenting stress, which was measured using a newly developed scale, is related to parent mental health, nonresponsive feeding, and children’s self-regulation of eating. 119 parents of children ages 2–7 years old filled out questions about COVID-related parenting stress, mental health, nonresponsive feeding behaviors, and children’s self-regulation of eating. A series of multiple regressions were run to predict parent anxiety and psychological distress from COVID-related parenting stress. COVID-related parenting stress was found to be a significant predictor of both parent anxiety and psychological distress. When COVID-related parenting stress was further broken down into COVID-Related Job/Financial Security Stress and COVID-Related Family Safety/Stability Stress, COVID-Related Job/Financial Security Stress predicted psychological distress while COVID-Related Family Safety/Stability Stress predicted parent anxiety.
COVID-19 pandemic shifts in food-related parenting practices within an ethnically/racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of families of preschool-aged children

K. A. Loth; Z. Jib J. Wolfson; J. M. Berge (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Appetite
This study aimed to evaluate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on food parenting practices used by parents of young children. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) was used to evaluate parents’ use of coercive, indulgent, structured, and autonomy supportive food parenting practices before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse racial/ethnic sample (n = 72) of parents of preschool-aged children. The impact of parent and child mood/behavior on use of specific food parenting practices was also evaluated during both time periods.
31 - 45 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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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.