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BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 1240, 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523308


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic recession has increased parental psychosocial stress and mental health challenges. This has adversely impacted child development and wellbeing, particularly for children from priority populations (culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and rural/regional communities) who are at an already increased risk of health inequality. The increased mental health and psychosocial needs were compounded by the closure of in-person preventive and health promotion programs resulting in health organisations embracing technology and online services. Watch Me Grow- Electronic (WMG-E) - developmental surveillance platform- exemplifies one such service. WMG-E was developed to monitor child development and guide parents towards more detailed assessments when risk is identified. This Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) aims to expand WMG-E as a digital navigation tool by also incorporating parents' mental health and psychosocial needs. Children and families needing additional assessments and supports will be electronically directed to relevant resources in the 'care-as-usual' group. In contrast, the intervention group will receive continuity of care, with additional in-person assessment and 'warm hand over' by a 'service navigator' to ensure their needs are met. METHODS: Using an RCT we will determine: (1) parental engagement with developmental surveillance; (2) access to services for those with mental health and social care needs; and (3) uptake of service recommendations. Three hundred parents/carers of children aged 6 months to 3 years (recruited from a culturally diverse, or rural/regional site) will be randomly allocated to the 'care-as-usual' or 'intervention' group. A mixed methods implementation evaluation will be completed, with semi-structured interviews to ascertain the acceptability, feasibility and impact of the WMG-E platform and service navigator. CONCLUSIONS: Using WMG-E is expected to: normalise and de-stigmatise mental health and psychosocial screening; increase parental engagement and service use; and result in the early identification and management of child developmental needs, parental mental health, and family psychosocial needs. If effective, digital solutions such as WMG-E to engage and empower parents alongside a service navigator for vulnerable families needing additional support, will have significant practice and policy implications in the pandemic/post pandemic period. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial (Protocol No. 1.0, Version 3.1) was registered with ANZCTR (registration number: ACTRN12621000766819 ) on July 21st, 2021 and reporting of the trial results will be according to recommendations in the CONSORT Statement.

COVID-19 , Child Development , Child , Electronics , Humans , Mental Health , Parents , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(11): 2262-2274, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517822


The prevalence of mental health problems represents a significant burden on school and community health resources as early as preschool. Reducing this burden requires a better understanding of the developmental mechanisms linking children's early vulnerabilities with mental health after the transition to formal schooling. The 3D-Transition Study (2017-2021) follows 939 participants from a pregnancy cohort in the province of Québec, Canada, as they transition to kindergarten and first grade to examine these mechanisms. Biannual assessments include completed questionnaires from 2 parents as well as teachers, parent-child observations, anthropometric measurements, and age-sensitive cognitive assessments. Saliva is also collected on 11 days over a 16-month period in a subsample of 384 participants to examine possible changes in child salivary cortisol levels across the school transition and their role in difficulties observed during the transition. A combination of planned missing-data designs is being implemented to reduce participant burden, where incomplete data are collected without introducing bias after the use of multiple imputation. The 3D-Transition Study will contribute to an evidence-based developmental framework of child mental health from pregnancy to school age. In turn, this framework can help inform prevention programs delivered in health-care settings during pregnancy and in child-care centers, preschools, and schools.

Epidemiologic Research Design , Mental Health , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects , Schools , Stress, Psychological , Adverse Childhood Experiences , Child Development , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Hydrocortisone/metabolism , Infant , Life Change Events , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pregnancy
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(10)2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458315


Early child development and overall children's developmental trajectories have long-term implications for health, functioning, and earning potential as these children become adults [...].

