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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 138
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment situation and financial well-being of families with children in Austria: evidence from the first ten months of the crisis

AUTHOR(S)
Nadia Steiber; Christina Siegert; Stefan Vogtenhuber

Published: April 2022   Journal: JFR : Journal of Family Research

 This study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment situation of parents and in turn on the subjective financial well-being of families with children in Austria. The pandemic had strong repercussions on the Austrian labour market. The short-time work (STW) programme covered a third of employees in the first half of 2020 and helped to maintain employment levels. This study provides evidence on how an unprecedented labour market crisis of this sort and in particular the exceptionally wide use of STW had affected the employment situation of parents and the financial well-being of different types of families.

Inequalities in the distribution of COVID-19 related financial difficulties for Australian families with young children

AUTHOR(S)
Meredith O'Connor; Christopher J. Greenwood; Primrose Letcher (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child

This study examined (1) the frequency of financial difficulties in Australian families with young children (0–8 years) in the early and later phases of the pandemic; (2) the extent to which parents' pre-pandemic socio-economic disadvantage (SED) predicted financial difficulties; and (3) whether grandparent intergenerational SED further amplified this risk. Australian Temperament Project (ATP; established 1983, N = 2443) and ATP Generation 3 study (ATPG3; established 2012; N = 702), of which 74% (N = 553) completed a COVID-specific module in the early (May–September 2020) and/or later (October–December 2021) phases of the pandemic. Outcomes: Parent-reported loss of employment/reduced income, difficulty paying for essentials, and financial strain. Exposures: Pre-pandemic parent and grandparent education and occupation. Analysis: Logistic regressions, estimated via generalized estimating equations, were used to examine associations between the pre-pandemic SED of parents and grandparents and their interaction with financial difficulties, adjusting for potential confounders.

“Showing Everybody’s True Colors”: Informal networks of low-income single mothers and their young children during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Melissa Radey; Sarah Lowe; Lisa Langenderfer-Magruder (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
Extensive evidence suggests low-income mothers depend upon their families and friends for emotional, practical, and economic support in times of need. This is the first study to examine the operation of low-income mothers’ informal support networks and the impact of such networks on maternal well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. We interviewed low-income, single mothers of young children (<12 years; N = 34) twice over Summer 2020 to consider mothers’ decisions around network engagement and how their interactions contributed to their well-being.
Poverty and food insecurity during COVID-19: phone-survey evidence from rural and urban Myanmar in 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Derek Headey; Sophie Goudet; Isabel Lambrecht (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Global Food Security
Myanmar first experienced the COVID-19 crisis as a relatively brief economic shock in early 2020, before the economy was later engulfed by a prolonged surge in COVID-19 cases from September 2020 onwards. To analyze poverty and food security in Myanmar during 2020 we surveyed over 2000 households per month from June–December in urban Yangon and the rural dry zone. By June, households had suffered dramatic increases in poverty, but even steeper increases accompanied the rise in COVID-19 cases from September onwards. Increases in poverty were much larger in urban areas, although poverty was always more prevalent in the rural sample. However, urban households were twice as likely to report food insecurity experiences, suggesting rural populations felt less food insecure throughout the crisis.
The unintended consequences of school closures during COVID-19 on children and young people’s physical health rights -what are they and how can they be mitigated?

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe Picton-Howell

Published: March 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
This paper examines the unintended consequences of emergency school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the impact of these closures on children and young people’s United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and wider physical health rights. It addresses how States Parties should address and balance these rights during a crisis. It then contextualises the school closures, using global data mainly collated by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), exploring the direct health risk to children and young people from COVID-19 and the risk they posed to the wider community, finding both low. It then draws on findings from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Scotland’s COVID-19 Independent Children and Young People’s Rights Assessment (ICRA) and wider literature identifying numerous unintended rights breaches, focusing on the rights breaches experienced by three particularly vulnerable groups of children and young people, namely those (i) at risk of physical or sexual violence; (ii) with additional support needs; and (iii) experiencing poverty and deprivation. Recommendations are made as to how to avoid breaching children and young peoples’ physical health rights in future emergency school closures.
The impact of COVID-19 on the welfare of households with children: an overview based on High Frequency Phone Surveys
Institution: *UNICEF, The World Bank
Published: March 2022

