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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 154
Racial disparities in child exposure to firearm violence before and during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Rachel Martin; Sonali Rajan; Faizah Shareef (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Childhood exposure to neighborhood firearm violence adversely affects mental and physical health across the life course. Study objectives were to (1) quantify racial disparities in these exposures across the U.S. and (2) assess changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, when firearm violence increased. The study used counts of children aged 5–17 years, disaggregated by U.S. Census racial category, for every census tract (N=73,056). Neighborhood firearm violence was the number of fatal shootings per census tract, based on 2015–2021 Gun Violence Archive data. Quasi-Poisson regressions were used to estimate baseline disparities and COVID-19‒related changes and examined differences across geographic regions.

Supporting children experiencing family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: IPV and CPS provider perspectives

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

Published: March 2022   Journal: Academic Pediatrics

Children experiencing family violence (child abuse and neglect and exposure to intimate partner violence) are at a particularly elevated risk for compounding challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, intimate partner violence (IPV) advocates, child protective services (CPS) caseworkers, and IPV and CPS administrators on the needs of children experiencing family violence during the pandemic were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews with IPV advocates, CPS caseworkers, and IPV and CPS administrators were conducted. Recruitment occurred through emails to national and state listservs, networks of the study team, and word of mouth. Interviews were completed through Zoom, took 45 to 60 minutes and were audio recorded. A mixed deductive-inductive content analysis approach was used.

The pains and gains of COVID-19: challenges to child first justice in the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kathy Hampson; Stephen Case; Ross Little

Published: February 2022   Journal: Youth Justice
The global COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected justice-involved children. Youth justice policy changes and innovations have assisted communication and engagement with these vulnerable children during unprecedented times, while attempting to limit risks of contagion and criminalisation – all central tenets of the ‘Child First’ guiding principle for the Youth Justice System of England and Wales. While some changes have enhanced the experiences of some justice-involved children (gains), others have disproportionately disadvantaged justice-involved children in court, community and custody contexts (pains), increasing criminalisation, disengagement and anxiety. These pains of COVID-19 have effectively eroded the rights of this already-vulnerable group of children.
Association of economic recession and social distancing with pediatric non-accidental trauma during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth A. Lewit; Meera Kotagal; Vincent P. Duron (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Surgical Research

There has been concern that the incidence of non-accidental trauma (NAT) cases in children would rise during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the combination of social isolation and economic depression. This study aimed to evaluate NAT incidence and severity during the pandemic across multiple US cities. Multi-institutional, retrospective cohort study comparing NAT rates in children <18 years old during the COVID-19 pandemic (March-August 2020) with recent historical data (January 2015-February 2020) and during a previous economic recession (January 2007-December 2011) at level 1 Pediatric Trauma Centers. Comparisons were made to local and national macroeconomic indicators.

Global, regional, and national minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, by age and family circumstance up to Oct 31, 2021: an updated modelling study

AUTHOR(S)
H. Juliette T. Unwin; Susan Hillis; Lucie Cluver (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

In the 6 months following our estimates from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, the proliferation of new coronavirus variants, updated mortality data, and disparities in vaccine access increased the amount of children experiencing COVID-19-associated orphanhood. To inform responses, this study aimed to model the increases in numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, as well as the cumulative orphanhood age-group distribution and circumstance (maternal or paternal orphanhood). It used updated excess mortality and fertility data to model increases in minimum estimates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver deaths from our original study period of March 1, 2020–April 30, 2021, to include the new period of May 1–Oct 31, 2021, for 21 countries.

Child abuse and the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Christina M. Theodorou; Erin G. Brown; Jordan E. Jackson (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Surgical Research

The COVID-19 pandemic had widespread effects, including enhanced psychosocial stressors and stay-at-home orders which may be associated with higher rates of child abuse. This study aimed to evaluate rates of child abuse, neglect, and inadequate supervision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients ≤5 years old admitted to a level one pediatric trauma center between 3/19/20-9/19/20 (COVID-era) were compared to a pre-COVID cohort (3/19/19-9/19/19). The primary outcome was the rate of child abuse, neglect, or inadequate supervision, determined by Child Protection Team and Social Work consultations. Secondary outcomes included injury severity score (ISS), mortality, and discharge disposition.

