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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 469
A schema of toxic stress informed by racism, transgenerational stress, and disadvantage

AUTHOR(S)
Felesia R. Bowen; Linda A. Lewandowski; Julia A. Snethen (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Health Care

The Toxic Stress Schema (TSS) is an ecological framework with a social justice lens for identifying and alleviating stress and strengthening social determinants of health for children and families of color impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the cumulative effects of racism and generational, systemic inequities. Relevant literature is reviewed, and examples were provided to illustrate the differential impacts of the “stress superstorm” of 2020 had on children of color based on their family's position on the advantage–disadvantage continuum.

Assessing the gendered impacts of COVID-19 in Uzbekistan: what data are available?
Institution: UN Women, United Nations Development Programme
Published: October 2021

This brief summarizes the key findings of the assess[1]ment of the availability of data that could contribute to an understanding of the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and would be the basis for gender-responsive, evidence[1]based policy making in Uzbekistan. The assessment was conducted in December 2020 with the support of the UN Women Europe and Central Asia Regional Office in partnership with UNDP Uzbekistan. The focus of the assessment was on data and statistics compiled and disseminated by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Statistics (SSC) and on recent assessments and studies related to the impact of COVID-19 that have been conducted by different United Nations (UN) organi[1]zations and development partners.

The West Africa inequality crisis: fighting austerity and the pandemic
Institution: Oxfam, Developmente Finance International
Published: October 2021
In 2019, Oxfam warned that West Africa’s governments were the least committed to reducing inequality on the continent, despite crisis levels of inequality.2 In 2021, using the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII) framework devised by Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI), we have found that the average West African citizen still lives under a government least committed to fighting inequality in Africa. The CRI considers public spending; progressive taxation; protection of workers; policies to support agriculture and land rights; and approaches to debt distress; and the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank While West African governments’ indifference towards inequality would be a tragedy at any time, it is more so during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is worsening inequality. On the face of it, West Africa has fared relatively well through the pandemic so far. While infections have been lower than elsewhere, it is increasingly becoming clear that the pandemic risks becoming the region’s worst economic crisis in decades, pushing millions into poverty. No end is in sight due to the obscene global vaccine inequality, which means that less than 4% of West Africans have so far been fully vaccinated.
Retraditionalisation? Work patterns of families with children during the pandemic in Italy

AUTHOR(S)
Elisa Brini; Mariya Lenko; Stefani Scherer

Published: October 2021   Journal: Demographic Research

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, employment declined and real incomes fell worldwide. The burden of childcare on families increased and, in many countries, women’s employment fell more than men’s. From a couple-level perspective, changing employment patterns could lead to a retraditionalisation of gender roles between partners, especially for families with dependent children. This study focused on couples with children under 16 and used quarterly large-scale micro data (the Italian Labour Force Survey) to examine, through descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regressions, the changes and composition of couples’ work patterns between 2019 and 2020.

Disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States: a 2021 update

AUTHOR(S)
Don Bambino Geno Tai; Irene G. Sia; Chyke A. Doubeni (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people from some racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. persisted throughout 2021. Black, Latinx, and American Indian persons have been hospitalized and died at a higher rate than White persons consistently from the start of the pandemic. Early data show that hospitalization and mortality rates for Black, Latinx, and American Indian children are higher than White children in a worrying trend. The pandemic has likely worsened the gaps in wealth, employment, housing, and access to health care: the social determinants of health that caused the disparities in the first place. School closures will have a long-lasting impact on the widening achievement gaps between Black and Latinx students and White students. In the earlier vaccination phase, Black and Latinx persons were being vaccinated at a lower rate than their proportion of cases due to vaccine hesitancy, misinformation, and barriers to access. Vaccine hesitancy rates among these groups have since decreased and are now comparable to White persons. Aggregated data make it challenging to paint a picture of the actual impact of COVID-19 on Asian Americans as they are a diverse group with significant disparities.
Health disparities and their effects on children and their caregivers during the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lynn C. Smitherman; William Christopher Golden; Jennifer R. Walton

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatric Clinics of North America

