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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 289
Remote evaluations of violence against women and girls interventions: a rapid scoping review of tools, ethics and safety

AUTHOR(S)
Ilana Seff; Luissa Vahedi; Samantha McNelly (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMJ Global Health
Although programmes and policies targeting violence against women and girls (VAWG) have increased in the past decade, there is a paucity of evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions. To expand this evidence base, researchers increasingly employ remote data collection (RDC)—including online surveys, mobile applications and telephone interviews—in their evaluations. Although RDC allows for evaluations without in-person interactions—which are restricted during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic— information about these methods is necessary to understand their potential usefulness and limitations. This scoping review examines remote evaluations of VAWG interventions to describe the landscape of RDC methods, reflect on safety and ethical considerations, and offer best practices for RDC in VAWG research. Fourteen studies met eligibility criteria, with seven, five, and two studies employing telephone interviews, online surveys, and mobile applications, respectively.
Global estimates of the implications of COVID-19-related preprimary school closures for children’s instructional access, development, learning, and economic wellbeing
Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Development
Observational data collected prior to the pandemic (between 2004 and 2019) were used to simulate the potential consequences of early childhood care and education (ECCE) service closures on the estimated 167 million preprimary-age children in 196 countries who lost ECCE access between March 2020 and February 2021. COVID-19-related ECCE disruptions were estimated to result in 19.01 billion person-days of ECCE instruction lost, 10.75 million additional children falling “off track” in their early development, 14.18 million grades of learning lost by adolescence, and a present discounted value of USD 308.02 billion of earnings lost in adulthood. Further burdens associated with ongoing closures were also forecasted. Projected developmental and learning losses were concentrated in low- and lower middle-income countries, likely exacerbating long-standing global inequities.
Parents’ self-reported psychological impacts of COVID-19: associations with parental burnout, child behavior, and income

AUTHOR(S)
Margaret L Kerr; Kerrie A. Fanning; Tuyen Huynh (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Psychology

The current study investigates associations between parents’ perceived coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) psychological impacts and experiences of parental burnout, children’s behaviors, and income. Data were collected during an online survey of parents’ (N = 1000) pandemic experiences in April 2020. Parents (M = 36.5 years old, SD = 6.0; 82.1% White) with at least one child 12 years or younger reported on measures of mental health, perceived COVID-19 impacts, parental burnout, and perceived increases in children’s stress and positive behaviors.

Are working children in developing countries hidden victims of pandemics?

AUTHOR(S)
Polyxeni Kechagia; Theodore Metaxas (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Social Sciences
The consequences of the recent pandemic have been disproportionately disruptive to several social groups, including children. As developing economies have been firefighting the recent pandemic, the welfare of minors could be affected and children’s economic exploitation and abuse could increase. Therefore, the present research aims to shed light on and to investigate the association between child labour in developing countries and pandemics, including the coronavirus, through conducting a systematic literature review on previous empirical studies. The present research concludes that previous studies on non-COVID-19 pandemics have mainly focused on the African economies, while studies on the recent pandemic have focused on Asian countries. In addition, differences were observed in relation to the methodological approaches and the characteristics of minor employees and the protection services in certain countries have proven to be insufficient.
Time spent on school-related activities at home during the pandemic: a longitudinal analysis of social group inequality among secondary school students

AUTHOR(S)
Sabine Zinn; Michael Bayer (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Substantial educational inequalities have been documented in Germany for decades. This article examines whether educational inequalities among children have increased or remained the same since the school closures of spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its perspective is longitudinal: It compares the amount of time children in secondary schools spent on school-related activities at home before the pandemic, during school closures, and immediately after returning to in-person learning. This study operationalizes family socio-economic status using the highest parental educational attainment. Based on the theoretical assumption that the pandemic affected everyone equally, it formulates a hypothesis of equalization during the first period of school closures.
Depressed and socioeconomically disadvantaged mothers’ progression into a randomized controlled mobile mental health and parenting intervention: a descriptive examination prior to and during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Kathleen M. Baggett; Betsy Davis; Elizabeth A. Mosley (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
Infants of low-income and depressed mothers are at high risk for poor developmental outcomes. Early parenting mediates infant experiences from birth, and early intervention can support sensitive and responsive parent practices that optimize infant outcomes via promoting developmental competencies. However, low-income and depressed mothers experience substantial challenges to participating in early intervention. They also have extremely limited access to interventions targeting depression. Interventions targeting maternal depression and parent practices can improve maternal and infant outcomes. Mobile internet-based interventions overcome numerous barriers that low-resource mothers face in accessing home-based interventions. Pandemic-related stressors likely reduce family resources and exacerbate distress of already heavily-burdened mother-infant dyads. During crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence-based remote coaching interventions are paramount. This article reports on a mobile intervention for improving maternal mood and increasing parent practices that promote infant development. An ongoing randomized controlled trial study provided a unique opportunity to monitor progression from referral to intervention initiation between two groups of depressed mothers: those prior to the pandemic and during the pandemic. The study also examines mother and infant characteristics at baseline. The sample consisted primarily of Black mothers experiencing extreme poverty who self-referred to the study in a large southern city, which is one of the most income disparate in the United States.
The impact of Corona pandemic on consumer's food consumption