Face masks disrupt holistic processing and face perception in school-age children

AUTHOR(S)
Andreja Stajduhar; Tzvi Ganel; Galia Avidan (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications
Face perception is considered a remarkable visual ability in humans that is subject to a prolonged developmental trajectory. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-wearing has become mandatory for adults and children alike. Recent research shows that mask-wearing hinders face recognition abilities in adults, but it is unknown if the same holds true in school-age children in whom face perception is not fully developed. This study tested children (n = 72, ages 6–14 years old) on the Cambridge Face Memory Test – Kids (CFMT-K), a validated measure of face perception performance. Faces were presented with or without masks and across two orientations (upright/inverted). The inclusion of face masks led to a profound deficit in face perception abilities.
Child maltreatment during school and childcare closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Vermeulen; Lenneke R. A. Alink; Sheila R. van Berkel (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Child Maltreatment
The aim of the present study was to examine child maltreatment prevalence rates during the first COVID-19 related national closure of schools and childcare settings (the lockdown) in the Netherlands. Based on reports of childcare professionals and primary and secondary school teachers (N = 444) the prevalence of child maltreatment during the 3 months of this first lockdown was estimated at almost 40,000 children, or 14 per 1,000 children. The prevalence of emotional neglect was found to be three times higher during the lockdown compared to a period without lockdown. This significant difference was reflected in overall emotional neglect as well as for two main subtypes of emotional neglect: educational neglect and witnessing domestic violence. No significant differences were found for other types of child maltreatment. Most of the reported cases of maltreatment were already problematic before the lockdown and became worse during the lockdown.
The unprotected: annual spotlight on child protection funding in humanitarian action - 2021

Children make up 50% of those affected in humanitarian crises and are disproportionately impacted by conflict and crisis. Throughout 2020 and 2021, COVID-19, conflict and climate change have been impacting children at unprecedented scale, putting them at risk and driving displacement, poverty and violence. Whilst funding for child protection is increasing, child protection consistently remains one of the most underfunded sectors in humanitarian action and funds not meeting increasing needs. Closing this gap will require collective action to change the way we think about children’s protection and its centrality to crisis response. This report highlights key areas associated with funding for child protection in humanitarian crises, including both cluster and refugee responses in 2020. A snapshot is also given for 2021 with data available as of October 2021

Children’s perceptions of their neighbourhoods during COVID-19 lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand
Published: January 2022   Journal: Children's Geographies
Neighbourhood design can have substantial impacts on children's physical and psychological well-being. COVID-19 lockdowns produced striking and unprecedented changes in how neighbourhoods functioned for children. The aim of this research was to explore what worked well for children during Alert Levels 3 and 4 (lockdown) in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), focusing in particular on the neighbourhood environment. Children (n = 192) aged between 5 and 13 years completed an online survey that collected information on neighbourhood walking and wheeling and what they liked about their neighbourhood during lockdown in NZ. Car-less neighbourhoods were important for supporting children’s well-being. Community activities such as the NZ Bear Hunt were appreciated by children. Natural environments, being home, spending time with family, and simple activities were all liked by participants. Social connections were important but often required technology. Findings can help inform initiatives to support child well-being in the face of potential future lockdowns or new pandemics.
Evaluating child maltreatment and family violence risk during the COVID-19 pandemic: using a telehealth home visiting program as a conduit to families

