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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Multidimensional impacts of coronavirus pandemic in adolescents in Pakistan: a cross sectional research

AUTHOR(S)
Nazish Imran; Fauzia Naz; Muhammad Imran Sharif (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Plos One

COVID-19 has posed unique challenges for adolescents in different dimensions of their life including education, home and social life, mental and physical health. Whether the impact is positive or negative, its significance on the overall shaping of adolescents’ lives cannot be overlooked. The aim of the present study was to explore impacts of the pandemic on the adolescents’ everyday lives in Pakistan. Following ethical approval, this cross-sectional study was conducted through September to December, 2020 via an online survey on 842 adolescents with the mean age of 17.14 ± SD 1.48. Socio-demographic data and Epidemic Pandemic Impact Inventory-Adolescent Adaptation (EPII-A) was used to assess the multi-dimensional effects of the pandemic.

Associations between adolescents’ prosocial experiences and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lauren M. Alvis; Robyn D. Douglas; Natalie J. Shook (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Current Psychology
Natural disasters and times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, are extremely stressful events, with severe mental health consequences. However, such events also provide opportunities for prosocial support between citizens, which may be related to mental health symptoms and interpersonal needs. This study examined adolescents’ prosocial experiences as both actors and recipients during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and assessed whether these experiences were associated with indicators of mental health. Adolescents (N = 426; 78% female) aged 13 to 20 years (Mage = 16.43, SD = 1.10; 63.6% White, 12.9% Hispanic/Latinx, 8.5% Asian, 4.2% Black, 2.8% Native American) were recruited across the US in early April of 2020. Participants reported on their COVID-19 prosocial experiences (helping others, receiving help) and mental health (depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, burdensomeness, belongingness). Multiple regression models indicated greater engagement in COVID-19 prosocial behavior was associated with greater anxiety symptoms and greater burdensomeness.
Young people’s romantic relationships and sexual activity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Yarger; Abigail Gutmann-Gonzalez; Sarah Han (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health

Social distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may profoundly impact young people’s relationships. This study compared adolescent and young adults’ romantic relationships and sexual activity before and after social distancing policies were enacted. In June 2020, 351 youth participating in an ongoing intervention study in Fresno County, California completed an online survey about their experiences related to COVID-19. The survey included open and closed-ended questions about their romantic relationships, sexual activity, and online romantic or sexual interactions before and during social distancing restrictions. The chi-square test of independence was used to compare adolescent (ages 13–17) and young adults’ (ages 18–21) responses. Results were also compared to responses in the intervention study’s baseline survey.

Using fake news as means of cyber-bullying: The link with compulsive internet use and online moral disengagement

AUTHOR(S)
Alexandra Maftei; Andrei-Corneliu Holman; Ioan-Alex Merlici

Published: October 2021   Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
Online moral disengagement and cyberbullying can enhance fake news spreading. We explored the links between these variables and compulsive Internet use in a sample of 509 teenagers and adults aged 11 to 67. We investigated the effect of compulsive Internet use on cyberbullying through fake news creation and/or distribution, both direct and via moral disengagement, and the related differences between adults and teenagers. The indirect effect of compulsive Internet use on cyberbullying through moral disengagement was significant in adolescents, but not in adults. As assumed, teenagers scored significantly higher than adults on all the primary variables. Contrary to our expectations, no significant gender differences emerged, regardless of participants' age, in terms of compulsive Internet use, moral disengagement, nor cyberbullying. The results emphasize the importance of relevant online education programs designed to engage both teenagers and adults in critical thinking that might help in the fake news detection process, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Physically distant, virtually close: Adolescents’ sexting behaviors during a strict lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Chelly Maes; Laura Vandenbosch

