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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 189
Youth athletes sleep more, practice less, and may lose interest in playing sports due to social distancing mandates

Henry B. Ellis; Sophia M. Ulman; K. John Wagner (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
In-person sport participation was suspended across the United States in the spring of 2020 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The purpose of this study was to survey the impact of COVID-19 on young athletes during a period of social and organized sports restrictions. An anonymous cross-sectional survey study was conducted of youth athletes in the midst of social distancing mandates and consisted of six components: demographics, sport participation, changes in sport-related goals/aspirations, sleep habits, and measures of anxiety and depression. 711 individuals who accessed the survey link yielded 575 (81%) participants with responses available for analysis. All respondents (aged 13.0 years) played organized sports, 62% were single-sport athletes, and 74% considered high-level. Participants were training ∼3.3 h less per week, spending more time outside, and 86% of participants continued to train while social distancing.
Effects of COVID-19 home confinement on sleep in children: a systematic review

Lucia Rocío Camacho-Montaño; Alex Iranzo; Rosa María Martínez-Piédrola (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Sleep Medicine Reviews
This study aimed to examine the evidence of the effects of coronavirus disease confinement on the sleep of children aged 12 years and younger. A systematic review was conducted following the recommendations for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. MEDLINE, Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Excerpta Medica Database, Psychological Information Database, and Web Of Science were systematically searched between the period of January 2020 and March 2021. The quality assessment was analysed with the Newcastle–Ottawa quality assessment scale and the National Institutes of Health quality assessment tool for observational cohort and cross-sectional studies. The appraisal tool for cross-sectional studies was applied to cross-sectional studies and each longitudinal study was assessed with the critical appraisal skills programme.
Development of brief video intervention to promote physical activity among children during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Natasha Kane; Misti Neutzling; Sara M. St. George

Published: February 2022   Journal: American Journal of Health Education

Obesity and physical inactivity are serious public health concerns in the United States (US) and globally. COVID-19 restrictions are resulting in decreased physical activity (PA) levels among children. This study aims to determine barriers and challenges to PA promotion among children during COVID-19 and inform a PA promotion video. An explanatory sequential mixed methods approach was used to collect data from adults who have influence over the PA levels of children. Analysis included descriptive statistics of the quantitative data and a rapid qualitative analysis of qualitative data.

Stress level to dietary habits among adolescent in Indonesia during COVID 19 outbreak: a nationwide survey

Andi Eka Yunianto; Dzul Fadly; Asepsuryana Abdurrahmat (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences

To  suppress  the  COVID-19  transmissions,  almost  all  activities  related  to  physical  and  social activities between individuals are restricted. Activity restrictions such as lockdowns or physical-social distancing can trigger an elevation in stress. This study aimed to determine the correlation between stress levels and food habits among adolescents in Indonesia. This cross-sectional study was conducted through an online questionnaire involving 5924 adolescents in all regions in Indonesia using the snowball sampling technique.

COVID-19–related life experiences, outdoor play, and long-term adiposity changes among preschool- and school-aged children in Singapore 1 year after lockdown

Ka Kei Sum; Shirong Cai; Evelyn Law (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: JAMA Pediatrics

Despite the potential for COVID-19 infection control–related events to have an effect on child well-being, comprehensive assessments of postlockdown changes and persistent outcomes are lacking. This paper aims to survey the extent of COVID-19 lockdown–related lifestyle changes, their differences by child age and family socioeconomic status, and the potential association with child adiposity 1 year after lockdown.  A self-administered, electronic survey was introduced to 2 ongoing child cohorts (the Singapore Preconception Study of Long-term Maternal and Child Outcomes [S-PRESTO] cohort of preschool children aged 1-4.5 years and the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes [GUSTO] cohort of primary school children aged 9-10.7 years) from July 8, 2020, to September 5, 2020, which was 1 to 3 months after the end of strict universal movement restrictions (duration of 73 days ending on June 19, 2020). All active participants from S-PRESTO and GUSTO, 2 population-based, longitudinal, parent-offspring cohorts in Singapore, were invited to participate and monitored through June 15, 2021.