AUTHOR(S)
Lindsey Rose Bullinger; Stevan Marcus; Katherine Reuben (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many child maltreatment risk factors and may have affected maltreatment among vulnerable families. This study surveyed 258 certified providers of an evidence-based home visiting program, SafeCare, about their perception of the impact of the pandemic on the families they serve. It examined if the providers perceived an overall change in child maltreatment and family violence risk among the families with young children they served and factors that may have contributed to changes. Regressions estimated the relationship between providers’ assessment of families’ ability to social distance, emotional struggles, and access to public resources/services with providers’ perception of child maltreatment and family violence risk in the home.
COVID-19 distress, negative parenting, and child behavioral problems: the moderating role of parent adverse childhood experiences

AUTHOR(S)
Katherine A. Hails; Rachel A. Petts; Cody A. Hostutler (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Heightened familial stress and distress during the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to increased negative parenting practices, particularly for parents with substantial adverse childhood experiences (ACES). To determine whether families' COVID-19-related distress is associated with young children's emotional/behavioral functioning via negative parenting, and whether these relationships vary based on parents' ACEs. Participants were 267 parents of children ages 1.5–5 years recruited from five primary care sites across the United States. Participants completed internet questionnaires including measures of demographics, parent ACES, negative parenting, parent mental health, and COVID-19 distress. We used regression analyses to test a moderated mediation model in which the relationship between COVID-19 distress and child emotional/behavioral problems is mediated by negative parenting, and both the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 distress on child emotional/behavioral problems is moderated by parents' ACEs.

One year into COVID-19: What have we learned about child maltreatment reports and child protective service responses?

AUTHOR(S)
Ilan Katz; Sidnei Priolo-Filho; Carmit Katz (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

A year has passed since COVID-19 began disrupting systems. Although children are not considered a risk population for the virus, there is accumulating knowledge regarding children's escalating risk for maltreatment during the pandemic. The current study is part of a larger initiative using an international platform to examine child maltreatment (CM) reports and child protective service (CPS) responses in various countries. The first data collection, which included a comparison between eight countries after the pandemic's first wave (March–June 2020), illustrated a worrisome picture regarding children's wellbeing. The current study presents the second wave of data across 12 regions via population data (Australia [New South Wales], Brazil, United States [California, Pennsylvania], Colombia, England, Germany, Israel, Japan, Canada [Ontario, Quebec], South Africa).

Weaponizing COVID-19: how the pandemic influenced the behavior of those who use violence in domestic and family relationships

AUTHOR(S)
Shane Warren; Christine Morley; Jo Clarke (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Violence Against Women
COVID-19 has increased threats to women's safety in Australia and globally. This research is based on a 2020 nationwide survey about the impacts of COVID-19 on domestic and family violence (DFV) services and allied sectors throughout Australia. This study focuses on how perpetrator behaviors—coercion, control, and violence—changed and intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two central themes identified from this qualitative analysis were the increase in complexity and severity of DFV during COVID-19. The analysis highlights how perpetrator behavior reflects the weaponizing of COVID-19 against women and children. The article concludes with a discussion about the theoretical, practice, and policy implications.
Child maltreatment prevention service cases are significantly reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal investigation into unintended consequences of quarantine

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly M. Whaling; Alissa Der Sarkissian; Natalie Larez (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Maltreatment
Unprecedented financial and emotional stress, paired with measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., school closures), place youth at risk for experiencing increased rates of abuse. This study analyzed data from New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services to investigate the frequency of child maltreatment prevention service case openings during this time. Longitudinal counts of case openings were compiled for January through June of the years 2014–2020. An independent samples Kruskal–Wallis H-test suggested that pre-quarantine case openings were significantly larger than case openings during quarantine. To account for the possible influence of other historical events impacting data, a secondary Kruskal–Wallis H-test was conducted comparing only the 4 months of quarantine data available to the 4 months immediately preceding quarantine orders. The second independent samples Kruskal–Wallis H-test again suggested that pre-quarantine case openings were significantly larger than case openings during quarantine. A Poisson regression model further supported these findings, estimating that the odds of opening a new child maltreatment prevention case during quarantine declined by 49.17%.
16 - 30 of 154

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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Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

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.