Please use all of the Covid-19 sources you have used in my previous assignments. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Week 7: Research Proposal Draft
Research on the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic is still new because the new coronavirus was identified for the first time in China in December 2019. Therefore, the topic is still developing. The proposed study will add to the body of knowledge on the impact of COVID-19 on children’s socialization and mental health. The purpose of the current research is to establish the effect of COVID-19 and social distancing policies on children and adolescents. To achieve the aim, the study will be conducted in a neighborhood within a school district where children are no longer attending school due to social distancing measures to curtail the spread of the virus. The research will be a qualitative study in which data will be collected through observation and face-to-face interviews. The findings will inform current research on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and policies to intervene and help children to cope with the changes and to address mental health challenges.
The world battles one of the most recent crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, which was identified for the very first time in China in December 2019. Since then, the new coronavirus and related infections have spread across the world, causing a huge disease burden, high healthcare cost, and high mortality and morbidity (Nicola et al., 2020; Rothan & Byrareddy, 2020). Unfortunately, the disease is no longer limited to one geographical location due to its highly contagious nature and the rate at which it has spread around the world. As a result, many countries are engaged in the battle to stop further spread of the disease. The immediate measures implemented to curtail the spreading of the virus were social distancing and stay-home policies, which affected various sections of the population differently depending on the role they play (Lin et al., 2020; Nicola et al., 2020). For example, the need to maintain social distance led to the closure of schools in many countries, including the US and Canada. Regardless of the closure of schools, research has not been extensively carried out to establish the effect of social distancing on children and adolescents, who have to be away from their socializing settings, such as schools and playing grounds. Therefore, research is warranted in this area to find out how children are being affected by the pandemic and related policies.
The purpose of the current research is to establish the effect of COVID-19 and social distancing policies on children and adolescents. While governments around the world implemented policies, such as the closure of schools and other social distancing measures, they have not considered interventions to help children to maintain their mental health in the wake of changes that threatens their social and emotional wellbeing (Vilar-Compte et al., 2020). Currently, children are rarely socializing with their peers, mostly because they are not in school and prohibited from going out to play. The social distancing requirements could have an unprecedented effect on the mental health of children, which begs for effective measures to support them to develop well emotionally and socially. However, research evidence is necessary to inform the interventions in children in the wake of the social distancing reality. The research will help to establish the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and policies to stop the spreading of the virus on children. The results of the study will help to find alternative means for children to socialize.
- What is the impact of social distancing policies on children’s socialization in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic?
- How has social distancing policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic affected playtime in children?
- How often are children going out to meet their friends due to social distancing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic?
The operational definition of terms in the proposal includes four key terms drawn from the research topic:
- Social distancing- is the art of preventing crowds, especially in social places.
- Social distancing policies – they are the measures of directives by a government or other agencies with authority established to prevent socialization or crowding, hence, curtail the spreading of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.
- Children’s socialization – is the children’s ability to socialize with their peers, such as at school or during play.
- Covid-19 pandemic – It is a new strain of coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly across the world, having broken out in China towards the end of 2019.
The literature review is a review of the current knowledge about the topic and helps a researcher to find out what others have written about the issue being studied. A researcher establishes the areas where previous studies agree and those that they contrast to establish the approach to take when performing the proposed study. Basically, the new study intends to fill the gaps in current knowledge. The researcher obtained eight sources by searching using key terms from the topic of study, “the impact of social distancing policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic on children’s socialization.”
COVID-19 pandemic is a new phenomenon in the world today. Thus, being relatively new, the first case having been identified in December 2019 in China, research is still underway to understand various aspects of the crisis, including its impact on various populations across the world. However, some researchers have explored the impact of the disease on the wellbeing of children as they remain out of school because of the pandemic. Fegert et al. (2020) established the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children due to the isolation, restrictions of contact, and economic lockdown, the policies in place to curtail the spread of the highly contagious virus. The study revealed the impact of the measures on the psychosocial environment, as well as the mental health outcomes of affected children. Fegert et al. (2020) further affirmed that isolation could cause negative mental health outcomes, such as anxiety, failure to regulate stress, and minimal peer contact. While the negative effects are likely for all individuals, they could be worse for children with disabilities, those with trauma experience, and those from low-income families.
