search advanced search
UNICEF Innocenti
Office of Research-Innocenti
search menu

Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

RESULTS:   1125     SORT BY:


Select one or more filter options and click search below.

UNICEF Innocenti Publication
UNICEF Publication
Open Access
1 - 15 of 1125
Drug use by young people did not go up or down during pandemic

Alison Knopf

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter
Alcohol use declined and use of nicotine and misuse of prescriptions increased among 10–14-year-olds during the pandemic, according to a study published last week. Overall, the rate of drug use among these young people remained stable during the pandemic based on repeated surveys of more than 7,800 people ages 10 to 14 conducted between Sep. 2019 and Aug. 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.

‘We are unlikely to return to the same world, and I do not want it to destroy my future’: young people's worries through the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic

Ragnhild Bjørknes; Gro Mjeldheim Sandal; Silje Mæland (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
This study aims to explore what worries youth were having during the seventh to ninth week of the COVID-19 lockdown. Our findings build on the responses to an open-ended survey question from 1314 youths. The worries covered three main themes: ‘That my mom dies, then I am left all alone’: worries related to COVID-19 virus infection; ‘To me, this is lost youth’: worries about the consequences of measures for the present life and near future; and ‘I will face a very difficult life in the future’: worries about the consequences of measures for the outlook on life. Young people worried that the measures would have a huge impact on their present life and outlook on life. The costs of restriction measures were unevenly distributed and indicated that the measures affected their mental health. Listening to youth voices during the pandemic is important for practitioners, educators and policymakers.
Welcoming new life under lockdown: Exploring the experiences of first-time mothers who gave birth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anna Gray; Julie Barnett

Published: October 2021   Journal: British Journal of Health Psychology

This study aimed to explore how first-time mothers in the UK experienced new parenthood during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This study used a cross-sectional exploratory, qualitative interview design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten first-time mothers who had given birth since COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Association of children’s physical activity and screen time with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pooja S. Tandon; Chuan Zhou; Ashleigh M. Johnson

Published: October 2021   Journal: JAMA Network Open

Children’s physical activity and screen time are likely suboptimal during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may influence their current and future mental health. To describe the association of physical activity and screen time with mental health among US children during the pandemic. This cross-sectional survey was conducted from October 22 to November 2, 2020, among 547 parents of children aged 6 to 10 years and 535 parent-child dyads with children and adolescents (hereinafter referred to as children) aged 11 to 17 years and matched down to 500 children per cohort using US Census–based sampling frames. Children aged 11 to 17 years self-reported physical activity, screen time, and mental health, and their parents reported other measures. Parents of children aged 6 to 10 years reported all measures. All 1000 cases were further weighted to a sampling frame corresponding to US parents with children aged 6 to 17 years using propensity scores.

The mediating role of COVID-19-related burden in the association between adverse childhood experiences and emotional exhaustion: results of the egePan – VOICE study

Vera Clemensa; Petra Beschoner; Marc N. Jarczok (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the risk for mental health problems. However, there is a lack of data targeting the role of ACEs for one of the most prevalent mental health problems in health-care professionals: burnout. We aimed to assess the relationship between ACEs and the core burnout dimension ‘emotional exhaustion’ (EE). As health-care professionals have been facing particular challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we furthermore aimed to assess the role of COVID-19 associated burden in the interplay between ACEs and EE. During the first lockdown in Germany, a total of 2500 medical healthcare professionals were questioned in a cross-sectional online survey. Questions targeted, among others, sociodemographics, ACEs, COVID-19-associated problems (e.g. increase of workload, worries about relatives and patients) and emotional exhaustion, measured by the respective dimension of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI).

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.
Young people’s romantic relationships and sexual activity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

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.

Exploring carer burden amongst those caring for a child or adolescent with an eating disorder during COVID-19

Kristen Maunder; Fiona McNicholas

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Eating Disorders volume

Carer burden amongst carers of youth with an eating disorder is substantial and if not addressed can lead to negative outcomes for the patient, carer and family. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made caring for youth with an ED even more onerous and preliminary research is beginning to emerge demonstrating the profound negative impact the pandemic is having upon individuals with EDs and their carers. This review briefly summarizes what is known about carer burden in families where a young person has an ED, considers the additional impact consequent to COVID-19 and highlights the need for interventions aimed at alleviating this. Pre-COVID-19 research identifies high levels of psychological and physical strain amongst those caring for a child with an ED. Themes are beginning to emerge as to why COVID-19 may further exacerbate carer burden: (1) reduced access to ED services; (2) increased physical vulnerability and exacerbation of psychiatric co-morbidity amongst youth with EDs; (3) increased practical demands placed on carers; and (4) social isolation and decreased social support.

