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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 152
Parental violence before, during and after COVID-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Ricardo Barroso; Eduarda Ramião; Patrícia Figueiredo

Published: April 2022   Journal: Psicologia

It’s not clear if and how social distancing measures to  controlCOVID-19 transmission may result in more occurrences of child and adolescent abuse perpetrated by their parents. Information often comes from indirect estimates and media reports. More evidence  is needed from multiple sources, particularly from the potential victims. The aim of this study was to compare the proportion of violence perpetrated on  adolescents by their parents before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown in Portugal. Three different samples with adolescents aged 12–18 years were collected before (n=1444), during(n=1427) and after(n=794) the lockdown and compared to verify variations concerning parental violence behaviors.

Role of maternal emotion in child maltreatment risk during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Christina M. Rodriguez; Shawna J. Lee

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Violence

Preliminary research early in the COVID-19 pandemic suggested children appeared to be at increased risk for child maltreatment, particularly as parents struggled with mental health and economic strains. Such strains were likely to influence parental emotions about their children, affecting their parent-child interactions to contribute to elevated maltreatment risk. To identify the potential affective elements that may contribute to such increased maltreatment risk, the current study focused on whether maternal worry about children’s behavior specifically as well as maternal anger were related to increased risk for neglect or physical or psychological aggression six months into the pandemic. The racially diverse sample included 193 mothers who completed an online survey during the COVID-19 pandemic in late September-early October 2020.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence during pregnancy: evidence from a multimethods study of recently pregnant women in Ethiopia

AUTHOR(S)
Shannon N. Wood; Robel Yirgu; Abigiya Wondimagegnehu (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

This multimethods study aimed to: (1) compare the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy pre-COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 pandemic using quantitative data and (2) contextualise pregnant women’s IPV experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through supplemental interviews. Quantitative analyses use data from Performance Monitoring for Action-Ethiopia, a cohort of 2868 pregnant women that collects data at pregnancy, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1-year postpartum. Following 6-week postpartum survey, in-depth semistructured interviews contextualised experiences of IPV during pregnancy with a subset of participants (n=24).

Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes: a scoping review of the literature from low-and-middle income countries from 2016 - 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Thao Da Thi Tran; Linda Murray; Thang Van Vo

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is significantly associated with negative outcomes for both mother and child. Current evidence indicates an association between low levels of social support and IPV, however there is less evidence from low-and-middle income countries (LMIC) than high-income countries. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered how women can access social support. Hence since 2020, studies investigating IPV and pregnancy have occurred within the changing social context of the pandemic. This scoping review summarizes the evidence from LMICs about the effects of IPV during pregnancy on maternal and child health. The review includes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social support as mentioned in studies conducted since 2020.

Children’s human rights in the contexts of domestic abuse and COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Fiona Morrison; Claire Houghton

Published: April 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
Domestic abuse is a simultaneous attack on children’s and women’s human rights. Research underlines the relationality of domestic abuse, unveiling the entwined experiences of children and women. While these experiences may be connected, their rights are distinct and there are risks in viewing mothers as proxies for their children. Policy measures introduced to address COVID-19 had profound impacts on the lives of children and women experiencing domestic abuse. Drawing on an independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) in Scotland, the article explores the impacts such policy measures had on children’s human rights in the context of domestic abuse. It offers insight on the opportunities and limitations of CRIAs when considering the issue of domestic abuse. CRIAs make visible and prioritise children’s human rights; however, they risk masking the relationality of rights and therefore the implementation of children’s human rights. By integrating human rights instruments – the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention – the article offers ways to recognise children as victims of domestic abuse, while supporting connections between their rights and the women’s rights. It concludes that a Joint Protocol between the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention is needed to integrate children’s human rights with the relationality of domestic abuse.
Child maltreatment-related children's emergency department visits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Connecticut

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Amick; Kathryn Bentivegna; Amy A. Hunter (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Previous studies of national emergency department (ED) data demonstrate a decrease in visits coded for physical abuse during the pandemic period. However, no study to date has examined the incidence of multiple child maltreatment types (physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect), within a single state while considering state-specific closure policies. Furthermore, no similar study has utilized detailed chart review to identify cases, nor compared hospital data to Child Protective Services (CPS) reports. This study aims to determine the incidence of child maltreatment-related ED visits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, including characterizing the type of maltreatment, severity, and CPS reporting.

