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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 3045
COVID-19 and educational inequality: How school closures affect low- and high-achieving students

AUTHOR(S)
Elisabeth Grewenig; Philipp Lergetporer; Katharina Werner (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Economic Review
In spring 2020, governments around the globe shut down schools to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. This study argues that low-achieving students may be particularly affected by the lack of educator support during school closures. It collects detailed time-use information on students before and during the school closures in a survey of 1099 parents in Germany.
Physically distant, virtually close: Adolescents’ sexting behaviors during a strict lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Chelly Maes; Laura Vandenbosch

Published: October 2021   Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
This study contextualizes Belgian adolescents' (12–18 years old) sexting behaviors between romantic and non-romantic partners during a strict lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey among 543 Belgian respondents (Mage = 15.29, 68% girls) showed that 40.9% of the adolescents engaged in at least one type of sexting (i.e., type one = textual, type two = visual content with underwear/swimwear, type three = visual depiction of private parts, type four = visual depiction of sexual acts). Arousal needs were the most common reasons to sext (M = 3.33, SD = 1.89). Generalized ordered logit analyses show that higher arousal needs were linked to higher frequencies of the first three sexting types. Relational affirmation needs were related to the engagement in sexting type two, whereas partner pressure was related to sexting type three and four. Regarding the latter, a significant link was also found with stress regulation. Conditional relations emerged according to adolescents' sex, developmental status, and relationship status. The current study's findings not only help to inform practitioners in terms of behavioral advice for future pandemics or periods after social isolation, but can also offer explanations for (changes in) adolescents' sexting behaviors after the pandemic and the possible dual nature of its effects.
Internet use during COVID-19 lockdown among young people in low- and middle-income countries: Role of psychological wellbeing

AUTHOR(S)
Blossom Fernandes; Bilge Uzun; Caner Aydin (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Addictive Behaviors Reports
Problematic internet use in adolescents has been shown to significantly increase over the past few years, with COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns reinforcing this phenomena globally. This study sought to explore whether problematic internet use in specific countries was related to emotional well-being and importantly whether this is predicted by psychological distress. There is a growing number of studies showing that problematic internet use is increasingly prevalent in countries with emerging economies, however we have yet to find out to what extent other factors are influencing this behaviour in adolescents and young people. This study invited young people from countries such India, Mexico, Philippines and Turkey to complete a set of self-reports on their daily internet habits, social media use, alongside questions on psychological distress, self-esteem, loneliness and escapism.
Cybervictimization and well-being among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: The mediating roles of emotional self-efficacy and emotion regulation

AUTHOR(S)
Fabian Schunk; Franziska Zeh; Gisela Trommsdorff

Published: October 2021   Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
Cybervictimization has been linked to adverse psychological consequences but little is known about the mechanisms linking cybervictimization to lower well-being. Two studies examined emotional self-efficacy and distinct emotion regulation strategies as potential mediators in the relationship between cybervictimization and lower well-being among German adolescents during the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. In Study 1, 107 adolescents (Mage = 15.76) reported their cybervictimization frequency, emotional self-efficacy beliefs, and aspects of well-being (i.e., self-esteem, perceived social support, and subjective well-being during the COVID-19 related school closures). Emotional self-efficacy mediated the link between cybervictimization and all well-being measures. Specifically, cybervictimization was related to lower well-being through lower self-efficacy for managing negative emotions. For further examination, in Study 2, 205 adolescents (Mage = 15.45) were asked to report their cybervictimization experiences, use of specific emotion regulation strategies (rumination, reappraisal, and suppression), and well-being (i.e., self-esteem and life satisfaction).
Mental health trajectories of individuals and families following the COVID-19 pandemic: Study protocol of a longitudinal investigation and prevention program

AUTHOR(S)
Till Langhammer; Kevin Hilbert; Berit Praxl (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Mental Health & Prevention

Many adults, adolescents and children are suffering from persistent stress symptoms in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to characterize long-term trajectories of mental health and to reduce the transition to manifest mental disorders by means of a stepped care program for indicated prevention. Using a prospective-longitudinal design, we will assess the mental strain of the pandemic using the Patient Health QuestionnaireStrength and Difficulties Questionnaire and Spence Child Anxiety Scale.

"Public health and social measures' considerations for educational authorities: schooling in the time of COVID-19: Considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible"

AUTHOR(S)
Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

The return to face-to-face learning helps children return to a sense of normality, although different normality as prevention and control measures have likely altered school and classroom routines. It is important that schools should have a risk-mitigation strategy in place. Countries should ensure these strategies carefully balance the likely benefits for, and harms to, younger and older age groups of children when making decisions about implementing infection prevention and control measures. Any measure needs to be balanced with the even worse alternative of schools being closed and Any measure introduced by schools should follow standard protocols for implementation. This publication shares more detailed considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible.