Child Development , Family , Adult , Child , Humans , Policy
Sch Psychol ; 36(5): 422-426, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442728


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a disaster, defined as an event that suspends normal activities and threatens or causes severe, community-wide damage (Masten & Motti-Stefanidi, 2020). While all school children and their families have been impacted by COVID-19 to some degree, the burdens are disproportionately being borne by children experiencing poverty and children from minority racial and ethnic groups. In this article, we consider resilience and risk in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on children's developing adaptive systems. When adaptive systems are functioning well, most children will demonstrate resilience to disaster. The capacity of children's adaptive systems to function well depends upon their developmental histories and the social and community resources available to them. We discuss how these factors contribute to children's adaptation and close with recommendations for communities looking to support resilience to the varied adversities of COVID-19. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19 , Child Development , Minority Groups/psychology , Poverty/psychology , Resilience, Psychological , Students/psychology , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Schools
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(16)2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376805


The evidence supporting the idea that natural disaster-related prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) influences the child's development has been accumulating for several years. We conducted a meta-analytical review to quantify this effect on different spheres of child development: birth outcomes, cognitive, motor, physical, socio-emotional, and behavioral development. We systematically searched the literature for articles on this topic (2756 articles retrieved and 37 articles included in the systematic review), extracted the relevant data to calculate the effect sizes, and then performed a meta-analysis for each category of outcomes (30 articles included across the meta-analyses) and meta-regressions to determine the effect of some factors of interest on the association between PNMS and child development: type of PNMS (objective, psychological, cognitive, diet), type of natural disaster (ice storm, flood/cyclone), type of report (maternal, third-party observer, medical), timing of exposure (preconception exposure included or not) and child age at assessment (under 10 or 10 years and older). We found that PNMS significantly influences all spheres of child development. Higher PNMS levels were associated with longer gestational age, larger newborns, and higher BMI and adiposity levels, as well as worse cognitive, motor, socio-emotional, and behavioral outcomes.

Disasters , Natural Disasters , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects , Child , Child Development , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological
New Dir Child Adolesc Dev ; 2020(171): 9-14, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355865
Cells ; 10(7)2021 07 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323129


Central nervous system (CNS) diseases are currently one of the major health issues around the world. Most CNS disorders are characterized by high oxidative stress levels and intense inflammatory responses in affected tissues. Lactoferrin (Lf), a multifunctional iron-binding glycoprotein, plays a significant role in anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, reactive oxygen species (ROS) modulator, antitumor immunity, and anti-apoptotic processes. Previous studies have shown that Lf is abnormally expressed in a variety of neurological diseases, especially neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, the promotion of neurodevelopment and neuroprotection by Lf has attracted widespread attention, and Lf could be exploited both as an active therapeutic agent and drug nanocarrier. However, our understanding of the roles of Lf proteins in the initiation or progression of CNS diseases is limited, especially the roles of Lf in regulating neurogenesis. This review highlights recent advances in the understanding of the major pharmacological effects of Lf in CNS diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cerebrovascular disease, developmental delays in children, and brain tumors.

Central Nervous System Diseases/metabolism , Lactoferrin/metabolism , Animals , Brain/embryology , Brain/pathology , Child , Child Development , Humans , Neurodevelopmental Disorders/pathology
J Pediatr (Rio J) ; 97(4): 369-377, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317737


OBJECTIVE: This was a systematic review of studies that examined the impact of epidemics or social restriction on mental and developmental health in parents and children/adolescents. SOURCE OF DATA: The PubMed, WHO COVID-19, and SciELO databases were searched on March 15, 2020, and on April 25, 2020, filtering for children (0-18 years) and humans. SYNTHESIS OF DATA: The tools used to mitigate the threat of a pandemic such as COVID-19 may very well threaten child growth and development. These tools - such as social restrictions, shutdowns, and school closures - contribute to stress in parents and children and can become risk factors that threaten child growth and development and may compromise the Sustainable Development Goals. The studies reviewed suggest that epidemics can lead to high levels of stress in parents and children, which begin with concerns about children becoming infected. These studies describe several potential mental and emotional consequences of epidemics such as COVID-19, H1N1, AIDS, and Ebola: severe anxiety or depression among parents and acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress, anxiety disorders, and depression among children. These data can be related to adverse childhood experiences and elevated risk of toxic stress. The more adverse experiences, the greater the risk of developmental delays and health problems in adulthood, such as cognitive impairment, substance abuse, depression, and non-communicable diseases. CONCLUSION: Information about the impact of epidemics on parents and children is relevant to policy makers to aid them in developing strategies to help families cope with epidemic/pandemic-driven adversity and ensure their children's healthy development.