Socioecological correlates associated with muscle-strengthening exercise at home during COVID-19 among adolescents: the our life at home study

Kate Parker; Jo Salmon; Nicola D. Ridgers (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Sports Sciences
This study examined adolescent muscle-strengthening exercise (MSE) participation at home and associated socioecological correlates during Australia’s initial COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Adolescents (N = 731, Mage = 16.3, SD = 1.2 years, 73% female) self-reported their MSE participation in February 2020 (pre-lockdown; at a gym or at home) and April/May (during lockdown; at home only as gyms were closed). They also reported a range of potential individual, family, and home environment correlates. Remoteness and area-level socioeconomic disadvantage were also considered. Logistic regression models examined potential correlates of participation in any MSE and MSE engagement ≥3 times/week during April/May. Fewer adolescents participated in MSE during April/May (48%) than February (54%), however, the proportions that engaged in MSE ≥3 times/week were the same (30%). Prioritising being active every day (OR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.52, 3.90), being active with sibling/s ≥ 5 days/week (OR = 2.24, 95% CI = 1.00, 5.00) and access to weights at home (OR = 2.98, 95% CI = 1.94, 4.57) were associated with higher odds of any MSE participation at home during April/May. These variables were also positively associated with MSE participation at home ≥3 times/week. Understanding how to support adolescents to prioritise being active, engage in MSE with siblings, and provide equipment may assist adolescents to engage in home-based MSE.
Acceleration in BMI gain following COVID-19 restrictions: a longitudinal study with 7- to 10-year-old primary school children

Gerald Jarnig; Johannes Jaunig; Reinhold Kerbl (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Pediatric Obesity

The ramifications of COVID-19 restrictions might accelerate the already rising proportion of children with overweight or obesity. This study aimed to assess the association between COVID-19 restrictions and changes in body mass index (BMI) and the proportion of children with overweight or obesity. Cohort study with baseline measurements in September 2019 (prior to COVID-19 restrictions) and follow-up in June 2020, September 2020, and March 2021 at 12 primary schools in Austria. The height and weight of 738 children aged 7 to 10 years were measured and age- and sex-specific national and international standardized values were calculated. Changes over time were analysed by analysis of variance.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 17 | Issue: 3 | No. of pages: 10 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: behavioural change, child health, child nutrition, COVID-19 response, food, lockdown, obesity, physical activity | Countries: Austria
Effects of physical exercise on the body composition and conditional physical capacities of school children during confinement by COVID-19

María Helena Audor González; Piedad Rocio Lerma Castaño; Elizabeth Roldán González

Published: January 2022   Journal: Global Pediatric Health
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the countries announced the temporary closure of schools, opting to continue classes virtually, affecting children’s lifestyles, primarily by reducing the practice of physical activity and sport, which becomes a risk factor for the development of obesity and overweight. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of physical exercise on body composition in a sample of school-age children during confinement by COVID-19. A quantitative approach study and quasi-experimental design with pre-test and post-test. The sample consisted of 70 school-age children from 8 to 12 years old who were randomly assigned to 2 groups: the experimental group (GE: 35), who received an aerobic and anaerobic physical exercise program 3 times a day. With a duration of 60 minutes for 10 weeks in a virtual way and a control group (CG: 35) that received only the physical education class.
Changes in children’s self-perceived physical fitness: results from a physical education internet-based intervention in COVID-19 school lockdown

Vanilson Batista Lemes; Camila Felin Fochesatto; Caroline Brand (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Sport Sciences for Health

Children have a higher chance of decreasing health-related physical fitness during periods of school lockdown due to pandemic situations such as with COVID-19 disease. This paper aims to establish the changes in children’s self-perceived physical fitness (SPPF) during pandemic COVID-19 social distancing in a school lockdown and to describe the individual prevalence of changes in SPPF according to sex. It is an intervention study with a convenient sample, 67 children (6–13 years old; 50.7% girls). An intervention occurred according to the Brazilian Base Nacional Comum Curricular (BNCC) and the State Education Secretary orientations for remote Physical Education classes. SPPF was evaluated through a questionnaire (QAPA). Generalized estimative equations (GEE) and the prevalence of changes in individual score delta (Δ) from baseline to follow-up determined the effects.

Back to school after lockdown: The effect of COVID-19 restrictions on children's device-based physical activity metrics

Liezel Hurter; Melitta McNarry; Gareth Stratton (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Sport and Health Science

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and national lockdowns took away opportunities for children to be physically active. This study aimed to determine the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on accelerometer-assessed physical activity (PA) in children in Wales. 800 participants (8–18 years old), stratified by sex, age, and socio-economic status, wore Axivity AX3 accelerometers for 7 days in February 2021, during the lockdown, and in May 2021, while in school. Raw accelerometer data were processed in R-package GGIR, and cut-point data, average acceleration (AvAcc), intensity gradient (IG), and MX metrics were extracted. Linear mixed models were used to assess the influence of time-point, sex, age, and SES on PA.