Health disparities are defined as differences among specific populations in the ability to achieve full health potential (as measured by differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of disease, and other adverse health conditions). Among children, multiple factors contribute to these disparities, including economic stability, and access to health care. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, before the current pandemic, 12 million children in the United States were living in poverty in 2019, including one-third of African American and Native American children and 25% of Latinx children.8 During the same period, of the 4.4 million children without health insurance, 14% were Native American, 9% were of Hispanic descent, and 18% were immigrants. At present, owing to the impact of the pandemic on job security, more than 50% of African American, Latinx, and multiethnic adults are now without medical insurance, directly affecting the health security of their children.8 With the onset of the pandemic and the social and political upheaval felt by many disenfranchised communities, these well-documented disparities (and the importance of addressing them) have again been brought to the attention of the medical community. This overview will examine the effects of these health disparities in various populations of children in this country. We will first examine the historical context of health disparities, how they developed, and why they still exist. We will then examine how specifically the COVID-19 pandemic impacted these disparities among children and adolescents, both directly and indirectly. Finally, we hope to provide some recommendations to reduce these disparities.

Online interactions and problematic internet use of Croatian students during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lucija Vejmelka; Roberta Matković

Published: September 2021   Journal: Information
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a transition to online services in almost all aspects of life. Today, online access is an important aspect of child well-being more than ever. The aim of the study was to investigate online activities and gender differences of children with a special focus on harmful online content, cyberbullying, and Internet addiction. Our research was conducted among students from one Croatian county (average age = 14.97, N = 494). The Internet Addiction Test, the European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire, as well as questions constructed for the purposes of this research (e.g., online contents) were used. Between 20% and 30% of students spend four or more hours a day online. Furthermore, 14.57% of students showed moderate signs of addiction, and 1.42% already showed severe signs of addiction, where girls had significantly higher results.
Lessons learned in COVID-19: mothers with problematic substance use and involvement with child protective services need support to promote family well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Hanna Valeriote; Karen Milligan

Published: September 2021   Journal: Community, Work & Family
The universal experience of COVID-19 and its associated public health response presents an opportunity to see inequities that exist within our population when accessing community services and supports. This article casts a spotlight on one group who is at risk for experiencing such inequity: women with problematic substance use who are pregnant or parenting. Motherhood offers an opportunity for development of the self, child and family and can be pivotal in helping women to address challenges they and their family may be experiencing. This is a shared opportunity and requires communities to see these families in their complexity of strengths and needs and to support them on this journey. The pandemic has uncovered inequities in our systems of care and barriers faced by families. As the pandemic situation improves, citizens and communities must resist the temptation to push aside the evidence of social disparity and challenge and engage in social action and change.
Grandparents’ Mental Health and Lived Experiences while Raising Their Grandchildren at the Forefront of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia

AUTHOR(S)
Nazik M .A. Zakari; Hanadi Y. Hamadi; Chloe E. Bailey (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Gerontological Social Work
Understanding grandparents’ lived experiences and healthy aging is essential to designing efficient, effective, and safe services to support a family structure in which grandparents care for their grandchildren. However, no study to date has explored this concept in an Arab and Muslim country during a pandemic. The purpose of this study was to examine grandparents’ experiences raising their grandchildren to provide recommendations for needed mental health interventions during and after COVID-19. To gain a detailed and in-depth understanding of the lived experiences of 15 grandparents caring for their grandchildren a phenomenological approach was usewd. This study shows the need for support service interventions (support groups, health professional support, and respite care) for grandparents in Saudi Arabia, especially during global crises like COVID-19, that enhance social distance and social isolation. Raising grandchildren affects the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of the grandparents.
COVID-19 and the desire of children to return to nature: Emotions in the face of environmental and intergenerational injustices