COVID-19 , Child Development , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety , Child , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Pandemics , Parents , SARS-CoV-2
Adv Child Dev Behav ; 61: 317-334, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1283836


Since the proliferation of television sets into households began over half a century ago there has been widespread interest in the impact that viewing has on young children's development. Such interest has grown with the increasing availability of smart phones and tablets. In this review we examine the literature documenting human social learning and how this learning is impacted when the instructing agent appears on a screen instead of face-to-face. We then explore the shifting nature of screen-based media, with a focus on the increasingly socio-normative manner information is portrayed. We discuss how the changing nature of screen technology might be altering how children interpret what they see, and raise the possibility that this may render prevailing evidence as historical documentation, rather than setting out established developmental milestones that transcend the period in which they were documented. We contend that recognizing the significance of historically changing contexts in developmental psychology is timely when the COVID-19 climate is pushing data collection on-line for many labs, often using tasks that were developed primarily for face-to-face contexts.

Child Development , Psychology, Developmental , Screen Time , Social Learning , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Humans , Television
J Pediatr Health Care ; 35(4): 377-386, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253463


The COVID-19 pandemic impacts daily lives of families globally. Sequelae are not limited to physical consequences of medical complications but extend into social, emotional, spiritual, and psychological health. Interventions including mask-wearing and physical distancing are intended to prevent viral spread, but have unintended negative effects on mental health and child development. Although it is too early to know the full impact, practicing pediatric clinicians are well-positioned to help young people recover and thrive despite challenges presented. This article will review the impact of COVID-19 on child mental health and give practical interventions to foster resilience in youth and their families.

COVID-19/psychology , Child Development , Family Health , Mental Health , Resilience, Psychological , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Rev. gaúch. enferm ; 42(spe): e20200370, 2021. graf
Article in English | LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1243897


ABSTRACT Objective To comprehend the daily rites of child-mothers with congenital Zika virus syndrome for the prevention of COVID-19 during the pandemic. Method Study with a qualitative-exploratory approach, in the light on the comprehensive sociology of Michel Maffesoli, carried out in WhatsApp groups of associations of families of children with the syndrome. 44 mothers answered the online questionnaire between April and May 2020. Lexical and similarity analyzes were used through IRaMuTeQ. Results Mothers encourage exercises for child development and help the children's school activities, watch television, sew, cook, support other mothers on social networks and find satisfaction in not meeting previously established schedules. To prevent COVID-19, mothers adopt physical distance, try to consume healthy foods and intensify hygiene measures. Final considerations Child-mothers experience, in physical distance being closer to their children and other mothers through the networks, and adopt preventive care to COVID-19, with care overload.

RESUMEN Objetivo Comprender los ritos cotidianos de madres-infantiles con síndrome congénito del virus del zika para la prevención del COVID-19 durante una pandemia. Método Estudio con enfoque exploratorio cualitativo, a la luz de la sociología integral de Michel Maffesoli, realizado en grupos de WhatsApp de asociaciones de familias de niños con síndrome. 44 madres respondieron el cuestionario en línea entre abril y mayo de 2020. Se utilizaron análisis léxico y de similitud a través de IRaMuTeQ. Resultados Las madres fomentan ejercicios para el desarrollo infantil y ayudan en las actividades escolares de los niños, ven televisión, cosen, cocinan, apoyan a otras madres en las redes sociales y encuentran satisfacción en no cumplir con los horarios previamente establecidos. Para prevenir el COVID-19, las madres adoptan la distancia física, intentan consumir alimentos saludables e intensifican las medidas de higiene. Consideraciones finales Las madres-hijos experimentan la distancia física al estar más cerca de sus hijos y otras madres a través de las redes, más atención preventiva al COVID-19, con sobrecarga de cuidados.

