MIND THE GAP: Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions – An evidence and gap map of low and middle-income countries

MIND THE GAP: Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions – An evidence and gap map of low and middle-income countries

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Mental disorders affect about 1 in 7 children and adolescents worldwide, with 50% arising before the age of 14. Despite the high burden and early onset, most conditions remain unrecognized and untreated. We mapped evidence on the effectiveness of child and adolescent (ages 0-19) mental health and psychosocial support interventions in low- and middle-income countries within the last 12 years and identified 697 records from 78 countries.

The field is reactive rather than proactive, with most interventions focusing on treatment rather than promotion or prevention. Most mental health research is conducted in educational settings and focuses on early and late adolescence. Research on early childhood interventions as well as evidence to address the mental health and psychosocial needs of children in humanitarian settings are scarce.

Mental health intervention research lacks diversity: less than one third of studies and reviews focused on specific population groups. Despite the known potential for digital interventions to overcome a range of barriers, the field is understudied with very limited evidence across all outcomes. In 60 countries, no research was identified. There were also important geographical disparities and research gaps in West and Central Africa.

Life in Colours: Children’s and adolescents’ experiences, perceptions and opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic

Life in Colours: Children’s and adolescents’ experiences, perceptions and opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

This report recounts the journeys of a group of adolescents through the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, one of the first countries to be affected by the virus. It is the first product of an in-depth qualitative study that aims to understand the experiences of children and young people from their point of view and through their words.

The data for this project were collected online between February and June 2021 with 114 participants between the ages of 10 and 19, who attended lower and upper secondary schools in 16 regions of Italy, and included children and young people who identify as LGBTQI+, unaccompanied and separated children, and adolescents from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing Across the Life Course: Towards an Integrated Conceptual Framework for Research and Evidence Generation

Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing Across the Life Course: Towards an Integrated Conceptual Framework for Research and Evidence Generation

AUTHOR(S)
Priscilla Idele; Manasi Sharma; Camila Perera Aladro; Prerna Banati; David Anthony

Published: 2022 Innocenti Working Papers

Mental health conditions affect about 1 in 7 adolescents globally. In the context of COVID-19, the importance of mental health and psychosocial support for all has been undoubtedly confirmed. Despite the increased attention to mental health issues, there is a dearth of evidence on what determines child and adolescent mental health, who is most at risk, and what works to foster mental health across contexts, cultures and distinct population groups.

This conceptual framework aims to inform research on child and adolescent mental health. It incorporates children’s developmental stages and the dynamic environment in which they live and grow. Informed by a review of existing theoretical frameworks on mental health and child development, this framework integrates elements of the socio-ecological model; the life course approach; the social determinants of health approach; and Innocenti Report Card’s Worlds of Influence Framework. Combining diverse aspects of these frameworks and approaches, we propose an integrated model to guide UNICEF’s research in this area. 

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Il rapporto Vite a Colori racconta le esperienze, percezioni ed opinioni di un gruppo di adolescenti sul primo anno di pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia cercando di comprendere le loro esperienze e punti di vista, attraverso le loro parole.

La raccolta dati si è svolta tra febbraio e giugno 2021 con 114 partecipanti tra i 10 e i 19 anni, frequentanti le scuole superiori del primo e del secondo ciclo di 16 regioni italiane. Bambinɘ e ragazzɘ che si identificano come LGBTQI+, minori stranieri non accompagnati (MSNA) e adolescenti con background socioeconomico svantaggiato sono stati deliberatamente inclusi nel campione interessato dalla ricerca.


Non-contributory Social Protection and Adolescents in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries: A review of government programming and impacts

Non-contributory Social Protection and Adolescents in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries: A review of government programming and impacts

AUTHOR(S)
Cristina Cirillo; Tia Palermo; Francesca Viola

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

Adolescents face unique vulnerabilities related to their health, schooling and the intensification of gender socialization. As the next generation next in line to become adults, their transition has major implications for the future health, economic growth and well-being of nations. Yet, children and adolescents have low rates of social protection coverage globally – a missed opportunity for investment.

This report examines how social protection can promote adolescent well-being and facilitate safe and productive transitions to adulthood in lower- and middle-income countries. Focusing on government, non-contributory programmes, the following questions are examined: 1) whether and how current non-contributory social  protection programmes are adolescent-sensitive and 2) what is the impact of non-contributory social protection programmes on adolescents.

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems.

Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical.

 To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.