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been widespread and disproportionately affected vulnerable segments of the population, including children and their families. The modest progress made in reducing child poverty has been reversed in all parts of the world by COVID-19. Impact of COVID-19 on the welfare of households with children – a joint World Bank and UNICEF publication - presents findings from data from high frequency phone surveys collected in 35 countries. The analysis identifies the impact of the crisis on households without and with (few or many) children, both focusing on the initial impact in 2020 but also the subsequent evolution of this impact. The analysis focus on key areas such as income and job loss, food insecurity, social protection programs and access to education, shedding light on the importance of placing children in poverty and their families highly on the agenda in the COVID-19 response and recovery.

The most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2021
Institution: CARE
Published: January 2022

In collaboration with the media monitoring service Meltwater, CARE analysed the humanitarian crises that received the least media attention in 2021. More than 1.8 million online articles were analysed between 1st January and 30th September 2021. To do this, we identified the countries where at least one million people were affected by conflict or climate-related disasters. The total number of people affected by each crisis is derived from data from ACAPS, Reliefweb and CARE. The result – a list of 40 crises – was subjected to media analysis and ranked by the number of online articles published on the topic. This report summarises the ten crises that received the least attention.

Inequality kills: The unparalleled action needed to combat unprecedented inequality in the wake of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Nabil Ahmed; Anna Marriott; Nafkote Dabi (et al.)

Institution: Oxfam
Published: January 2022

The wealth of the  world’s 10 richest men has doubled since the pandemic began. The incomes of 99% of humanity are worse off because of COVID-19. Widening economic, gender, and racial inequalities—as well as the inequality that exists between countries—are tearing our world apart. This is not by chance, but choice: “economic violence” is perpetrated when structural policy choices are made for the richest and most powerful people. This causes direct harm to us all, and to the poorest people, women and girls, and racialized groups most. Inequality contributes to the death of at least one person every four seconds. But it is possible to radically redesign our economies to be centered on equality. It is possible to claw back extreme wealth through progressive taxation; invest in powerful, proven inequality-busting public measures; and boldly shift power in the economy and society. If we are courageous, and listen to the movements demanding change, we can create an economy in which nobody lives in poverty, nor with unimaginable billionaire wealth—in which inequality no longer kills.

Levels & trends in child mortality report 2021
Institution: *UNICEF, The World Bank, World Health Organisation
Published: December 2021

While the world was gripped by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, children continued to face the same crisis they have for decades: intolerably high mortality rates and vastly inequitable chances at life. In total, more than 5.0 million children under age 5, including 2.4 million newborns, along with 2.2 million children and youth aged 5 to 24 years – 43 per cent of whom are adolescents – died in 2020. This tragic and massive loss of life, most of which was due to preventable or treatable causes, is a stark reminder of the urgent need to end preventable deaths of children and young people. Data gaps remain a serious challenge to child mortality estimation and monitoring. Almost two thirds of low and middle income countries (97 out of 135) have no reliable mortality data in the past three years. And just 40 countries had high-quality national data for 2020 included in the estimation model, though national or subnational data were available for more than 80 countries or areas to help analyse excess mortality due to COVID-19.

Pre-pandemic to early-pandemic changes in risk of household food insecurity among Maryland families with children

AUTHOR(S)
Alysse J. Kowalski; Ann Pulling Kuhn; Hannah G. Lane (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

The objective of this study was to examine risk and protective factors associated with pre- to early-pandemic changes in risk of household food insecurity (FI). Families from two statewide studies (2017-2020) in an observational cohort (May-August 2020) were re-enrolled. Caregivers reported on risk of household FI, demographics, pandemic-related hardships, and participation in safety net programs (e.g. CARES stimulus payment, school meals).