The effect of two lockdowns on physical activity of school-age children

Olena Yelizarova; Tetyana Stankevych; Alla Paratsa

Published: January 2022   Journal: Sports Medicine and Health Science
The introduction of strict quarantine restrictions in many countries initiated a direction in science to study the behavioral characteristics of children and adolescents during the social isolation at the population level. The observations made during the two lockdowns in Ukraine are presented here. The objective of this study was to determine: a) the level of light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) physical activity among school-age children, and b) the impact of the external and internal factors to their physical activity during the lockdown. Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) as part of our questionnaire Q-RAPH was used. Parents of 1091 children 6–18 years old (54% boys) filled Q-RAPH at two measurement points in 2020 and 2021.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on movement behaviours of children and adolescents: a systematic review

Madhu Kharel; Jennifer Lisa Sakamoto; Rogie Royce Carandang (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: BMJ Global Health
Several studies have examined how the lockdown restrictions enforced to halt the spread of COVID-19 have affected children and adolescents’ movement behaviours, but there is a need to synthesise these findings. Therefore, this systematic review aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on children and adolescents’ movement behaviours. It searched eight databases and grey literature for relevant studies of all study designs; and conducted a narrative analysis of the results following synthesis without meta-analysis guidelines. It used appropriate tools to assess the risk of bias in quantitative and qualitative studies. It compared changes in physical activity, screen time and sleep duration and quality from before to during the COVID-19 lockdown.
COVID-19 and children’s screen time in Ceará, Brazil: a repeated cross-sectional survey

Hermano Alexandre Lima Rocha; Luciano Lima Correia; Álvaro Jorge Madeiro Leite (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Children and Media
The present study assessed changes in screen time exposure among 3–6-year-old children in Ceará, Brazil, in 2017 and in 2020 during the pandemic. Data from a state-wide repeated cross-sectional survey were analyzed. The COVID impact research was conducted by phone interviews. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines were used to define elevated screen exposure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of children with screen exposure above recommended levels was 96.8% among 3–4-year-old and 84.2% among 5–6-year-old children. There was a significant increase in proportion of 3–4-year-old children with elevated screen time (risk difference 15.8%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 12.3–19.2; p-value < 0.001). Children participating in remote learning activities had significantly lower television time with a mean difference of −0.8 hours daily (95% CI −0.3 – −1.3; p-value: 0.003) as compared to children not participating in remote learning. The necessary COVID-19 response measures appear to increase screen time among 3–6-year-old children in Ceará, Brazil. Interventions to reduce excess screen time, potentially participation in remote early learning activities should be developed and evaluated in Brazil.
What are the kids doing? Exploring young children's activities at home and relations with externally cued executive function and child temperament

Nicole J. Stucke; Gijsbert Stoet; Sabine Doebel

Published: January 2022   Journal: Developmental Science
Young children spend a lot of time at home, yet there is little empirical research on how they spend that time and how it relates to developmental outcomes. Prior research suggests less-structured time—where children practice making choices and setting goals—may develop self-directed executive function in 6-year-olds. But less-structured time may be related to executive function for other reasons—for example, because it provides opportunities to acquire conceptual knowledge relevant to using executive function on tasks. This study thus tested the possibility that less-structured time is also related to younger children's externally cued executive function. In this remote online study, caregivers of 93 3- to 5-year-olds indicated the amount of time their child was typically spending in various activities while at home during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities were categorized as structured (primarily lessons with specific goals defined by adults or an app), less-structured (wide range of activities permitting choice and interaction with caregiver), passive (e.g., watching TV or videos), and primarily physical (e.g., bike riding).
Pandemic-associated mental health changes in youth with neuroinflammatory disorders

Lindsey M. Logan; Samantha Stephens; Beyza Ciftci-Kavaklioglu (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders

Children with neuroinflammatory disorders have high rates of anxiety and depression, alongside low rates of physical activity. Given general concerns for mental and physical health in children during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, this study sought to understand how sleep, anxiety, depression, and physical activity changed with the lockdown in children with neuroinflammatory disorders. It hypothesized that outcomes would worsen during the lockdown, and that they would differ by underlying disorder category and age. Patients attending a specialized neuroinflammatory clinic (n = 314) completed questionnaires (n = 821 responses; Jan 2017-Aug 2020) assessing sleep, anxiety, depression, and physical activity. Respondents had either: childhood-onset chronic or recurrent neuroinflammatory disorders (CRNI), a history of Autoimmune Encephalitis (AE) or Monophasic Acquired Demyelinating Syndromes (monoADS). We performed linear mixed models to examine the association between our outcome measures (sleep, anxiety, depression, and physical activity) and categories of disorder type, sex, age, physical activity, relapses, and time (pre- vs. post- COVID-19 lockdown). Participant ID acted as a random effect, to account for repeated measures.

31 - 45 of 189

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.