Schooling in the time of COVID-19, a resource pack produced by UNICEF ECARO and WHO Europe
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

Schools are essential for children’s learning, health, safety and well-being. But students’ learning suffered a major setback when most educational institutions reduced or cancelled in-person instruction and moved to remote learning and teaching to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures continue to jeopardise the future of millions of children across the globe. The Europe and Central Asia Region is no exception. Schools should be the first to open and last to close. Getting children back in the classroom remains a priority for UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, striking a balance between applying public health and social measures and ensuring that children are able to continue learning and socializing to the greatest extent possible. UNICEF and WHO have created several tools and resources to support countries in their back-to-school efforts. This joint UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNICEF/ ECARO) and WHO Regional Office for Europe Schooling Resource Pack has an easy-to-find compilation of materials to help parents/caregivers, teachers and students return to school safely.

The State of the World's Children 2021: on my mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health

AUTHOR(S)
Brian Keeley; Juliano Diniz de Oliveira; Tara Dooley

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about the mental health of a generation of children. But the pandemic may represent the tip of a mental health iceberg – an iceberg we have ignored for far too long. The State of the World’s Children 2021 examines child, adolescent and caregiver mental health. It focuses on risks and protective factors at critical moments in the life course and delves into the social determinants that shape mental health and well-being. It calls for commitment, communication and action as part of a comprehensive approach to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the greatest challenges.

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.
Caregiver willingness to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 after adult vaccine approval

AUTHOR(S)
Ran D. Goldman; Danna Krupik; Samina Ali (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Vaccines against COVID-19 are likely to be approved for children under 12 years in the near future. Understanding vaccine hesitancy in parents is essential for reaching herd immunity. A cross-sectional survey of caregivers in 12 emergency departments (ED) was undertaken in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. This study compared reported willingness to vaccinate children against COVID-19 with an initial survey and post-adult COVID-19 vaccine approval. Multivariable logistic regression models were performed for all children and for those <12 years. A total of 1728 and 1041 surveys were completed in phases 1 and 2, respectively. Fewer caregivers planned to vaccinate against COVID-19 in phase 2 (64.5% and 59.7%, respectively; p = 0.002). The most significant positive predictor of willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 was if the child was vaccinated per recommended local schedules. Fewer caregivers plan to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, despite vaccine approval for adults, compared to what was reported at the peak of the pandemic. Older caregivers who fully vaccinated their children were more likely to adopt vaccinating children. This study can inform target strategy design to implement adherence to a vaccination campaign.
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.
“Education cannot cease”: the experiences of parents of primary age children (age 4-11) in Northern Ireland during school closures due to COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica Bates; Jayne Finlay; Una O’Connor Bones

Published: September 2021   Journal: Educational Review
This paper reports the research findings from an online survey of parents of primary-age pupils in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aims of the study were to explore how parents supported their child/ren’s home learning; to ascertain the communication, guidance and resources between home and school; and to learn from the experiences of parents to enable more effective practices to be established should similar circumstances arise in the future. The survey yielded 2,509 responses and highlighted the divergence of practices in relation to home-school communications across schools as well as the challenges experienced by parents, particularly those who had one or more children with special educational needs and/or those who had Free School Meal Entitlement.
Learning disruption or learning loss: using evidence from unplanned closures to inform returning to school after COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Sinéad Harmey; Gemma Moss

Published: September 2021   Journal: Educational Review
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the immediate and longer-term effects of school closures and ongoing interruptions on children’s learning have been a source of considerable apprehension to many. In an attempt to anticipate and mitigate the effect of school closures, researchers and policymakers have turned to the learning loss literature, research that estimates the effect of summer holidays on academic achievement. However, school closures due to COVID-19 have taken place under very different conditions, making the utility of such a literature debatable. Instead, this study is based on a rapid evidence assessment of research on learning disruption – extended and unplanned periods of school closure following unprecedented events, such as SARs or weather-related events.
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.
Psychological distress, optimism and emotion regulation among Israeli Jewish and Arab pregnant women during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Miriam Chasson; Taubman Ben-Ari; Salam Abu-Sharkia (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

Pregnancy is a vulnerable period for women, and it is especially so under the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas there is some evidence for distress among pregnant women during the outspread of COVID-19, little is known about the second wave of the pandemic. This study therefore sought to examine the contribution of background variables, ethnicity (Jewish, Arab), personal resources (optimism, emotion regulation), and COVID-19-related anxieties to pregnant Israeli women’s psychological distress. A convenience sample of 1127 Israeli women was recruited from 5 July to 7 October 2020.

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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.