Reigniting opportunities for children in South Asia regional flagship report
Published: December 2021

Released to coincide with the 75th anniversary of UNICEF’s creation in 1946, the report, “Reigniting Opportunities for Children in South Asia,” highlights the terrible price children are paying not only as a result of COVID-19 but due to the climate crisis and humanitarian disasters affecting the region. Such has been the impact on children’s education, health care, nutrition, and protection services that the hopes and futures of an entire generation are at risk. In developed countries, COVID-19 vaccination rates are steadily increasing, and wealthier economies are recovering. But in South Asia, the picture remains bleak. Just 30 per cent of people in South Asia are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving families dangerously unprotected as new variants continue to emerge. While the region braces itself for future waves of the virus, more children and families are slipping into poverty.

Preventing a lost decade: urgent action to reverse the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children and young people
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: December 2021

Almost two years into the pandemic, the widespread impact of COVID-19 continues to deepen, increasing poverty and entrenching inequality. While some countries are recovering and rebuilding in a ‘new normal’, for many, COVID-19 remains a crisis. The human rights of all children are under threat to a degree that has not been seen in more than a generation. The global response so far has been deeply unequal and inadequate. The world now stands at a crossroads. The actions we take now will determine the well-being and rights of children for years to come. As we commemorate UNICEF’s 75th year, this report lays out the work in front of us by taking stock of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on children and the road to respond and recover to reimagine the future for every child.

Projecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child marriage

AUTHOR(S)
Joshua Yukich; Matt Worges; Anastasia J. Gage (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

The study projects the potential impact of COVID-19 on child marriage in the five countries in which the burden of child marriage is the largest: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria. The projected impact of the pandemic on child marriage is based on a Markov model. A review of empirical and theoretical literature informed construction and parameter estimates of five pathways through which we expect an elevated marriage hazard: death of a parent, interruption of education, pregnancy risk, household income shocks, and reduced access to programs and services. Models are produced for an unmitigated scenario and a mitigated scenario in which effective interventions are applied to reduce the impact.

Early childhood teachers of color in New York City: heightened stress, lower quality of life, declining health, and compromised sleep amidst COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Mariana Souto-Manning; Samantha A. Melvin

Published: November 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to mitigate its spread affected every facet of education and society. The closure of sites of early care and education posed risks to the health, nutrition, social well-being, and emotional development of young children. In the U.S., threats to the quality of life and wellness of early childhood teachers and young children ages birth to eight (early childhood according to definition issued by the National Association for the Education of young children) intensified existing inequities. These inequities were visible in stigmatizing children and families in neighborhoods with high infection rates; trauma emanating from the death and bereavement of family members; loss of employment and economic hardships; more young children living in extreme poverty; disruptions to child protection services; and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. Stress, anxiety, and disrupted sleep, expected responses to a threat as sizeable as the COVID-19 pandemic, were further exacerbated by racialized inequities in access and rates of vaccination
An examination of coping strategies and intent to leave child welfare during the COVID 19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Francie J. Julien‑Chinn; Colleen C. Katz; Eden Wall

Published: November 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Child welfare work is inherently difficult, and child welfare agencies are known to experience high rates of turnover. This study sought to expand the existing literature on intention to leave one’s child welfare agency and commitment to child welfare work through examining the coping mechanisms of frontline workers. Having and utilizing healthy coping mechanisms has proved beneficial to child welfare workers in previous research. This paper examined specific coping mechanisms identified in the Comprehensive Organizational Health Assessment and how they were associated with child welfare workers’ intent to leave their agency and their commitment to remain in the field of child welfare during the SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. Over 250 child welfare caseworkers were surveyed using the COHA instrument. Using both bivariate analysis and linear regression, specific coping mechanisms were identifyed, such as staying present with friends and family, as highly influential and discuss ways to strengthen these areas.
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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.