Brief report: feasibility and acceptability of a remote-based nutrition education program for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: a COVID-19 pilot study

Riley H. Shurack; Jeanette M. Garcia; Keith Brazendale (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
This paper aims to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a remote-based nutrition education program during COVID-19 for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ten adolescents with ASD participated in a 4-week nutrition education program utilizing Zoom software during COVID-19. Topics included shopping for healthy food, and food preparation safety measures. Attendance was collected for each session. Participants, parents, and the classroom teacher completed post-program surveys and interviews. The course attendance rate was 97%. Every adolescent reported they would participate in similar future programs, and the teacher/parents felt the program was a positive experience for the participants. The remote-based nutrition education program appeared to be feasible and acceptable to participants. Future research should focus on program efficacy.
Children’s psychological reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic

Betty Pfefferbaum

Published: October 2021   Journal: Current Psychiatry Reports

This paper reviews the literature on the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and the reactions of vulnerable children. Research reveals increases in clinically significant depression, suicidal ideation and behavior, and some anxiety symptoms. Substance use studies suggest an inadvertent decrease in substance use in some youth though findings are inconsistent across substances and for males and females. Children with pre-existing emotional and behavioral problems are especially vulnerable though some children appear to improve in the context of public health measures which have decreased the stresses associated with school and socialization. In addition, children with pre-existing problems are likely to have established resources and relationships that may protect them relative to other children.

Coping with COVID-19: longitudinal impact of the pandemic on adjustment and links with coping for adolescents with and without ADHD

Melissa R. Dvorsky; Rosanna Breaux; Caroline N. Cusick (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Understanding factors that foster resilience and buffer against the negative psychological impact of COVID-19 is critical to inform efforts to promote adjustment, reduce risk, and improve care, particularly for adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders. This prospective longitudinal study addresses this gap by investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents’ mental health and substance use, and by assessing specific positive coping strategies among adolescents with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using multi-group autoregressive cross-lagged path models, the present study explored the reciprocal influence of positive coping behaviors on multiple adjustment outcomes including mental health symptoms, substance use, stress, and worry.
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.
Physical and mental health impact of COVID-19 on children, adolescents, and their families: The Collaborative Outcome study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times - Children and Adolescents (COH-FIT-C&A)

Marco Solmi; Christoph U. Correll

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered daily routines and family functioning, led to closing schools, and dramatically limited social interactions worldwide. Measuring its impact on mental health of vulnerable children and adolescents is crucial. The Collaborative Outcome study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times (COH-FIT – is an on-line anonymous survey, available in 30 languages, involving >220 investigators from 49 countries supported by national/international professional associations. COH-FIT has thee waves (until the pandemic is declared over by the WHO, and 6-18 months plus 24-36 months after its end). In addition to adults, COH-FIT also includes adolescents (age 14-17 years), and children (age 6-13 years), recruited via non-probability/snowball and representative sampling and assessed via self-rating and parental rating.

Swedish middle school students’ psychosocial well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study

Emily G. Vira; Therése Skoog

Published: October 2021   Journal: SSM - Population Health
Child well-being concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic have been reported from countries with strict lockdowns and school closures. Sweden's middle school students attended school as normal during the pandemic, but it is still unknown how their well-being has changed during the pandemic. This study aimed to assess differences in Swedish students' psychosocial well-being from before to during the pandemic. Longitudinal data (N = 849) were collected via self-report surveys across two time-points separated by approximately one year. The second data collection took place 8–9 months after the start of the pandemic in Sweden.
1 - 15 of 1125

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.


Read the latest quarterly digest on violence against children and women during COVID-19.

The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

Subscribe to updates on new research about COVID-19 & children



facebook twitter linkedin google+ reddit print email
Campaign Campaign

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.