Rapid Review Protocol - Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

Rapid Review Protocol - Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

While there has been a global rush to generate rapid evidence on COVID-19 mental health impacts among adults, limited evidence exists on the potential impacts on children.

This is the protocol for our rapid review that seeks to (i) understand the immediate impact of COVID-19’s first wave on the mental health of children and adolescents (0–19 years); and (ii) apply lessons learned from this pandemic to mitigate the impacts of future health crises.

The key research questions of this review are: 

  • What has been the immediate impact of COVID-19 and associated containment measures on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children and adolescents?
  • How and which risk and protective factors have affected mental health during COVID-19 and have they varied across subgroups of children and adolescents?

Ujana Salama: Mpango wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana  - Matokeo ya mzunguko wa3 tathimini

Ujana Salama: Mpango wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya mzunguko wa3 tathimini

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs

Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha “Cash plus’ wa majaribio unaohusu Ustawi na Mabadiliko Salama kwa Vijana unaotekelezwa Tanzania, kwa kifupi “Ujana Salama”, unalenga kuimarisha maisha ya vijana wa vijijini. Vijana hawa kutoka kaya maskini wanakabiliwa na changamoto nyingi za kiafya na kiuchumi, zikiwemo kukatisha masomo shuleni, mimba za utotoni, maradhi yaambukizwayo kwa njia ya ngono, ukatili, unyanyasaji na unyonyaji.

Ujana Salama: Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya tatihimini ya kati

Ujana Salama: Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya tatihimini ya kati

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs
Mradi huu wa majaribio wa ‘Cash Plus’ unaohusu Ustawi na Mabadiliko Salama na Yenye Afya kwa Vijana nchini Tanzania, kwa ufupi “Ujana Salama”, unalenga kuimarisha maisha ya vijana wa vijijini. Vijana hawa wa umri wa balehe wanatoka katika kaya maskini na wanakabiliwa na hatari nyingi za kiafya na kiuchumi. Mradi huu unatekelezwa na Mfuko wa Maendeleo ya Jamii Tanzania (Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)) na kuendeshwa kupitia Mpango wa Kunusuru Kaya Maskini (Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN)). Mpango huo unawalenga vijana wa umri wa balehe katika kaya zinazonufaika na Mpango wa Kunusuru Kaya Maskini (ruzuku inayojumuisha uhawilishaji pesa, Ujenzi au ukarabati wa miundombinu na kuimarisha njia za kujiingizia kipato katika kaya). Msaada wa kiufundi unatolewa na UNICEF Tanzania na Tume ya Kudhibiti UKIMWI Tanzania (TACAIDS).
Ready to Start School, Learn and Work: Evidence from three education programmes for out-of-school children and adolescents in Bangladesh

Ready to Start School, Learn and Work: Evidence from three education programmes for out-of-school children and adolescents in Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Marco Valenza; Cirenia Chávez; Annika Rigole; Taniya Laizu Sumy; Mohammad Mohsin; Iqbal Hossain

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Children in the Sylhet division, in the Northeast of Bangladesh, face complex challenges in accessing quality education, at all school levels. The region ranks among the poorest performers in learning attainment across education levels. UNICEF Bangladesh and its partners have leveraged resources from the Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative to deliver three alternative learning pathways for out-of-school children and adolescents in remote areas of Sylhet. The three pathways cover key transition points in a child’s education: Getting ready to start school (Pre-Primary Education programme), learning foundational skills (A​bility-B​ased Accelerated Learning programme) and entering the job market (Alternative Learning Pathway programme). This report presents evidence on the achievements of the three programmes, highlighting key policy recommendations. The findings draw on analysis of programme monitoring data, qualitative case studies, focus group discussions and interviews. This paper is one of a series of research reports presenting emerging evidence on programmes supported by the LUL initiative, which aims to expand quality learning opportunities for disadvantaged children in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal.

Best of UNICEF Research and Evaluation 2020

Best of UNICEF Research and Evaluation 2020

Published: 2020 Miscellanea

Evidence and objective assessment are needed more than ever to help enhance the rights and well-being of the world’s children. Researching the changing world around us and evaluating progress are two sides of the same coin, both critical to reimagining a better future for children. In recognition of this, UNICEF celebrates and showcases innovative and influential research and evaluations from our offices around the world every year. For 2020, Innocenti and the Evaluation Office joined forces to find the most rigorous UNICEF studies with greatest influence on policies and programmes that benefit children.

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