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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Prevalence, increase and predictors of family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, using modern machine learning approaches

AUTHOR(S)
Kristina Todorovic; Erin O’Leary; Kaitlin P. Ward (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

We are facing an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is causing detrimental effects on mental health, including disturbing consequences on child maltreatment and intimate partner violence. This study sought to identify predictors of child maltreatment and intimate partner violence from 380 participants (mean age 36.67 ± 10.61, 63.2% male; Time 3: June 2020) using modern machine learning analysis (random forest and SHAP values). It predicted that COVID-related factors (such as days in lockdown), parents’ psychological distress during the pandemic (anxiety, depression), their personality traits, and their intimate partner relationship will be key contributors to child maltreatment. It also examined if there is an increase in family violence during the pandemic by using an additional cohort at two time points (Time 1: March 2020, N = 434; mean age 35.67 ± 9.85, 41.69% male; and Time 2: April 2020, N = 515; mean age 35.3 ± 9.5, 34.33%).

Rethinking dating and sexual violence prevention for youth during the pandemic: examining program feasibility and acceptability

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Segura; Michelle Henkhaus; Victoria Banyard (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Sexual and dating violence (SDV) is a social and health but preventable public issue. Most evidence-based prevention programs have been evaluated using an in-person delivery mechanism. Project Dream, Own and Tell (DOT) is a 13- to 18-week SDV prevention program targeting youth from traditionally underserved communities in New York City that shifted from in-person to online delivery in response to social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the current study was to understand how youth perceive learning SDV prevention in an online environment (acceptability and feasibility of the online DOT program). A mixed methods triangulation design was used including responses to Ecological Momentary Assessments (n = 25), a brief post survey with Likert-scale items (n = 18), and semi-structured interviews with 12 participants. The sample comprised Latinx/Hispanic, Asian American, Arab American, and African American youth between the ages of 15 and 21 from urban communities. Youth indicated both strengths and challenges of the online format. Strengths included ease of fitting the program into their schedules, avoiding long commutes, and the potential to create a safe online space for participants to engage in sexual violence prevention discussions and thus, feel less exposed. Challenges included internet connectivity issues, difficulties in building trustworthy relationships with other participants when not sharing the same physical space, some characteristics of the program’s activities, and the lack of adequate space from which to attend the program (i.e., shared spaces).
Depression, stress and the mediating role of Intimate partner violence (IPV) among Israeli women of childbearing age in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ofra Halperin; Ola Ali-Saleh; Liora Ore (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Dealing with the outbreak of the new coronavirus has generated unprecedented challenges around the world, including in Israel. Women of childbearing age may be forced to live under particularly difficult circumstances during the pandemic. The current study among Israeli women of childbearing age has three main objectives related to the specific period of the COVID-19 pandemic: to study the prevalence and predictors of intimate partner violence (IPV); to investigate the prevalence and predictors of depression; to examine whether IPV mediates the association between general stress, fear of COVID-19 and depression as an outcome. In a cross-sectional study, 722 married women, Jewish and Arab residents of Israel, were recruited to answer an online self-completion questionnaire during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaire included an assessment of their degree of general stress and depression, fear of COVID-19, experiences of IPV and demographic variables.
Intimate partner violence against pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Huldani Huldani; Walid Kamal Abdelbasset; Saade Abdalkareem Jasim (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Women & Health
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to estimate the pooled prevalence of (intimate partner violence) IPV against pregnant women in the COVID-19 pandemic. A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus for observational studies regarding the prevalence of IPV against pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. The search was performed with the following keywords: intimate partner violence, domestic violence, battered women, wife assault, partner assault, wife abuse, partner abuse, femicide, domestic homicide, pregnancy, gestation, pregnant women, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, 2019-nCoV, Coronavirus Disease-19, 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan Coronavirus, SARS Coronavirus 2, Wuhan Seafood Market Pneumonia Virus. Heterogeneity between the studies was assessed using Cochran’s Q test and I2 index. In addition, a random-effects model was used to estimate the prevalence of IPV. Data analysis was performed in Stata software version 16.
Children exposed to intimate partner violence during confinement: characteristics by age and sex

AUTHOR(S)
Mavi Alcántara-López; Maravillas Castro; Antonia Martínez-Pérez (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychology
The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed to stop its advance have affected the entire population. Children living with difficulties or in vulnerable situations prior to the pandemic might have suffered an even greater impact. This present study examines the psychological impact of quarantine on children and adolescents exposed to intimate partner violence against their mothers. Participants were 185 mothers who reported 269 children, as well as 108 children who self-reported. An emotional and behavioral checklist was administered to both mothers and children throughout confinement.
Factors associated with adolescent pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review of socioeconomic influences and essential interventions

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly Kons; Adriana A. E. Biney; Kristin Sznajder

Published: June 2022   Journal: International Journal of Sexual Health
A literature review was conducted to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on documented preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa such as poverty, inequitable gender norms, low access to education, and reproductive health services. The terms “sub-Saharan Africa,” “Gender Norms,” “Poverty,” and “Adolescent Pregnancy” were used to search the literature for preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in academic and grey literature. “COVID-19” was added to investigate the potential consequences of the pandemic. The literature revealed similar experiences in adolescent girls during the Ebola outbreak, which lead to the analysis of government and healthcare official responses to previous epidemics.
Experiences of family violence among 2SLGBTQ + youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Alex Abramovich; Nelson Pang; Amanda Moss

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health

Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness among youth; however, limited research has examined family violence among 2SLGBTQ + youth experiencing homelessness. The objective of this study was to engage a group of 2SLGBTQ + youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding areas in Ontario, Canada, to examine their experiences of family violence before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2SLGBTQ + youth at risk of, and experiencing, homelessness and key informants (service providers) participated in online surveys and one-on-one interviews to assess family violence during the pandemic. Qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed separately and merged for interpretation.