AUTHOR(S)
Adriano Profeta; Shahida Anusha Siddiqui; Sergiy Smetana (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety
The ongoing corona crisis afected many people worldwide by restrictions in their everyday lives. The question arises to what extent the pandemic has accelerated diet trends or general diferences in food consumption between diferent population groups. For this purpose, an online-survey was carried out in order to determine the efects of the corona lockdown on food consumption, shopping behaviour and eating habits in Germany. The aspects of sustainability and health were given special consideration in this study, refecting people choices of healthier and more environmentally conscious foods. This study demonstrates that the corona pandemic has a signifcant impact on consumers’ eating habits. More food was eaten, and more convenience products such as ready-made meals and canned food with a longer shelf life were purchased. The consumption of alcohol and sweets has also increased. In return, there was a reduced consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The fndings reveal that families who are fnancially afected by the pandemic represent a vulnerable group. With the ongoing pandemic, possible lockdowns, corona-related closings of schools and kindergartens, severe health consequences are expected long term, especially for this population group.
The impact of financial and psychological wellbeing on children’s physical activity and screen-based activities during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Louise C. Mâsse; Iyoma Y. Edache; Mark Pitblado (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health measures to combat it, have strained the finances of many families. While parents transitioned to working from home, children transitioned to learning virtually, limiting their organized social and physical activities. Families also reduced the frequency and size of gatherings, impacting psychological wellbeing. This study sought to understand the influence of financial wellbeing on children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities via mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing. In May and June of 2020, 254 Grade 7 Canadian children and their mothers completed separate online surveys assessing family financial wellbeing, mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing, and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the indirect effects of mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing on the relationship between financial wellbeing and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Final models were adjusted for potential confounders.
Changes in adolescents’ psychosocial functioning and well-being as a consequence of long-term COVID-19 restrictions

AUTHOR(S)
Nóra Kerekes; Kourosh Bador; Anis Sfendla (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
This work studied self-reports from adolescents on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their behaviors, relationships, mood, and victimization. Data collection was conducted between September 2020 and February 2021 in five countries (Sweden, the USA, Serbia, Morocco, and Vietnam). In total, 5114 high school students (aged 15 to 19 years, 61.8% females) responded to our electronic survey. A substantial proportion of students reported decreased time being outside (41.7%), meeting friends in real life (59.4%), and school performance (30.7%), while reporting increased time to do things they did not have time for before (49.3%) and using social media to stay connected (44.9%). One third of the adolescents increased exercise and felt that they have more control over their life. Only a small proportion of adolescents reported substance use, norm-breaking behaviors, or victimization. The overall COVID-19 impact on adolescent life was gender-specific: we found a stronger negative impact on female students. The results indicated that the majority of adolescents could adapt to the dramatic changes in their environment. However, healthcare institutions, municipalities, schools, and social services could benefit from the findings of this study in their work to meet the needs of those young people who signaled worsened psychosocial functioning, increased stress, and victimization.
Examining the role of psychosocial influences on black maternal health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Keri Carvalho; Anna Kheyfets; Blessing Lawrence (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Maternal and Child Health Journal

Due to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, racial disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity are likely to increase. However, neighborhood and social support factors have yet to be discussed as potential mechanisms by which COVID-19 can exacerbate racial disparities. This study examined literature on the role of neighborhood factors and social support on maternal health outcomes and provided analytical perspective on the potential impacts of COVID-19 on Black birthing people.

