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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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UNICEF Innocenti Publication
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31 - 45 of 203
A profile analysis of COVID-19 stress-related reactions: the importance of early childhood abuse, psychopathology, and interpersonal relationships

Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan; Dana Lassri

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

There is little argument that COVID-19 is potentially highly stressful for many people, however, little research has broken down COVID-19-related distress into different aspects clustering together, and how these clusters differ in terms of the vulnerability of the individuals. The primary aim of the present study was to identify distinct profiles of individuals' reactions to COVID-19-related stress, and analyze potential differences and risk and protective factors associated with these profiles in relation to childhood abuse, psychopathology, and interpersonal relationships. Data was collected online among a convenience sample of 914 men and women in Israel. A Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) for estimating distinct profiles in people's COVID-19-related distress was applied. Next, profiles were compared in childhood abuse, psychopathology, perceived social support and relationship satisfaction.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protective services caseworkers and administrators

Veronica Renov; Lauren Risser; Rachel Berger (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children and young people experiencing child abuse and neglect. Child Protective Services (CPS) has played an important role in supporting children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few studies to-date have evaluated the impact of the pandemic on CPS caseworkers and administrators in the United States. These interviews aim to explore CPS caseworkers' and administrators' experiences working and serving families during the pandemic.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child abuse and neglect: a cross-sectional study in a French child advocacy center

L. Massiot; E. Launay; J. Fleury (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

This study aimed to describe the impact of the first COVID-19 lockdown in France on the activity of a Child Advocacy Center. This cross-sectional, observational study included all children involved in the activity of the CAC during the first lockdown, from March 16 to May 10, 2020 and the next 3 months and the corresponding periods in 2018 and 2019. Cases were considered severe when a hospitalization, social alert and/or judicial report to the prosecutor was decided.

Reigniting opportunities for children in South Asia regional flagship report
Published: December 2021

Released to coincide with the 75th anniversary of UNICEF’s creation in 1946, the report, “Reigniting Opportunities for Children in South Asia,” highlights the terrible price children are paying not only as a result of COVID-19 but due to the climate crisis and humanitarian disasters affecting the region. Such has been the impact on children’s education, health care, nutrition, and protection services that the hopes and futures of an entire generation are at risk. In developed countries, COVID-19 vaccination rates are steadily increasing, and wealthier economies are recovering. But in South Asia, the picture remains bleak. Just 30 per cent of people in South Asia are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving families dangerously unprotected as new variants continue to emerge. While the region braces itself for future waves of the virus, more children and families are slipping into poverty.

The parenting skill development and education service: Telehealth support for families at risk of child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alison Fogarty; Andi Jones; Monique Seymour (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
Children are at heightened risk of maltreatment during community wide crises. The Parenting Skill Development and Education (PSDE) Service is a 6-week telehealth intervention designed and implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to support families with young children in Australia at risk of child maltreatment. This study aimed to conduct a formative review of the PSDE service to (a) describe families accessing the PSDE during the pandemic, (b) determine parent and referrers' satisfaction of the service and (c) explore clinicians' experiences of service delivery. A mixed-method study design incorporating the analysis of routinely collected data, and qualitative interviews with clinicians was conducted.
The impact of lockdowns during the Corona pandemic on parental aggressiveness behaviors

Rachel Lev-Wiesel; Zehavit Dagan; Liat Kende (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Loss and Trauma

Quarantine lockdown enforced for a long duration of time during the Corona pandemic added strain upon families; the educational system has been closed, children were forced to remain at home, and many parents lost their jobs. The aim of the study was to find out the impact of lockdown periods on middle-class parent-child relationship in terms of parental aggressive behaviors. The convenient sample consisted of 236 parents to children (age ranged from 3- to 16). Recruitment was conducted through social media. Following signing a consent form, participants filled a self-report anonymous questionnaire that included demographics, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, The Conflict Tactics Scale pre and during lockdown periods, and, The Parent Strain Scale during lockdown period.

Adult mental health and child maltreatment: an ecological study across rural–urban and economic continua with implications for post-pandemic human services

Paula Yuma; Rebecca Orsi; Anita A. Pena

Published: November 2021   Journal: The Journal of Community Psychology
This ecological, county-level, cross-sectional study examines relationships between the mental health of adults (IV) and child maltreatment report rates (DV), as they vary by socioeconomic distress and rurality (n = 3015 counties), using the most recent available data from several linked sources. In a two-way model, maltreatment reports increased 20.1% for each additional half day of poor mental health in metro counties, 11.7% in nonmetro counties, and 13% in rural counties. Our zero-inflated negative binomial model, moderated by rurality and economic distress, showed a significant relationship between the number of poor mental health days and increased child maltreatment report rates in counties (χ2 = 145.52, p < 0.0001).
Maternal attachment representation, the risk of increased depressive symptoms and the influence on children’s mental health during the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic

Franziska Köhler-Dauner; Anna Buchheim; Katherina Hildebrand (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
The social distancing measures and the related closure of education institutions have confronted young families, in particular, with various challenges. Additional risk factors such as an insecure or even unresolved maternal attachment representation may affect mental health of mothers and their children in times of increased stress such as during the ongoing pandemic. This study aimed to analyze the interplay between maternal attachment representation and mother’s and children’s mental health before and during the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic. 91 mothers completed a “SARS-CoV-2 pandemic survey” examining the pandemic-related stress of their families including their own depressive symptomology and their children’s mental health.
Daily stress and use of aggressive discipline by parents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bridget Freisthler; Jennifer Price Wolf; Caileigh Chadwick (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
To assess the relationship between stress throughout the day and aggressive discipline practices by parents during COVID-19 stay at home orders. For this study, participants took baseline survey online, then provided data three times a day (10 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m.) for 14 consecutive days using Ecological Momentary Assessment procedures. Data were collected from 323 participants, covering 9,357 observations from April 13 to May 27, 2020 in Central Ohio during stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. Use of aggressive discipline, including corporal punishment and psychological aggression, was measured using the Dimensions of Discipline Inventory. For each higher level of stress, parents had 1.3 greater odds of using aggressive discipline. Having used aggressive discipline at baseline was related to three times greater odds of using it during the study period. Higher situational stress was associated with use of aggressive parenting. When combined with less contact with mandatory reporters, this places children at risk for abuse and neglect that may go without detection and intervention for longer time-periods. First responders and medical professionals become more important in identifying and reporting suspected child maltreatment, as this may be a child’s only contact with a mandated professional for six months to a year.
Domestic violence alleged in California child maltreatment reports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Rebecca Rebbe; Vivian H. Lyons; Daniel Webster (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
During the COVID-19 pandemic, reports to child abuse and neglect hotlines have dropped significantly across the United States. Yet, during this same period, calls to domestic violence hotlines have increased. The purpose of this study was to examine if there have been measurable changes in domestic violence-related reports to child abuse and neglect hotlines. Using administrative child protection records from California, this study plotted counts and proportions of child maltreatment reports with and without domestic violence allegations before and through the onset of school closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It used an interrupted time series analysis to evaluate whether or not there was a change in domestic violence allegations in child protection reports corresponding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It documented that during the first two quarters of 2020 there was a 14.3% drop in the overall number of child protection reports. Despite a decline in maltreatment reporting overall, there was a 25% increase in the proportion of reports with allegations of domestic violence.
Impact of COVID-19 lockdown: domestic and child abuse in Bridgend

Emma R. Rengasamya; Sarah A. Long; Sophie C. Rees (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Financial stress, social stress and lack of support at home can precipitate domestic and child abuse (World Health Organization, 2020). These factors have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic (NSPCC, 2020b) (NSPCC, 2020a). This study hypothesised an increase in Bridgend's domestic and child abuse during lockdown. Data was collected retrospectively from 23rd March to 30th September 2020 and compared to the same time period in 2019. Wales-wide data on domestic abuse was shared by the Welsh Government's Live Fear free helpline. Local data was shared by domestic abuse charity CALAN, the Emergency Department (ED) and Paediatric Department of Princess of Wales Hospital (POWH).

The neglected ones: time at home during COVID-19 and child maltreatment

Lindsey Rose Bullinger; Kerri M. Raissian; Megan Feely (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic led to extreme social isolation, precarious employment and job loss, working from home while tending to children, and limited access to public services. The confluence of these factors likely affects child health and well-being. We combine early release child maltreatment reports in Indiana with unique and newly available mobile phone movement data to better understand the relationship between staying at home intensively during the COVID-19 pandemic and child maltreatment.
Child protection plans in the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany: Maintained, adjusted, or suspended?

Birgit Jentsch; Christine Gerber

Published: November 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 infection prevention measures have enhanced risks of abuse and neglect for children and youth. Simultaneously, they have affected the practice of child protection, especially impacting the social infrastructure on which child protection work tends to rely, as well as the ability of practitioners to meet with family members face-to-face and in their homes. This article focuses on the ways in which infection prevention measures have shaped child protection plans in Germany, i.e. family support and counselling, which is accompanied by monitoring and scrutiny. The article is based on a qualitative study, in which 40 semi-structured interviews were held with first-line management representatives of German Youth Welfare Agencies between July and October 2020.

Family stress during the pandemic worsens the effect of adverse parenting on adolescent sleep quality

Linhao Zhang; Zehua Cui; Jeri Sasser (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Adverse parenting is consistently associated with increased sleep problems among adolescents. Shelter-in-Place restrictions and the uncertainty linked to the Covid-19 pandemic have introduced new stressors on parents and families, adding to the risk for youth's sleep problems. Using multidimensional assessments of child maltreatment (CM; threat vs. deprivation), the present study examined whether parent-report and child-report of Covid-19 related stress potentiated the effect of CM on sleep problems among boys and girls. The study focused on a sample of 124 dyads of adolescents (Mage = 12.89, SD = 0.79; 52% female) and their primary caregivers (93% mothers) assessed before and during the pandemic (May to October 2020).

Empowered women. empowered children
Published: November 2021

Every child deserves to reach her or his full potential wherever they live. Yet, achieving positive child well-being outcomes remains a challenge globally. COVID-19 has further exacerbated children’s existing vulnerabilities and amplified inequalities, especially in fragile contexts. As part of its mandate to help the most vulnerable children achieve their full potential, World Vision focuses on child well-being programmes that aim to improve key child well-being outcomes. Ten years of conflict in Syria have aggravated gender inequalities and the risks of violence for women and girls inside and outside the country. To increase the focus on gender-responsive programmes that respond to the strategic needs of women, World Vision (WV) Syria Response conducted a piece of research that aimed to better understand the connection between Syrian mothers’ and children’s well-being and identify impactful approaches that effectively address both. Specifically, the research explored women’s empowerment and children’s well-being factors in Syria and selected host countries. It looked at how women’s socio-demographic factors and empowerment components influence physical, emotional, mental, and psycho-social child well-being. A cross-sectional observation methodology was developed using convenience sampling in Northwest Syria (NWS) and Government of Syria (GoS) areas, Jordan, and Turkey. The research targeted World Vision’s beneficiary children living in structured families and their mothers. The survey results were complemented key informant interviews (KIIs) with mothers and their children.

31 - 45 of 203

UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.