Further study has affirmed that the COVID-19 crisis has a detrimental effect on children. For example, Phelps and Sperry (2020) agree with Fegert et al. (2020) that the policies in place to curtail the spread of the virus harm the children’s wellbeing. The authors affirmed that being out of school is a risk factor for negative mental health outcomes for children. Unfortunately, the children affected by the pandemic lack the trauma-informed care center, which is commonly present at school. Fantini et al. (2020) add that the pandemic and associated measures have an impact on the psychological wellbeing of children. Research agrees that the effects are both short- and long-term (Fantini et al., 2020; Fegert et al., 2020; Prem et al., 2020). Unfortunately, it is difficult to know when schools are likely to reopen since medical experts are yet to get a cure or vaccine for the virus. Phelps and Sperry (2020) argue that governments should not rush to reopen schools, but instead consider a phase of gradual lifting of the social isolation to prevent new infections, which can spread very fast in schools. The authors further recommend that government and other policymakers create effective measures to help children to overcome the mental health challenges associated with social isolation.
Children are out of school to prevent the uncontrolled spreading of the new coronavirus, and governments around the world are struggling with the decision of reopening. Vogel and Couzin-Frankel (2020), just like Fantini et al. (2020), suggest the need to be careful about opening schools. The idea means that children will remain out of school longer as the government remains unsure about the role of children in the crisis. Fantini et al. (2020) indicate the need for the government to ensure the safety of children and society instead of rushing to open schools. Vogel and Couzin-Frankel (2020) further indicate that children are affected and infected by COVID-19, necessitating the need to understand the long- and short-term effects on their wellbeing. Vilar-Compte et al. (2020) narrowed down their research on the effect of COVID-19 to Mexico and on families. The research focused on the socio-economic challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are worse in for vulnerable populations, such as families in informal employment, low income, and those with young children. The article suggests the need for the government to implement measures to protect vulnerable families from worse socio-economic outcomes.
Another significant area relating to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is in diagnosing children. Sinha and Kaleem (2020) suggested that while reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is effective in testing adults, its validity in children is yet to be confirmed. Thus, the author suggests further research to establish the effectiveness of the test on children and whether there might be a more effective alternative. Furthermore, research indicates the importance of protecting vulnerable populations, including children. Price et al. (2020) revealed that people with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatic disease, are at a high risk of infection and developing complications due to their compromised immunity. The study suggests the need to isolate such individuals to protect them from infection. However, the isolation could cause negative effects on their mental health, suggesting the need for mental health support. Researchers further suggest that the world could deal with a worse crisis because of the focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the article, “Influenza Season Quietly Took a Toll” suggests that the next season of influenza might be worse in terms of morbidity and mortality because the healthcare resources are focused on COVID-19. Notably, the negative effect will be experienced by both children and adults.
The topic of COVID-19 is new and growing, which means research is still limited on the topic. For example, researchers are beginning to study the effect of the disease on children, especially the long-term impact on their socialization and mental health. Studies are necessary to establish the short- and long-term effects of the virus on children and adolescents as a result of the severed social contact, which is primarily from school. The current study will fill some of the gaps in research and help to unravel some of the implications of the disease and social isolation on children.
The study will be a qualitative design. It will be a phenomenology study assessing the impact of policies established to stop the spread of COVID-19 on children especially now that are out of school. The design is suitable because it will provide a deeper understanding of the crisis and its effect on children and the way they normally socialize. It will be conducted in their social environment and provide a narrative of the effect of the phenomenon.
The participants in the study will be children in a neighborhood in a school district where schools have been closed following the outbreak of the pandemic. The study will select participants using a convenient sampling method based on the willingness of the patient to allow the researcher to access their home and interview their children. Therefore, one of the ethical considerations is obtaining informed consent from parents because participants are minors. The researcher will also protect the safety of children and the confidentiality of their information, especially since they are minors. Since the study will require time to observe and interview the children, only a sample of 20 participants will be effectively studied.
The measure two variables, COVID-19-related measures and the impact on children’s socialization. The study will use an interview schedule to collect the data to test the variables and answer the research question. Since the tool will be generated by the researcher, the effective way of testing its reliability and validity is to conduct a pilot study on a number of children. The pilot study will show whether the tool can apply to children out of school because of the pandemic.
Data Collection Method
The data will be collected using a face-to-face interview and observation of children who are out of school due to COVID-19 and the social distancing policies. The researcher will spend time with the children to collect as much information as possible from them. Interviews will be conducted at home with children, but under supervision from their parents or other mature guardians. The researcher will use an interview schedule (see appendix for a copy of the interview schedule). The research will use a field note to record all data collected using the interviews and observations.
The study will provide an in-depth understanding of the impact of COVID-19 and related social distancing policies on socialization in children. The analysis will include a review of the field notes completed during the observation and as responses to the research questions. Therefore, thematic content analysis is the most effective method for data analysis. The research will study the content of the field notes and identify common themes for representation. For example, mental health, such as anxiety and depression, will form some of the themes included in the final analysis. Thematic presentation of findings will make it easy to read and understand the results.