The exacerbated prevalence of acute malnutrition and growth retardation in Roma children living in camps

AUTHOR(S)
Rosaria Giampaolo; Rosaria Marotta; Francesco Saverio Biagiarelli (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Italian Journal of Pediatrics

Child malnutrition is still a concern in marginalized groups of populations, such as immigrants living in very low socio-economic conditions. Roma children are within the most hard-to-reach populations, susceptible to undernutrition and growth retardation. In the city of Rome (Italy), the Hospital “Bambino Gesù”, in collaboration with the Catholic Association Community of Saint’Egidio, is dedicating free services for the health and nutritional needs of vulnerable people. A retrospective analysis was conducted on immigrant children visited at different ages (0–11 years old). Records including nutritional and growth assessment were collected from 2016 up to May 2020. Malnutrition was classified following the WHO 2006 standards. Data for Roma children living in extra-urban camps and non-Roma immigrant children living in urban areas were analyzed, odds ratios and univariate binary regressions were performed to investigate the risk of malnutrition within the two groups.

The impact of Covid-19 on education equity: a view from Barbados and Jamaica

AUTHOR(S)
Stacey N. J. Blackman

Published: August 2021   Journal: Prospects
The outbreak of Covid-19 worldwide has presented an unprecedented challenge for the equity-in-education agenda, especially in developing countries of the Global South (e.g., the English-speaking Caribbean). This article examines the impact school closures have had in Jamaica and Barbados, and highlights the emerging disparities the global pandemic has had on education. The central organizing questions are as follows: Who was affected by school closures in Barbados and Jamaica? How did the Ministries of Education (MOEs) support curriculum and instruction during the pandemic? What challenges does Covid-19 present for MOEs? What are the implications for education after Covid-19? School closure data suggest a gender disparity, with more males than females out of school due to Covid-19 from preprimary to secondary school in Barbados and Jamaica. MOEs in the region responded to school closures primarily by increasing access to technology to facilitate remote learning. Some of the challenges with continuing education for students during Covid-19 were due to a lack of infrastructure and amenities to support remote learning. Implications for education post-Covid-19 are considered.
How to assess the child poverty and distributional impact of COVID-19 using household budget surveys: an application using Turkish data

AUTHOR(S)
Meltem A. Aran; Nazli Aktakke; Zehra Sena Kibar (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: The European Journal of Development Research
This study presents a methodology to predict the child poverty impact of COVID19 that can be readily applied in other country contexts where similar household data are available—and illustrates this case using data from Turkey. Using Household Budget Survey 2018, the microsimulation model estimates the impact of labour income loss on household expenditures, considering that some types of jobs/sectors may be more vulnerable than others to the COVID-19 shock. Labour income loss is estimated to lead to reductions in monthly household expenditure using an income elasticity model, and expenditure-based child poverty is found to increase in Turkey by 4.9–9.3 percentage points (depending on shock severity) from a base level of 15.4%. Among the hypothetical cash transfer scenarios considered, the universal child grant for 0–17 years old children was found to have the highest child poverty reduction impact overall, while schemes targeting the bottom 20–30% of households are more cost-efective in terms of poverty reduction. The microsimulation model set out in this paper can be readily replicated in countries where similar Household Budget Surveys are available.
Socioeconomic inequalities in low birth weight risk before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Argentina: a cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Eduardo Cuestas; Martha E. Gómez-Flores; María D. Charras (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have exacerbated existing socioeconomic inequalities in health. In Argentina, public hospitals serve the poorest uninsured segment of the population, while private hospitals serve patients with health insurance. This study aimed to assess whether socioeconomic inequalities in low birth weight (LBW) risk changed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This multicenter cross-sectional study included 15929 infants. A difference-in-difference (DID) analysis of socioeconomic inequalities between public and private hospitals in LBW risk in a pandemic cohort (March 20 to July 19, 2020) was compared with a prepandemic cohort (March 20 to July 19, 2019) by using medical records obtained from ten hospitals.

Uncertain pathways: how gender shapes the experiences of children on the move

AUTHOR(S)
Jan Beise; Danzhen You (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2021

Age plays a critical role in a child’s migration, but how will gender mediate that experience? Which gender-specific vulnerabilities, needs, and opportunities influence the lives of girls and boys on the move? This report reviews the existing evidence base – official statistics and quantitative and qualitative studies from the community level to the global level – to shed light on these important questions. Examining the available information not only indicates where and how children on the move need targeted resources, support and protection, but also pinpoints areas needing further investigation. Available data and research demonstrate that gender plays a pivotal role from the time the decision to leave home is made, and continues to shape experiences and vulnerabilities throughout the child’s journey and integration process at the destination. COVID-19 has added another layer of complexity to the lives of children on the move, exacerbating pre-existing insecurities in some dimensions and introducing new ones. Girls in particular are feeling many of these effects acutely, such as gender-based violence.

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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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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.