RESUMO Objetivo Compreender os ritos quotidianos de mães-crianças com síndrome congênita do vírus zika para prevenção da COVID-19 durante a pandemia. Método Estudo de abordagem qualitativo-exploratória, à luz da sociologia compreensiva de Michel Maffesoli, realizado em grupos de WhatsApp de associações das famílias de crianças com a síndrome. Responderam ao questionário online 44 mães entre abril e maio de 2020. Foram utilizadas análises lexical e de similitude através do IRaMuTeQ. Resultados As mães estimulam exercícios para o desenvolvimento infantil e auxiliam as atividades escolares das crianças, assistem à televisão, costuram, cozinham, apoiam outras mães nas redes sociais e encontram satisfação em descumprir horários estabelecidos anteriormente. Para prevenir a COVID-19, as mães adotam o distanciamento físico, procuram consumir alimentos saudáveis e intensificam medidas de higiene. Considerações finais As mães-crianças experienciam, no distanciamento físico, estarem mais próximas dos filhos e de outras mães pelas redes e adotam cuidados de prevenção à COVID-19 com sobrecarga de cuidado.

Humans , Female , Activities of Daily Living , Child Development , Zika Virus Infection , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mother-Child Relations , Personal Satisfaction , Surveys and Questionnaires , Social Networking , Physical Distancing
Clin Nutr ESPEN ; 43: 1-8, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240256


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Maternal gestational infection is a well-characterized risk factor for offsprings' development of mental disorders including schizophrenia, autism, and attention deficit disorder. The inflammatory response elicited by the infection is partly directed against the placenta and fetus and is the putative pathogenic mechanism for fetal brain developmental abnormalities. Fetal brain abnormalities are generally irreversible after birth and increase risk for later mental disorders. Maternal immune activation in animals models this pathophysiology. SARS-CoV-2 produces maternal inflammatory responses during pregnancy similar to previously studied common respiratory viruses. METHOD: Choline, folic acid, Vitamin D, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are among the nutrients that have been studied as possible mitigating factors for effects of maternal infection and inflammation on fetal development. Clinical and animal studies relevant to their use in pregnant women who have been infected are reviewed. RESULTS: Higher maternal choline levels have positive effects on the development of brain function for infants of mothers who experienced viral infections in early pregnancy. No other nutrient has been studied in the context of viral inflammation. Vitamin D reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines in some, but not all, studies. Active folic acid metabolites decrease anti-inflammatory cytokines. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have no effect. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D and folic acid are already supplemented in food additives and in prenatal vitamins. Despite recommendations by several public health agencies and medical societies, choline intake is often inadequate in early gestation when the brain is forming. A public health initiative for choline supplements during the pandemic could be helpful for women planning or already pregnant who also become exposed or infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Brain , COVID-19/complications , Choline/therapeutic use , Fetal Development , Mothers , Nutritional Status , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Animals , Brain/drug effects , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Child Development/drug effects , Choline/pharmacology , Developmental Disabilities/etiology , Developmental Disabilities/prevention & control , Dietary Supplements , Fatty Acids, Omega-3/pharmacology , Fatty Acids, Omega-3/therapeutic use , Female , Fetal Development/drug effects , Fetus/drug effects , Folic Acid/pharmacology , Folic Acid/therapeutic use , Humans , Infant , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/metabolism , Nutritional Requirements , Pandemics , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitamin D/pharmacology , Vitamin D/therapeutic use
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251081, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238762


From infancy, humans have the ability to distinguish animate agents from inert objects, and preschoolers map biological and mechanical insides to their appropriate kinds. However, less is known about how identifying something as an animate agent shapes specific inferences about its internal properties. Here, we test whether preschool children (N = 92; North American population) have specifically biological expectations about animate agents, or if they have more general expectations that animate agents should have an internal source of motion. We presented preschoolers with videos of two puppets: a "self-propelled" fur-covered puppet, and a fur-covered puppet that is seen to be moved by a human actor. In addition, we presented preschoolers with images of a familiar artifact (motorcycle) and familiar animal (sheep). For each item, we asked them to choose what they thought was inside each of these entities: nothing, biological insides, or mechanical insides. Preschoolers were less likely to say that a self-propelled fur-covered object was empty, compared to a fur-covered object that was moved by a human actor, which converges with past work with infants. However, preschoolers showed no specifically biological expectations about these objects, despite being able to accurately match biological insides to familiar animals and mechanical insides to familiar artifacts on the follow-up measure. These results suggest that preschoolers do not have specifically biological expectations about animate agents as a category, but rather general expectations that such agents should not be empty inside.

Intuition/physiology , Child Development/physiology , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Models, Psychological , Photic Stimulation , Play and Playthings , Psychology, Child