Published: October 2021   Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
This study contextualizes Belgian adolescents' (12–18 years old) sexting behaviors between romantic and non-romantic partners during a strict lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey among 543 Belgian respondents (Mage = 15.29, 68% girls) showed that 40.9% of the adolescents engaged in at least one type of sexting (i.e., type one = textual, type two = visual content with underwear/swimwear, type three = visual depiction of private parts, type four = visual depiction of sexual acts). Arousal needs were the most common reasons to sext (M = 3.33, SD = 1.89). Generalized ordered logit analyses show that higher arousal needs were linked to higher frequencies of the first three sexting types. Relational affirmation needs were related to the engagement in sexting type two, whereas partner pressure was related to sexting type three and four. Regarding the latter, a significant link was also found with stress regulation. Conditional relations emerged according to adolescents' sex, developmental status, and relationship status. The current study's findings not only help to inform practitioners in terms of behavioral advice for future pandemics or periods after social isolation, but can also offer explanations for (changes in) adolescents' sexting behaviors after the pandemic and the possible dual nature of its effects.
Trust and well-being of postpartum women during the COVID-19 crisis: depression and fear of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Midori Matsushima; Kanami Tsuno; Sumiyo Okawa (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: SSM - Population Health
During crisis, trust has been found to have a buffering effect in the prevention of the deterioration of mental well-being, as trust is considered to reflect the individual's capability to gain social resources including both formal and informal support. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, political trust has been found to reduce anxiety. Taking these findings into account, this study explores the association of generalised and political trust with mental well-being on current postpartum women who were particularly at risk due to a decline in social support leaving them an increased burden of caring newborns during the pandemic.
‘Why is it so different now I’m bisexual?’: young bisexual people’s experiences of identity, belonging, self-injury, and COVID19

AUTHOR(S)
Brendan J. Dunlop; Cheryl Hunter; Matina Shafti (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Psychology & Sexuality
Bisexual people demonstrate higher rates of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in comparison to other groups. This study aimed to explore bisexual people’s experiences of sexuality, NSSI and the COVID19 pandemic. Fifteen bisexual people (16–25 years old) with experience of NSSI participated in online qualitative interviews. Thematic analysis was used. Preliminary findings were shared with a subset of participants for member-checking. Participants described experiences of falling between the binary worlds of heterosexuality and homosexuality and described discrimination and invalidation related to this. Lack of access to positive bisexual representation contributed to feelings of self-loathing, with NSSI used to manage emotions or self-punish. The effect of lockdown was not clear cut, depending on personal circumstances and meanings of social interaction for participants. There is a need for greater recognition of significant societal narratives around bisexuality within clinical formulations of mental health difficulties and NSSI within this population.
Prosocial skills development in children and social value creation during COVID‐19

AUTHOR(S)
Ahmad Arslan; Lauri Haapanen; Shlomo Tarba

Published: March 2021   Journal: Strategic Change
Development of prosocial skills in children in their middle childhood and the role of computer games is analyzed in our case study based on an entrepreneurial venture (School of Gaming, Oulu). This venture was launched almost at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe. It has operated successfully during COVID-19, not only in Finland but also has expanded to Indonesia in this limited time period. It created social value by offering the children a possibility to be with their friends during the lockdown as well as develop skills like empathy, sharing, and trust. The case study further revealed that affordable pricing, the use of professional gaming instructors and adaptation played an important role in organizational success during this tough time period.
Self-construction via texts: COVID-19 and child fiction

AUTHOR(S)
Malik Haroon Afzal

Published: February 2021   Journal: New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship
COVID-19 has re-shuffled human life in numerous ways. The ideology of restraint and social distancing is on top of all the changes gifted to mankind by the novel virus. In other words, social distancing as a ‘new normal’ has become an established reality. In this context, the study aims at exploring the mechanics of construction of this ‘new-normal’ via texts –literary and non-literary. According to new historicism, texts and co-texts are employed by power as tools to build as well as restraint a particular ideology. The paper aims at showing the treatment of COVID-19 by the literary texts produced during this vast human crisis particularly child fiction. It also re-validates the critique of new historicism in the under-discussion context. For this purpose, two short stories—Together by Kevin Poplawski and My Hero is You by UNICEF—have been analysed in the backdrop of the political (non-literary) discourse produced to combat COVID-19. The analysis, thus, finds the heavy reliance of world powers on literary and non-literary discourses for the inclusion of the ‘new normative’ of social distancing and personal care. It is also suggested that the pandemic has bestowed a relatively polite image to ‘power’ due to its efforts to construct the ‘new normal’ abiding selves and inoculate the ‘new normative of social distancing’ that ultimately favours humanity.
Advancing measurement and research on youths’ prosocial behavior in the digital age

