Special Issue "Unintended Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic, on the Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Claire E Hastie
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Public Health, 1 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8RZ, UK
Interests: child and maternal health; environmental determinants of health; data linkage
Dr. Frederick Ho
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Public Health, 1 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8RZ, UK
Interests: early life; socio-behavioural determinants of health
Dr. Michael Fleming
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Public Health, 1 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8RZ, UK
Interests: data linkage; maternal and child health; childhood chronic conditions; early life factors; educational outcomes; predictors of maternal, foetal, neonatal and child outcomes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic, which emerged at the end of 2019, is having a global effect on health, wellbeing, and the economy. Older people are more at risk of COVID-19 infection and death. However, there is emerging evidence that children and young adults may be at great risk of its unintended consequences. These include months if not years of lost schooling and social interaction at key periods of development, the disappearance of training opportunities and routes to employment, and an increase in abuse and neglect of children during lockdown. The transference of health services and resources in reaction to the pandemic is likely to cause disruption to routine surveillance of child health and immunisation schedules, as well as maternity services and practices, and child and adolescent mental health services. Furthermore, existing disadvantage may be exacerbated with the consequence being widening health and educational inequality. The experience of lockdown differs widely depending on individual circumstances.

This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) welcomes manuscripts that broadly explore the unintended consequences of the pandemic on children and young people, as well as potential interventions given that the effects of COVID-19 will be felt globally for some time to come.

Dr. Claire E Hastie
Dr. Frederick Ho
Dr. Michael Fleming
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • children
  • unintended consequences
  • health and wellbeing
  • health inequalities
  • education