Beyond the COVID-19 vaccine: the "epidemic" of violence in Ghana and strategies to keep women and children safe from gender-based violence

AUTHOR(S)
Albert Apotele Nyaaba; Edward Kwabena Ameyaw; Matthew Ayamga

Published: May 2022   Journal: International Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health
Although the tides of the Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are turning in some parts of the world, the pandemic has exacerbated abusive behavior towards women and children. In Ghana, West Africa, women and children stand a greater chance of experiencing aggravated levels of violence due to cultural considerations. In this commentary, we searched for papers using the keywords “(COVID-19) AND (violence) AND (women and children)” with refining limited to 01-01-2020 to 31-12-2020 on PubMed, Google Scholar, and other websites. A total of 17 and 20 papers from PubMed and other sources, respectively, were included. We found that violence against women and children has worsened in Ghana during the COVID-19 period. The findings call for the need to enhance or build women’s capacity to identify violence, enhance their exposure to available avenues of assistance, and resist the impunity of culprits. Also, the government should strengthen and adequately provide resources for human rights organizations mandated to protect the rights of women and children.
Evaluation of research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on family, women and children

AUTHOR(S)
Nebile Özmen; Emine Dogan

Published: May 2022   Journal: Turkish Journal of Applied Social Work
The Covid-19 pandemic, which started to appear at the end of 2019 and spread rapidly and made people sick physically, manifested itself with its negative effects on people's mental health and social life in the process, and became a global problem in terms of the problems it caused in social life. Human-being is a multidimensional entity with his soul, body and social existence. Moreover, everything that happens within each of these dimensions has an impact on the other dimensions. The problems that were experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic related to family, women and children have not yet lost their impact. In addition to the health-related precautions that countries have taken due to the pandemic such as social distance, quarantine, and closure practices, the problems in the economic field have deeply shaken the society. As a result, they have negatively affected the family institution and changed the roles and functions of family members. While the pandemic process elevated the financial anxiety on the societies, it also changed the responsibilities of families at home and brought forth problems such as domestic violence and divorce.
Closing the gap 2: delivering safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth Naylor

Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This paper summarizes the findings of the monitoring report: Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises, which was commissioned by the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in collaboration with the INEE Reference Group on Girls’ Education in Emergencies. It recommends actions for governments, donors, civil society, collectors and collators of data, and teachers and other education personnel to address the gaps identified in the delivery, planning, funding, and monitoring of girls’ and women’s education in crisis contexts.

Mind the gap 2: seeking safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This report summarizes progress, gaps, challenges and opportunities in improving education and training for girls and women affected by conflict and crisis. This report monitors progress since the first Mind the Gap report and highlights the following thematic areas: distance education and the digital divide, school-related gender-based violence, and girls’ education during climate crisis.  The report aims to support the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education’s commitment to enhance the evidence base and monitor progress toward gender-equitable education in crises. The report draws from data on 44 crisis-affected countries, from recent research, and from a set of case studies of interventions in a range of crisis-affected contexts.

Building emotional-political communities to address gendered violence against women and girls during COVID-19 in the favelas of Maré, Rio de Janeiro

AUTHOR(S)
Cathy McIlwaine; Miriam Krenzinger; Moniza Rizzini Ansari (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Social & Cultural Geography
Although the intensification of direct and indirect gendered violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extensively reported globally, there is limited research on women’s responses to it. Addressing calls to explore the relationships between emotional-affective atmospheres and politics during the pandemic as well as to centre analyses of gendered violence within geography, this paper explores how women in the favelas of Maré, in Rio de Janeiro have developed mutual support, (self)-care and activism in the face of the crisis. Engaging with nascent debates on responses to COVID-19, together with feminist geographical work on resistance to gendered violence, the article adapts the notion of ‘emotional communities’ developed by Colombian anthropologist, Myriam Jimeno, to examine how emotional bonds created among survivors of violence are reconfigured into political action. Drawing on qualitative research with 32 women residents and 9 community actors involved in two core community initiatives in Maré, the paper develops the idea of building reactive and transformative ‘emotional-political communities’ at individual and collective levels to mitigate gendered violence and wider intersectional structural violence. Emotional-political community building is premised on grassroots activism among women and organisations that develops as part of compassionate (self)-care and the quiet rather than spectacular politics of change.
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.

The perceived effects of COVID-19 pandemic on female genital mutilation/cutting and child or forced marriages in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Senegal

AUTHOR(S)
Tammary Esho; Dennis J. Matanda; Timothy Abuya (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The effects of COVID-19 on harmful traditional practices such Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Child or Forced Marriages (CFM) have not been well documented. We examined respondents’ perceptions on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected FGM/C and CFM in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study design with a mixed methods approach was used. Data collection on participants’ perceptions on the effects of COVID-19 on FGM/C and CFM took place between October-December 2020. Household surveys targeting women and men aged 15–49 years in Kenya (n = 312), Uganda (n = 278), Ethiopia (n = 251), and Senegal (n = 208) were conducted. Thirty-eight key informant interviews with programme implementers and policymakers were carried out in Kenya (n = 17), Uganda (n = 9), Ethiopia (n = 8), and Senegal (n = 4).

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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.