AUTHOR(S)
Clementina Rios; Alison Laurie Neilson; Isabel Menezes

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Journal of Environmental Education
The global COVID-19 public health crisis has driven policies of lockdowns and social distancing that have had negative social and economic impacts, worsening inequalities and social exclusions, and mixed environmental impacts. This study engaged children from schools with diverse environmental pedagogies in online focus groups about nature and their experiences with nature during the pandemic. Participants expressed fear of the unknown virus, sadness from isolation, longing for family and friends, and yearning for the freedom to enjoy the outside world. They revealed knowledge of both positive and negative impacts of lockdowns on the environment. Their experiences with nature demonstrate how environmental injustice affects the lives of children from public schools in urban contexts, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who reported less contact with nature during the lockdown. As a group, children are aware and very critical of intergenerational environmental injustice and argue for the need for adults to act.
The impact of COVID-19 on child welfare-involved families: implications for parent–child reunification and child welfare professionals

AUTHOR(S)
Abbie E. Goldberg; David Brodzinsky; Jacqueline Singer (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children and parents involved in the child welfare system and the professionals working with these families. Using survey data collected August–September of 2020, this mixed-methods study examined the perspectives of 196 child welfare-involved professionals (77 attorneys, 99 caseworkers, and 20 therapists) in the United States about the impact of COVID-19 on parents of origin, children, foster parents, and child welfare professionals. Particular attention was paid to the implications of COVID-19 and associated challenges for parent–child contact and reunification. With respect to professional stresses, more than half of participants worried about their own personal safety and health amidst COVID-19, and more than three-quarters expressed concerns about the safety and well-being of child welfare-involved families.
Family disruption and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kammy K. Schmeer; Britt Singletary; Kelly M. Purtell (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
Using unique data from an economically and racially diverse sample of 448 caregivers with young children (ages 4–9 years) in Ohio, this study assesses multiple sources of family social and economic disruptions and their associations with parenting activities during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Caregivers reported extensive social and economic challenges during this time, while also increasing (on average) their time spent in play/learning activities. Time spent in discipline was less likely to increase during this period.
How parents share and limit their child’s access to information about COVID-19: a mixed methods online survey study

AUTHOR(S)
Marla A. Garcia de Avila; Bernie Carter; Lucy Blake (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Child Health Care
This study aimed to understand the role that parents play in sharing or limiting their child’s access to information about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A subset of data from an international mixed methods online survey study was analysed to elucidate the findings from Brazil. An online survey, conducted between April and June 2020, gathered closed and open text views from parents of children aged 7–12 years old. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative open text data were analysed using the three stages of the Bardin content analysis framework: pre-analysis (data organisation and initial full-content reading); exploration of the material (thematic coding to identify major motifs and develop thematic categories) and interpretation (treating the data as significant and valid). The sample consisted of 112 (89%) mothers and 14 (11%) fathers. The analysis of the parents open text resulted in two categories: ‘How parents share information with their children about COVID-19’ and ‘How parents limit information to their children about COVID-19’. Some parents reported adopting an honest and open approach on how they shared information with their children, whilst some parents chose to minimise their child’s access to information about the pandemic over concerns of the mortality related to COVID-19.
Strengthening lower-income families: Lessons learned from policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy B. Kanter; Deadric T. Williams; Amy J. Rauer

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Process
Families are navigating an unstable economy due to COVID-19. Financial stressors have the potential to strain intimate relationships and exacerbate prior inequities across lower-income families. Notably, the economic impact of COVID-19 disproportionately influenced Black and Latinx families. As a response to families' economic adversity during the pandemic, the federal government initiated the CARES Act. This type of federal response to lower-income families, however, is not new. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize and historicize previous and current efforts to mitigate the consequences of financial hardship on families by comparing the assumptions and efficacy of the Healthy Marriages Initiative and the CARES act.
Chaos during the COVID-19 outbreak: predictors of household chaos among low-income families during a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anna D. Johnson; Anne Martin; Anne Partika (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Relations

The objective of this study was to explore whether household chaos measured during the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted by prepandemic parental and household characteristics. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered children's home environments and routines due to stay-at-home orders, school closures, and economic shocks. These disruptions have been especially challenging for low-income families who have limited resources and have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Household chaos, which captures routines, organization, stability, noise, and crowding in the home, is a documented threat to parent functioning and positive child development. The pandemic has likely exacerbated household chaos, especially for low-income families.

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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.