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Armstrong‐Carter; Eva H. Telzer

Published: January 2021   Journal: Child Development Perspectives
Widespread access to digital and social media has drastically altered the nature of youth’s interpersonal connections. In this context, the opportunities children and adolescents have to help people around them are rapidly evolving. This article reviewed emerging literature on how digital media influences youth’s prosocial development in new ways. Then it proposed the next steps for advancing the field’s understanding of youth’s prosocial behavior in the digital age.
Physical activity and screen time of children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany: a natural experiment

AUTHOR(S)
Steffen C. E. Schmidt; Bastian Anedda; Alexander Burchartz (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Scientific Reports
The impact of COVID-19 on social life has been drastic and global. However, the different numbers of cases and different actions in different countries have been leading to various interesting yet unexplored effects on human behavior. In the present study, we compare the physical activity and recreational screen time of a representative sample of 1711 4- to 17-year-olds before and during the strictest time of the first COVID-19 lockdown in Germany. We found that sports activity declined whereas recreational screen time increased. However, a substantial increase in habitual physical activities leads to an overall increase in physical activity among children and adolescents in Germany. The effects differ in size but not in their direction between age groups and are stable for boys and girls. We conclude from this natural experiment that physical activity among children and adolescents is highly context-driven and mutual and does not act as a functional opposite to recreational screen time.
Countries embracing maternal employment have opened schools sooner after COVID-19 lockdowns

AUTHOR(S)
Ansgar Hudde; Natalie Nitsche

Published: September 2020
This study shows that societal gender ideology likely has affected school closure and opening policies. Societies that are more supportive of maternal employment have reopened schools significantly sooner than societies less supportive of maternal employment, relative to other opening measures and net of infection rates. The study contributes novel evidence on the role of attitudes on policy-decision making, and unveils the presence of a potential gender ideology bias in policy-makers’ ad-hoc decision-making under time pressure. The epidemic threat remains high and questions about the operation of schools continue to be a pressing matter. Considering this bias in decision-making can improve further policy-measures during the remainder of the pandemic, and beyond.
The effects of social deprivation on adolescent development and mental health

AUTHOR(S)
Amy Orben; Livia Tomova; Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Published: August 2020   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Adolescence (the stage between 10 and 24 years) is a period of life characterised by heightened sensitivity to social stimuli and the increased need for peer interaction. The physical distancing measures mandated globally to contain the spread of COVID-19 are radically reducing adolescents' opportunities to engage in face-to-face social contact outside their household. This study describes, from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, how social deprivation in adolescence might have far-reaching consequences. Human studies have shown the importance of peer acceptance and peer influence in adolescence. Animal research has shown that social deprivation and isolation have unique effects on brain and behaviour in adolescence compared with other stages of life. However, the decrease in adolescent face-to-face contact might be less detrimental due to widespread access to digital forms of social interaction through technologies such as social media. The findings reviewed highlight how physical distancing might have a disproportionate effect on an age group for whom peer interaction is a vital aspect of development.
Young people's views on their role in the COVID-19 pandemic and society's recovery from it

AUTHOR(S)
Vic Larcher; Mariana Dittborn; James Linthicum (et al.)

Published: August 2020   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood
This paper aims to show how young people see their role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monitoring COVID-19 Impact on households in Mongolia
Institution: The World Bank
Published: July 2020
To monitor the household-level impacts of COVID-19, the National Statistics Office of Mongolia (NSO) and the World Bank have implemented a joint COVID-19 Household Response Phone Survey (HRPS) on a national sample of 1,334 households.
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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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