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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 432
Material hardship and child neglect risk amidst COVID-19 in grandparent-headed kinship families: the role of financial assistance

AUTHOR(S)
Yanfeng Xua; Merav Jedwab; Nelís Soto-Ramírez (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 has exacerbated material hardship among grandparent-headed kinship families. Grandparent-headed kinship families receive financial assistance, which may mitigate material hardship and reduce child neglect risk. This study aims to examine (1) the association between material hardship and child neglect risk; and (2) whether financial assistance moderates this association in a sample of kinship grandparent-headed families during COVID-19. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from a convenience sample of grandparent-headed kinship families (not necessarily child welfare involved) (N = 362) in the United States via Qualtrics Panels online survey.

Tracking the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in Kenya : special edition COVID-19 barometer
Institution: *UNICEF, Shujaaz Inc.
Published: August 2021

One of the objectives of this collaboration is to produce a range of youth-led, data-driven research products, providing insight into the most effective ways to support young people in East Africa. This special edition Barometer is designed to provide a snapshot into the lives of Kenyan girls aged 15-19 (also referred to as adolescent girls) in 2021. This edition of COVID-19 Barometer includes new insights from Shujaaz Inc’s annual national youth survey, which draws on face-to-face interviews with 2,015 young people conducted between December 2020 and January 2021. Drawing on additional qualitative research, the Barometer aims to provide an update on the challenges, lifestyles, priorities and aspirations of adolescent girls, during a turbulent pandemic. This edition focuses on key topics including education, sexual and reproductive health, financial security, mental wellbeing and resilience. We hope it provides a valuable update for organisations working with adolescent girls across Kenya, and inspiration for similar research in East and Southern African countries.

Slow life history strategies and increases in externalizing and internalizing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lei Chang; Yuan Yuan Liu; Hui Jing Lu (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
The COVID-19 pandemic is but one of many instances of environmental adversities that have recurred in human history. Biobehavioral resource allocation strategies, known as fast (reproduction-focused) versus slow (development-focused) life history (LH) tradeoff strategies, evolved to deal with environmental challenges such as infectious diseases. Based on 141 young people and their mothers observed prior to (ages 9 and 13) and during (age 20) COVID-19, we investigated longitudinal relations involving slow LH strategies. The results support the adaptive role of slow LH strategies in reducing COVID-related increases in externalizing problems. In addition, the effect of early adversity on COVID-related increases in externalizing was mediated, and the effect on COVID-related increases in internalizing was moderated, by slow LH strategies.
Preliminary evaluation of a multicomponent youth development program for siblings separated by foster care: pandemic related impacts to service delivery and youth well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Jeffrey Waid; Cynthia Dantas

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Child Welfare
A preliminary evaluation of a multicomponent youth development program for siblings in foster care was conducted prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pretest posttest measures of youth well-being were collected from sixteen youth, caregivers, and caseworkers over a six-month period. Caregivers reported increased internalizing and externalizing behaviors, sibling relationship difficulties, prosocial behavior, and resilience during the study period. Youth reported reduced school engagement, increased resilience, and prosocial behavior. In-person sibling programming was associated with increased prosocial behavior. Virtual sibling programming was associated with lower hyperactivity, increased prosocial behavior, and increased emotional problems. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Caring for children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations

AUTHOR(S)
Hilda Loria; Jill McLeigh; Kristin Wolfe (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Child Welfare
Through qualitative feedback from professionals in healthcare, mental health, and child welfare, this study explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of children in the child welfare system. Positive outcomes and challenges related to the care of children in foster or kinship care in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic are described. Themes identified included disparities in the child welfare system; utilization of telehealth; cross-sector communication and collaboration; safety considerations; and placement stability and support. The article concludes with recommendations in each of these areas for ensuring the health and well-being of children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic.
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.
Egyptian and Roma adolescents’ perspectives on their developmental assets in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Diana Miconi; Eglantina Dervishi; Nora Wiium (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
This mixed-method study explores the accessibility of developmental assets among Egyptian and Roma minority youth in Albania during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six focus groups were conducted in August 2020 with Egyptian (n = 16) and Roma (n = 15) adolescents (14–20 years, Mage = 16.71; SDage = 2.00; 14 girls and 17 boys). In addition, adolescents rated how much they experienced each developmental asset. Descriptive and thematic analyses highlighted: (1) low developmental assets and barriers to accessing resources, (2) mental health concerns and coping strategies, (3) the role of proximal contexts of life, and (4) experiences within the society in terms of discrimination, integration, and contribution to society. Inter-sectoral community-based interventions are urgently needed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on minority youth.
Understanding patterns of food insecurity and family well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic using daily surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Steimle; Anna Gassman-Pines; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Development
This paper investigates economic and psychological hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse sample (61% Latinx; 16% White; 9% Black; 14% mixed/other race) of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents (90% mothers; mean age = 35 years) and their elementary school-aged children (ages 4–11; 49% female) in rural Pennsylvania (N = 272). Families participating in a local food assistance program reported on food insecurity (FI) and parent and child mood and behavior daily from January to May 2020. Longitudinal models revealed that FI, negative parent and child mood, and child misbehavior significantly increased when schools closed; only FI and parent depression later decreased. FI decreased most among those who received the local food assistance program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receipt uniquely predicted decreases in child FI.
Current and future implications of COVID-19 among youth wheelchair users: 24-hour activity behavior

AUTHOR(S)
Ryan T. Conners; Lauren C. Bates; Patricia Pagan Lassalle (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Children
Preventative measures taken worldwide to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 have had a tremendous impact on youth. Following social restrictions, youth with and without physical disabilities are engaging in less physical activity, more increased sedentary behavior, and poor sleep habits. Specifically, youth wheelchair users (YWU) are likely disproportionately affected by COVID- 19 and have a higher risk of contraction due to underlying comorbidities. While all of the negative long-term implications of COVID-19 for YWU cannot be controlled, participation in positive 24-h activity behaviors can decrease chronic disease risk and the likelihood of long-term complications resulting from infection. This commentary is to extend the discourse on the importance of 24-h activity behaviors by focusing on YWU. Specifically, it discuss the importance of chronic disease prevention, provide a brief overview of 24-h activity behaviors, and outline some of the lessons that can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
School-based prevention of screen-related risk behaviors during the long-term distant schooling caused by COVID-19 outbreak

AUTHOR(S)
Katerina Lukavská; Václav Burda; Jirí Lukavský (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 outbreak and related restrictions meant a higher incidence of screen-related risk behaviors in both children and adolescents. Our goal was to assess the perceived importance and extent of school-based preventions related to these risks during the long-term, nation-wide distant schooling period in the Czech Republic. The online survey was responded to by the school-based prevention specialists (N = 1698). For the analysis, within-subject analysis of variance (ANOVA) and binominal logistic regression were used. At-risk internet use and cyber-bullying were perceived as pressing, but other risks, for example, excessive internet use or the use of cyberpornography, received substantially less priority
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.
Enhancing teaching recovery techniques (TRT) with parenting skills: RCT of TRT + parenting with trauma-affected Syrian refugees in Lebanon utilising remote training with implications for insecure contexts and COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Aala El-Khani; Kim Cartwright; Wadih Maalouf (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Child psychosocial recovery interventions in humanitarian contexts often overlook the significant effect that caregivers can have on improving children’s future trajectory. This study enhanced the well-established, evidenced-based child trauma recovery programme Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) intervention with parenting sessions, i.e., TRT + Parenting (TRT + P), which aims to improve parent mental health and their ability to support their children’s mental health. It also described the findings of a three-arm randomised controlled trial comparing enhanced TRT + P vs. TRT and waitlist.
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.
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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.