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PLoS One ; 18(5): e0286085, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238905


The COVID-19 measures raised societal concerns about increases in adolescents' loneliness. This study examined trajectories of adolescents' loneliness during the pandemic, and whether trajectories varied across students with different types of peer status and contact with friends. We followed 512 Dutch students (Mage = 11.26, SD = 0.53; 53.1% girls) from before the pandemic (Jan/Feb 2020), over the first lockdown (March-May 2020, measured retrospectively), until the relaxation of measures (Oct/Nov 2020). Latent Growth Curve Analyses (LGCA) showed that average levels of loneliness declined. Multi-group LGCA showed that loneliness declined mostly for students with a victimized or rejected peer status, which suggests that students with a low peer status prior to the lockdown may have found temporary relief from negative peer experiences at school. Students who kept all-round contact with friends during the lockdown declined in loneliness, whereas students who had little contact or who did not (video) call friends did not.

Adolescent Behavior , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Male , Friends , Loneliness , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Peer Group
PLoS Pathog ; 19(5): e1011364, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235062

Friends , Humans
Perspect Biol Med ; 65(1): 143-156, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2319190


Preventing and reducing loneliness is crucial to well-being and good health. While long thought to be a problem specific to the elderly or infirm, over the past decade the prevalence of loneliness across age cohorts has become increasingly apparent, and calls for a systematic public health approach to the problem have grown louder. This essay uses Vivek Murthy's Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World (2020) as a point of departure to explore the value of human connection in general-and friendship in particular-as a means to both abating the pernicious individual and societal impact of loneliness and building a foundation for a renewal of the common good. Friendship as a form of human connection is then applied to understanding and addressing the overlapping mental health challenges of American college students and resettled refugee youth.

Friends , Hope , Loneliness , Mental Health , Adolescent , Aged , Friends/psychology , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Public Health , United States , Young Adult
Viruses ; 15(2)2023 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2307977


Human adenoviruses (HAdV) are one of the most important pathogens detected in acute respiratory diseases in pediatrics and immunocompromised patients. In 1953, Wallace Rowe described it for the first time in oropharyngeal lymphatic tissue. To date, more than 110 types of HAdV have been described, with different cellular tropisms. They can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, even urinary tract inflammation, although most infections are asymptomatic. However, there is a population at risk that can develop serious and even lethal conditions. These viruses have a double-stranded DNA genome, 25-48 kbp, 90 nm in diameter, without a mantle, are stable in the environment, and resistant to fat-soluble detergents. Currently the diagnosis is made with lateral flow immunochromatography or molecular biology through a polymerase chain reaction. This review aimed to highlight the HAdV variability and the pandemic potential that a HAdV3 and 7 recombinant could have considering the aggressive outbreaks produced in health facilities. Herein, we described the characteristics of HAdV, from the infection to treatment, vaccine development, and the evaluation of the social determinants of health associated with HAdV, suggesting the necessary measures for future sanitary control to prevent disasters such as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with an emphasis on the use of recombinant AdV vaccines to control other potential pandemics.

Adenoviruses, Human , COVID-19 , Humans , Child , Adenoviridae , Pandemics/prevention & control , Friends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenoviruses, Human/genetics
Br J Soc Psychol ; 62(2): 1036-1055, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291773


While COVID-19 implications for prejudice have been investigated among adults in previous research, children's intergroup reactions to the pandemic and specifically how native children's contact behaviours with refugees might have changed after the pandemic has not been examined yet. Drawing on a unique longitudinal school dataset (N = 861, 5th graders, Mage reported at T1 = 10.38, SD = 0.68) collected before the onset of the pandemic (T1, pre-lockdown), after the onset of the pandemic (T2, post-lockdown), and 6 months after the post-lockdown (T3, follow-up) in Turkey, we examined how children's contact behaviour (positive and negative contact), contact motivation (self-efficacy and volition), as well as behavioural tendencies (approach and avoidance) have shifted during this period (2.5 years). We observed a consistent pattern of improvement in contact behaviours demonstrated by increases in positive contact variables and decreases in negative contact variables particularly from T1 to T2. The change in some positive contact variables was stable for 6 months, while negative contact and avoidance rapidly regressed to the baseline during the normalization period (T3). The boosting effect of the pandemic was particularly pronounced among children who displayed greater prejudice towards refugees before the pandemic. Findings contribute to the growing research literature delineating the potential benefits of COVID-19 at the collective level.

COVID-19 , Friends , Adult , Humans , Child , Interpersonal Relations , Communicable Disease Control , Prejudice
Postgrad Med J ; 98(1161): 485-486, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302849
Parasite Immunol ; 45(5): e12982, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291108


Helminths are metazoan parasites affecting about one third of the worldwide population. Chronic helminth infections (CHIs) confer immunological tolerance to harmless and self-antigens mediated by regulatory T cells (Treg) that are up-regulated. In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), abnormal adaptive immune response and unrestrained innate immune response could result in local and systemic immune-mediated tissue damage. COVID-19 and CHIs establish complicated immune interactions due to SARS-CoV-2-induced immunological stimulation and CHIs-induced immunological tolerance. However, COVID-19 severity in patients with CHIs is mild, as immuno-suppressive anti-inflammatory cytokines counterbalance the risk of cytokine storm. Here, an overview of the interplay between helminths and COVID-19 severity is given. CHIs through helminth-derived molecules may suppress SARS-CoV-2 entry and associated hyperinflammation through attenuation of the TLR4/NF-kB signalling pathway. In addition, CHIs may reduce the COVID-19 severity by reducing the SARS-CoV-2 entry points at ACE2/DPP4/CD147 axis in the initial phase and immunomodulation in the late phase of the disease by suppressing TLR4/NF-kB signalling pathway.

COVID-19 , Coinfection , Helminths , Humans , Animals , SARS-CoV-2 , NF-kappa B , Friends , Toll-Like Receptor 4
Front Neuroendocrinol ; 67: 101016, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2277994


Incidents of strokes are increased in young women relative to young men, suggesting that oral contraceptive (OC) use is one of the causes of stroke among young women. Long-term exposures to the varying combinations of estrogen and progestogen found in OCs affect blood clotting, lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, endothelial function, and de novo synthesis of neurosteroids, especially brain-derived 17ß-estradiol. The latter is essential for neuroprotection, memory, sexual differentiation, synaptic transmission, and behavior. Deleterious effects of OCs may be exacerbated due to comorbidities like polycystic ovary syndrome, sickle cell anemia, COVID-19, exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals, and conventional or electronic cigarette smoking. The goal of the current review is to revisit the available literature regarding the impact of OC use on stroke, to explain possible underlying mechanisms, and to identify gaps in our understanding to promote future research to reduce and cure stroke in OC users.

COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Stroke , Male , Female , Humans , Contraceptives, Oral/pharmacology , Friends , Stroke/etiology
Reprod Health ; 20(1): 41, 2023 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2289125


BACKGROUND: Contraceptive use among young women in Nairobi remains low despite high general knowledge of family planning (FP) methods. This paper draws on social norms theory to explore the role of key influencers (partners, parents and friends) in women's FP use and how women anticipate normative reactions or sanctions. METHODS: A qualitative study with 16 women, 10 men and 14 key influencers across 7 peri-urban wards in Nairobi, Kenya. Interviews were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 by phone. A thematic analysis was conducted. RESULTS: Women identified parents, specifically mothers, aunts, partners, friends and healthcare workers as key influencers on FP. Their interactions with these key influencers varied based on trust, the information they needed about FP, and whether they perceived a key influencer to perpetuate or challenge existing social norms on FP. Mothers were perceived to understand the social risks of using FP and thus could advise on discreet FP use, and aunts were trusted and approachable sources to impartially describe the benefits and drawbacks of FP. Although women identified partners as key FP decision makers, they were cognisant of possible power imbalances affecting a final FP choice. CONCLUSIONS: FP interventions should consider the normative influence key actors have on women's FP choices. Opportunities to design and deliver network-level interventions which seek to engage with social norms surrounding FP in order to challenge misconceptions and misinformation among key influencers should be explored. Intervention design should consider dynamics of secrecy, trust and emotional closeness that mediate discussions of FP to address changing norms. Further training to change norms held by healthcare providers about why women, in particular unmarried young women, access FP should be provided to reduce barriers for FP access.

Women's decisions to use family planning (FP) are influenced by social norms, the unwritten rules of appropriate actions within social networks, and are shaped by advice and information received from key influencers­important individuals who shape what is acceptable within social networks. The aim of this study was to understand how key influencers uphold and transmit information and norms about FP, and explore who women consult as they make FP decisions and why they consult these key influencers.We interviewed 16 women, 10 partners and 14 key influencers in peri-urban Nairobi, Kenya.We found that key influencers for decisions about FP included mothers, aunts, partners, friends and healthcare providers. In making a decision about FP use, women consulted key influencers based on who they deemed trustworthy to keep their FP use secret and described less trust to speak with men about FP in their social networks. Mothers understood the social risks of using FP and so could advise on its discreet use, and aunts were approachable sources of impartial information about FP. Although women identified partners as key decision makers, they were aware that power imbalances might affect final FP choices.Our findings underscore the importance of FP interventions working with women's social networks and to address social norms influencing women's decisions in using FP. Interventions to change FP norms should consider dynamics of secrecy, trust and emotional closeness that affect FP discussions among women's networks.

COVID-19 , Friends , Male , Humans , Female , Pandemics , Kenya , Family Planning Services , Parents
Laryngorhinootologie ; 102(2): 76-77, 2023 02.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257192

Friends , Humans
Scand J Public Health ; 51(5): 692-703, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2245438


BACKGROUND: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people were encouraged to practice social distancing, and schools and leisure venues closed. AIMS: We aimed to explore the everyday experiences of Norwegian adolescents during COVID-19 restrictions, when in-person contact with peers was severely limited. METHODS: A total of 622 high-school students (16-18 years of age) replied to an online survey containing open-ended questions about the changes they experienced in everyday life during the first three months of the pandemic. RESULTS: Reflexive thematic analysis resulted in four themes: (a) 'Everyday life turned upside down - everything is on hold'; (b) 'Alone with my thoughts - new concerns'; (c) 'A loss of social life - a fear of wasting important time'; and (d) 'Gratitude - new perspectives in life'. The results are discussed according to mental-health concerns and psychological developmental challenges during adolescence, such as social exploration of roles with peers, autonomy and identity formation during a crisis. CONCLUSIONS: The results underline individual variations and positive experiences among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite social restrictions. Still, the lack of in-person contact with friends is related to an increased experience of loneliness and mental-health concerns for many adolescents.

COVID-19 , Humans , Adolescent , Infant , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Fear , Friends , Loneliness
PLoS One ; 17(12): e0267871, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196892


Can comics effectively convey scientific knowledge about COVID-19 to youth? What types and how many sources of information did youth have about COVID-19 during the pandemic? How are sources of information associated with accurate COVID-19 knowledge? To answer these questions, we surveyed youth in grades 5-9 in a Midwestern United States school district in the winter of 2020-2021. The online survey used measures of COVID-19 knowledge and sources, with an embedded experiment on COVID-19 relevant comics. Guided by an integrated science capital and just-in-time health and science information acquisition model, we also measured level of science capital, science identity, and utility of science for health and society. The school district protocol required parental consent for participation; 264 of ~15,000 youth participated. Youth were randomly assigned one of four comic conditions before receiving an online survey. Results indicate that, similar to knowledge gains in comic studies on other science topics, reading the comics was associated with 7 to 29% higher accuracy about COVID-19. We found that youth reported getting information about COVID-19 from between 0-6 sources including media, family, friends, school, and experts. The bivariate positive association of news versus other sources with accuracy of knowledge did not persist in the full model, yet the positive association of a higher number of sources and accuracy did persist in the multivariate models. The degree of valuing the utility of science for their health moderated the number of sources to accuracy association. Those with less value on science for health had a stronger positive association of number of sources and accuracy in COVID-19 knowledge. We conclude that during a pandemic, even with health and science information ubiquitous in the news media, increasing youth access to a variety of accurate sources of information about science and health can increase youth knowledge.

COVID-19 , Humans , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Information Sources , Mass Media , Schools , Friends
J Health Commun ; 27(10): 706-716, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2160638


In the communicative theory of resilience (CTR), communication constructs resilience processes that can promote change or continuity during hardship. The enactment of resilience is theorized to depend on available resources. The current study tests this theoretical link in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, examining differences at the intersection of race and gender (N = 588). Job security, education quality, and friend support positively predicted continuity and change resilience. Four differences based on race/gender emerged: necessities negatively predicted continuity resilience for Black men and White women, healthcare and government representation positively predicted continuity resilience for Black women only, and family support positively predicted change resilience for Black women and White men. Findings support CTR's claim that resource access influences resilience enactment and indicate that theoretical associations differ based on race/gender. The current research emphasizes the importance of considering intersectionality in relation to CTR processes and structural barriers to enacting resilience.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Female , Humans , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Educational Status , Friends , Health Status Disparities , Communication , Resilience, Psychological
Nurs Ethics ; 29(6): 1321-1322, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053659

Culture , Friends , Humans , Trust
Front Public Health ; 10: 949438, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022972


Background: The aim of this study was to test whether two SARS-CoV-2 experiences, knowing someone who had died of SARS-CoV-2 infection and having received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result, were associated with shorter sleep duration among undergraduate students. Methods: An online cross-sectional study was conducted at a large public Midwestern university in September 2020 (fall semester). Self-reported average sleep duration and the exposures of interest, knowing someone who died from a SARS-CoV-2 infection and their own SARS-CoV-2 test result, were collected from 1,058 undergraduate study participants. Results: Respondents who knew someone who had died of a SARS-CoV-2 infection were more likely to report having a short sleep duration, compared to respondents who did not know someone who had died of a SARS-CoV-2 infection (aOR = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.14, 2.79). However, those with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result were less likely to report a short sleep duration, compared to respondents without a positive test history (aOR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.91). Conclusions: These findings suggest that college students' knowing someone who had died of SARS-CoV-2 infection and having received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result are associated with sleep duration. However, different experiences may impact sleep differently, so further research is warranted to better understand how unusual events impact the sleep of college students.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Friends , Humans , Sleep , Students
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(18)2022 Sep 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010077


COVID-19 affected child/adolescent activities (e.g., extra-curricular, screen time), along with physical health (PH) and mental health (MH); however, less is known about the relationship between changes in activities and PH and MH in the United States and how these relationships vary by race/ethnicity. To address this gap, data were used from a national survey (Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 Survey) administered May-June 2021 (n = 853). Multinomial logistic regression explored changes in outdoor, school, extracurricular, friend, and screen time activities with changes in PH and MH; interactions explored moderation by race/ethnicity. Results showed increases in outdoor (RRR 2.36, p = 0.003), school (RRR 3.07, p < 0.001), and extracurricular activities (RRR 3.05, p < 0.001), which were associated with increases in chances of better PH. Better MH was more likely for children/adolescents where friend activities (RRR 3.34, p < 0.001) and extracurriculars (RRR 4.48, p < 0.001) increased. Except for extracurriculars, heterogeneous relationships were observed (e.g., increases and decreases in activities were simultaneously related to better and worse health). The relationship between outdoor activities and screen time with health were moderated by race/ethnicity. Findings support facilitating outdoor, school, extracurricular, and friend activities, which were positively related to health. Given heterogeneity and variation by race/ethnicity, more research is needed to understand the complex relationship between activities and health during COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Sports , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Friends , Humans , Pandemics , Schools , United States/epidemiology
Nutrients ; 14(14)2022 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1979321


We investigated whether dining with companions is correlated with the alleviation of depression and differs by sex among Korean adults. We used 4-year data from the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We surveyed 11,055 participants (4699 men, 6356 women) using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to measure their depression scores. We evaluated participants' meal companionship status by asking whether they had usually dined with companions for breakfast, lunch, or dinner during the past year. Statistical analysis was performed using chi-square tests and multivariate/multinomial logistic regression. We found depression to be less prevalent among participants who dined with companions at least once a day (adjusted OR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.15-0.45, men; adjusted OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.34-0.74, women). In the moderate depression subgroup, participants who dined with companions at least once a day showed lower OR (adjusted OR: 0.28, 95% CI: 0.16-0.50, men; adjusted OR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.32-0.76, women). Among participants who dined together, men's severe depression dramatically decreased (adjusted OR: 0.05, 95% CI: 0.01-0.31). Thus, we found an association between dining with companions and the prevalence of depression among Korean adults. Dining with companions compared with dining alone signified a lower depression rate, especially among men. This study can provide an initiative to further analyze psychological and physiological effects of dining together and be applied to practical fields as education and societal campaigns.

Depression , Friends , Adult , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Meals , Nutrition Surveys , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0270279, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951542


OBJECTIVE: To understand which factors affect how willing people are to share their personal information to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, and compare them to factors that affect other public health behaviors. METHOD: We analyze data from three pre-registered online experiments conducted over eight months during the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States (April 3 2020 -November 25, 2020). Our primary analysis tests whether support for data sharing and intention to practice protective behavior increase in response to relationship-centered messages about prosociality, disease spread, and financial hardship. We then conduct a secondary correlational analysis to compare the demographic and attitudinal factors associated with willingness to share data, protective behavior, and intent to get vaccinated. Our sample (N = 650) is representative to socio-demographic characteristics of the U.S. population. RESULTS: We find the altruistic condition increased respondents' willingness to share data. In our correlational analysis, we find interactive effects of political ID and socio-demographic traits on likelihood to share data. In contrast, we found health behavior was most strongly associated with political ID, and intent to vaccinate was more associated with socio-demographic traits. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that some public health messaging, even when it is not about data sharing or privacy, may increase public willingness to share data. We also find the role of socio-demographic factors in moderating the effect of political party ID varies by public health behavior.

COVID-19 , Privacy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Friends , Health Behavior , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(13)2022 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917444


Loneliness and social isolation are well known to have detrimental effects on mental and physical health, and the perception of social support is frequently viewed as a protective factor. Yet, the beneficial effect varies when perceived support is considered with respect to gender and personality. We examined the mechanism of loneliness as a mediator of personality on health and moderation of this relationship by perceived social support and gender. Five hundred and thirty young adults (325 women) aged 18-32 years (Mage = 25.42, SD = 4.13) provided self-report assessments of personality, loneliness, perceived social support, general health and psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being. Using a series of regression-based mediation and moderated mediation models, we found higher scores on extraversion to be associated with lower loneliness and better general health and well-being; higher neuroticism with greater loneliness and poorer general health. Being male and perceiving greater friend support moderated the neuroticism-loneliness-well-being relationship. Men higher on neuroticism were less able to benefit from lower loneliness when the perception of support from friends was greater, yet were less sensitive to the negative impact on the well-being of perceiving low levels of friend support. Effects suggest important gender differences with the potential to inform health interventions.

COVID-19 , Loneliness , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Friends , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Male , Neuroticism , Pandemics , Social Support , Young Adult