The study will have a number of limitations. First, the researcher will only collect data from a single neighborhood to avoid traveling. Therefore, the study will have the contextual limitation. Secondly, the study will be conducted in the wake of the infection, which means that the researcher will have to observe the social distancing requirements. Finally, the study will be limited in terms of the number of participants the researcher would be able to include in the convenient sample. The researcher will interview and observe 20 children because of the limitation in the setting and the need to obtain consent from parents.
The findings of the study will have a number of implications in practice. The results will help researchers and policymakers to understand the actual effect of COVID-19 and social isolation policies on children. They can use the information to inform interventions to help children to cope with the social isolation and address their mental health outcomes. The study will also add to the body of knowledge in the developing topic of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.
Fantini, M. P., Reno, C., Biserni, G. B., Savoia, E., & Lanari, M. (2020). COVID-19 and the re-opening of schools: a policy maker’s dilemma. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 46(1), 1–3. https://doi-org.libproxy.troy.edu/10.1186/s13052-020-00844-1
Fegert, J. M., Vitiello, B., Plener, P. L., & Clemens, V. (2020). Challenges and burden of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic for child and adolescent mental health: a narrative review to highlight clinical and research needs in the acute phase and the long return to normality. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Mental Health, 14(1), 1–11. https://doi-org.libproxy.troy.edu/10.1186/s13034-020-00329-3
Influenza Season Quietly Took a Toll: While the world is focused (justifiably) on the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza recorded one of its most widespread and lethal seasons, killing an estimated 24,000 Americans, including 162 children. (2020). RT: The Journal for Respiratory Care Practitioners, 33(2), 15.
Lin, K., Yang, B. X., Luo, D., Liu, Q., Ma, S., Huang, R., … & Mansur, R. B. (2020). The mental health effects of COVID-19 on health care providers in China. American Journal of Psychiatry, 177(7), 635-636. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20040374
Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Sohrabi, C., Kerwan, A., Al-Jabir, A., Iosifidis, C., … & Agha, R. (2020). The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic: a review. International Journal of Surgery, 78, 185–193. doi:10.1016/j.ijsu.2020.04.018
Phelps, C., & Sperry, L. L. (2020). Children and the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. https://doi-org.libproxy.troy.edu/10.1037/tra0000861
Prem, K., Liu, Y., Russell, T. W., Kucharski, A. J., Eggo, R. M., Davies, N., … & Abbott, S. (2020). The effect of control strategies to reduce social mixing on outcomes of the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan, China: a modelling study. The Lancet Public Health. 5(5), e261-e270. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30073-6
Price, E., MacPhie, E., Kay, L., Lanyon, P., Griffiths, B., Holroyd, C., Abhishek, A., Youngstein, T., Bailey, K., Clinch, J., Shaikh, M., & Rivett, A. (2020). Identifying rheumatic disease patients at high risk and requiring shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Medicine, 20(3), 256–261. https://doi-org.libproxy.troy.edu/10.7861/clinmed.2020-0149
Rothan, H. A., & Byrareddy, S. N. (2020). The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Journal of Autoimmunity, 102433(1), doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102433.
Sinha, I. P., & Kaleem, M. (2020). The role of pulmonary CT scans for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMC Medicine, 18(1), 1–2. https://doi-org.libproxy.troy.edu/10.1186/s12916-020-01647-1
Vilar-Compte, M., Pérez, V., Teruel, G., Alonso, A., & Pérez-Escamilla, R. (2020). Costing of actions to safeguard vulnerable Mexican households with young children from the consequences of COVID-19 social distancing measures. International Journal for Equity in Health, 19(1), 1–3. https://doi-org.libproxy.troy.edu/10.1186/s12939-020-01187-3
Vogel, G., & Couzin-Frankel, J. (2020). Children’s role in pandemic is still a puzzle. Science, 368(6491), 562–563. https://doi-org.libproxy.troy.edu/10.1126/science.368.6491.562
- Code _________________________
- Gender ________________________
- Age __________________________
- Which school do you attend?
- You are in which grade?
- Are you still attending school?
- If yes, why did you stop attending school?
- Do you miss going to school?
- Do you miss your peers?
- What is the thing you miss the most?
- Are you stressed about not going to school and not being with your friends?
- Do you go out to play?
- If no, how do you feel about it?
- Would you want schools to be reopened?
- Have spoken to someone about how you feel?
Informed Parental Consent Form
I wish to invite you and your child to participate in study conducted by ***************, a student at ***************, under the supervision of professor ******************.
The study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s socialization. Children will be studied as they go about with their usual activities during the day and later interviewed regarding the effect of social isolation on their socialization process.
I agree to the researcher using my child in the research, but withholding his/her real name from the report.
__________________________________ Signature I agree to have you collect data from my child during the study.
I understand that the findings will only be used for the purpose of research and will not be disclosed to anyone outside the study.