The unheld child: social work, social distancing and the possibilities and limits to child protection during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Harry Ferguson; Sarah Pink; Laura Kelly

Published: March 2022   Journal: The British Journal of Social Work
The COVID-19 pandemic changed dramatically the ways social workers engaged with children and families. This article presents findings from our research into the effects of COVID-19 on social work and child protection in England during the first nine months of the pandemic. Its aim is to provide new knowledge to enable realistic expectations of what it was possible for social workers to achieve and particularly the limits to child protection. Such perspective has become more important than ever due to knowledge of children who died tragically from abuse despite social work involvement during the pandemic.
The short- and long-term impact of COVID-19 lockdown on child maltreatment

AUTHOR(S)
Mengqing Long; Jia Huang; Yishun Peng (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new threat to child health and safety. Some studies suggest that social isolation and economic stress have exacerbated child abuse and neglect, whereas other studies argue that orders to stay at home are likely to promote parent–child relationships during this stressful time. Due to a lack of prospective studies including before–during–after lockdown assessments, the impacts of lockdown measures on child maltreatment are unclear. This study retrospectively investigated child maltreatment of 2821 Chinese children and adolescents from 12 to 18 (female, 59%) before, during and after lockdown, and identified risk factors. Potential predictors including socio-economic and individual mental health status were collected.
Incidence of child abuse with subdural hemorrhage during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic: a nationwide study in France

AUTHOR(S)
Fiorella Caron; Pierre Tourneux; Hyppolite Tchidjou Kuekou (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics
The global COVID-19 pandemic prompted governments to impose unprecedented sanitary measures, such as social distancing, curfews, and lockdowns. In France and other countries, the first COVID-19 lockdown raised concerns about an increased risk of child abuse. Abusive head trauma (AHT) is one of the most serious forms of child abuse in children aged 0–24 months and constitutes the leading cause of death in children under 2 years of age. Subdural hemorrhage (SDH) is present in 89% of cases of AHT and constitutes one of the most specific, objective clinical presentations in the diagnosis of child abuse. This French nationwide study sought to evaluate the potential impact of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of hospital admissions for child abuse with SDH, relative to the two previous years. This study conducted a nationwide, retrospective study of data in the French national hospital discharge summary database by applying the International Classification of Diseases (10th Revision) codes for SDH and for child abuse.
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.

Rate and severity of radiological features of physical abuse in children during the first UK-wide COVID-19 enforced national lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Stavros Stivaros; Michael Paddock; Azita Rajai (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

This paper aims to assess the number, type and outcome of radiological investigations for children presenting to hospital with suspected physical abuse (SPA; including abusive head trauma) during the first national COVID-19 enforced lockdown compared with the prelockdown period. Rate and severity of radiological features of physical abuse in children during the first UK-wide COVID-19 enforced national lockdown.

Gender-based violence during COVID-19 among adolescent girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya: a mixed-methods prospective study over 18 months

AUTHOR(S)
Michele R. Decker; Kristin Bevilacqua; Shannon N. Wood (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMJ Global Health

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) disproportionately experience gender-based violence (GBV), which can increase during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. A cohort of youth ages 15–24 in Nairobi, Kenya was surveyed at three time points over an 18-month period prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic: June–August 2019 (prepandemic), August–October 2020 (12-month follow-up) and May 2021 (18-month follow-up). This study characterised (1) prevalence, relative timing and help-seeking for leading forms of GBV, (2) GBV trajectories over 18 months and (3) associations of individual, dyad and COVID-related factors on GBV trajectories among AGYW (n=612) in Nairobi, Kenya. Virtual focus group discussions (n=12) and interviews (n=40) contextualise quantitative results.

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.

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.

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.
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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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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.