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Habilitating Residential Communities for Unaccompanied Minors during the First Lockdown in Italy: The Educators’ Relational Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 6166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116166 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 643
Abstract
(1) Background: Italian residential communities for unaccompanied minors suffered a long period of closure during the SARS-COV2 lockdown. Professional educators who work inside these institutions with the aim to habilitate children toward life-span achievements faced a great challenge and responsibility during this period. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Italian residential communities for unaccompanied minors suffered a long period of closure during the SARS-COV2 lockdown. Professional educators who work inside these institutions with the aim to habilitate children toward life-span achievements faced a great challenge and responsibility during this period. In this context, the psychological well-being and development of unaccompanied children were at high risk. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the lockdown on children living in residential communities from the educators’ perspective and to explore whether the educators’ relational lens was related to their perception and sense-making. (2) Methods: We conducted a mix-method study enrolling 21 educators in 10 residential communities who completed an interview and a self-construal scale. (3) Results: The interview was analyzed by a qualitative content method revealing 10 themes (social relationships, stand-by, emotions, new activities, new norms acceptance, end of lockdown, time, space, resilience, and achievements). Moreover, correlation analyses were performed to test the possible association between RISC and themes that emerged from the interviews, showing significant associations with four interview themes. (4) Conclusions: Our study highlights considerable lockdown effects on residential communities and the importance of educators’ relational approach, a tool for habilitating children and a protective factor against emotional overwhelming. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Social Inequalities in Health Determinants in Spanish Children during the COVID-19 Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4087; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084087 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
The COVID-19 lockdown was imposed in a context of notable inequalities in the distribution of the social determinants of health. It is possible that the housing conditions in which children and their families experienced the confinement, and the adoption of healthy behaviors, may [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 lockdown was imposed in a context of notable inequalities in the distribution of the social determinants of health. It is possible that the housing conditions in which children and their families experienced the confinement, and the adoption of healthy behaviors, may have followed unequal patterns. The aim was to describe social inequalities in housing conditions and in health-related behaviors among children during the lockdown in Spain. This cross-sectional study was based on data from an online survey collecting information on the child population (3–12 years) living in Spain (n = 10,765). The outcome variables used were several housing conditions and health-related behaviors. The socioeconomic variables used were financial difficulties and parents’ educational level. Crude prevalence and prevalence ratios estimated using Poisson models were calculated. During lockdown, children from families with low educational levels and financial difficulties not only tended to live in poor housing conditions, but were also exposed to negative health determinants such as noise and tobacco smoke; they took less physical exercise, had a poorer diet, spent more time in front of screens and had less social contact. A notable social gradient was found in most of the variables analyzed. The results point to the need to incorporate the perspective of equity in the adoption of policies in order to avoid the increase of pre-existing social inequalities in the context of a pandemic. Full article
Article
Fall 2020 COVID-19 Needs Assessment among New Jersey Secondary School Educational Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4083; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084083 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Secondary or high school (HS) educational professionals expressed concerns about dealing with environmental and occupational health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. Concerns related to fall 2020 school re-opening and getting back into in-person teaching—whether full-time, part-time or some other approved hybrid model—plus [...] Read more.
Secondary or high school (HS) educational professionals expressed concerns about dealing with environmental and occupational health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. Concerns related to fall 2020 school re-opening and getting back into in-person teaching—whether full-time, part-time or some other approved hybrid model—plus ongoing uncertainty with how the state and federal government will be handling matters about mandates for virtual learning, rapid testing, vaccine distribution, etc. These concerns were related to both their experience as educational professionals and genuine interest in personal and student well-being. This study was a cross-sectional online survey in early fall from mid-September–early October 2020. Of a possible maximum participation of 740 New Jersey (NJ) supervisory-level HS teachers and administrators (e.g., department chairs, district and school principals), 100 confirmed unique respondents (13.5%) consented and completed the survey. Of 100 experienced (mean 18 years teaching) participants, 70% responded to the gender identity question (overall, 61% female, 39% male; by NJ region, gender ratios were similar). There were statistically significant differences (using Fischer’s exact test) between NJ regions regarding provision of online counseling and support services for teachers (p < 0.001); for resources and equipment for teachers to mediate online learning (p = 0.02); for assistive video technology tools (p = 0.03) and accessibility to structured online learning and professional development (p = 0.002); concerning learning aids to engage students in online instruction, online counseling, and support services for students and their families (p = 0.006); appropriate protocol is clean and disinfect areas used by a person with COVID-19 (p = 0.002); and, immediately separate staff and students who screen positive for COVID-19 (p = 0.03). There were few statistical differences by gender. This study reported what participants wanted regarding the development of future policies then implemented as reopening practices. Data can inform recommendations in NJ and elsewhere at federal, state, and local levels. Data provide new insights and valuable information to inform the consideration of acceptability of various policy measures among HS education professionals. Full article
Article
The Loneliness–Life Satisfaction Relationship: The Parallel and Serial Mediating Role of Hopelessness, Depression and Ego-Resilience among Young Adults in South Africa during COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3613; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073613 - 31 Mar 2021
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Recently, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several lockdown and stay-at-home regulations have been implemented worldwide. In this regard, loneliness has been identified as the signature mental health consequence of this pandemic. The aim of this study is to explore the associations [...] Read more.
Recently, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several lockdown and stay-at-home regulations have been implemented worldwide. In this regard, loneliness has been identified as the signature mental health consequence of this pandemic. The aim of this study is to explore the associations among loneliness, hopelessness, depression, ego-resilience and life satisfaction in a random sample of young adults (N = 337) at a university in the Western Cape of South Africa. Parallel and serial mediation analysis supported the hypothesis that loneliness is associated with hopelessness, which in turn is associated with depression, and that ego-resilience mediates the association between all the negative indices of psychological well-being and life satisfaction. These findings suggest that mental health interventions that boost ego-resilience and target loneliness may help in dealing with the mental health consequences of COVID-19. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Behavioral and Emotional Aspects and Daily Routines of Arab Israeli Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062946 - 13 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Negative psychological effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been identified in adults and children, such as anxiety and sleep disorders. However, research about the impact of this pandemic on children from ethnical minorities is scarce. We tested the effects of COVID-19 outbreak [...] Read more.
Negative psychological effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been identified in adults and children, such as anxiety and sleep disorders. However, research about the impact of this pandemic on children from ethnical minorities is scarce. We tested the effects of COVID-19 outbreak on psychological aspects and daily routines among Arab Israeli Children. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted among Arab Israeli parents, including behavioral and emotional aspects questionnaire and questions addressing using of screens, sleep, and physical activities. The results showed that, during the COVID-19 outbreak, 55.8% of the children asked to sleep in their parents’ bed and 45% expressed fears they did not have before. Most of the children showed increased irritability, constant mood swings and nervousness about limits and messages, and 41.4% showed sleep difficulties. Concerning adaptive behaviors, more than 50% of the parents reported that their child became wiser, lazier, and was able to adapt the limits and restriction of the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover, the children tended to increase their use of screens, used to sleep more time, and were less active physically. The results suggest that children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak psychological effects and highlight the need to reduce the psychological burden of this pandemic and the necessity of immediate intervention. Full article
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Risk Perception, Behaviour and Preventive Measures at Schools in Berlin, Germany, during the Early Post-Lockdown Phase: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052739 - 08 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Briefly before the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Berlin, Germany, schools closed in mid-March 2020. Following re-opening, schools resumed operation at a reduced level for nine weeks. During this phase, we aimed at assessing, among students and teachers, infection status, symptoms, [...] Read more.
Briefly before the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Berlin, Germany, schools closed in mid-March 2020. Following re-opening, schools resumed operation at a reduced level for nine weeks. During this phase, we aimed at assessing, among students and teachers, infection status, symptoms, individual behaviour, and institutional infection prevention measures. Twenty-four primary and secondary school classes, randomly selected across Berlin, were examined. Oro-nasopharyngeal swabs and capillary blood samples were collected to determine SARS-CoV-2 infection (PCR) and specific IgG (ELISA), respectively. Medical history, household characteristics, leisure activities, fear of infection, risk perception, hand hygiene, facemask wearing, and institutional preventive measures were assessed. Descriptive analysis was performed. Among 535 participants (385 students, 150 staff), one teenager was found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 (0.2%), and seven individuals exhibited specific IgG (1.3%). Compared to pre-pandemic times, screen time (e.g., TV, gaming, social media) increased, and the majority of primary school students reported reduced physical activity (42.2%). Fear of infection and risk perception were relatively low, acceptance of adapted health behaviors was high. In this post-lockdown period of low SARS-CoV-2 incidence in Berlin, individual and school-level infection prevention measures were largely adhered to. Nevertheless, vigilance and continued preventive measures are essential to cope with future pandemic activity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop