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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Remote methods for research on violence against women and children: lessons and challenges from research during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Amiya Bhatia; Ellen Turner; Aggrey Akim (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: BMJ Global Health
Collecting data to understand violence against women and children during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is essential to inform violence prevention and response efforts. Although researchers across fields have pivoted to remote rather than in-person data collection, remote research on violence against women, children and young people poses particular challenges. As a group of violence researchers, we reflect on our experiences across eight studies in six countries that we redesigned to include remote data collection methods.
Adolescent girls’ and boys’ experiences of violence: evidence from gender and adolescence: global evidence

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Erin Oakley; Shoroq Abu Hamad (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: October 2022

Age- and gender-based violence during adolescence is widespread, and the risks permeate all spheres of adolescents’ lives – family and marriage, schools, peer networks and communities. Yet this violence affects girls and boys very differently within and across low- and middle-income country (LMIC) contexts. Midway through the Sustainable Development Agenda, data from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) research programme reinforces the urgency of investing in a tailored, adequately resourced package of interventions, coordinated across sectors and development actors. This would allow the global community to make meaningful progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 and 16 to eliminate all forms of violence affecting young people. This brief draws on data collected in three of GAGE’s core countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Jordan using mixed-methods research. GAGE findings highlight that adolescent girls – and boys – regularly face myriad forms of age- and gender-based violence. Risks are context-dependent, which in some cases means adolescent girls and boys do not perceive what they are experiencing as violence, and in other cases leads them to embrace such behaviour because it demonstrates to their peers and communities that they are conforming to social norms. Critical to tackling this violence is a recognition that age-based violence is often deeply gendered; that gender norms leave girls and boys at heightened risk of different types of violence; and that sometimes the best way to support girls to lead lives free of violence is to ensure that the boys in their environments are also free of violence.

Fighting for a future: girls' opportunities
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2022

What kind of opportunities can a child expect in life? Every child deserves to be loved, cared for, free from the threat of violence, and have the ability to fulfil their potential through exercising their agency, pursuing their education, and making choices in how to earn and spend money. However, due to entrenched gender norms and societal practices, girls are particularly at risk of living in an environment where many of their God-given rights are taken away from them. Child marriage is perhaps the most blatant sign of this. Every year, approximately 12 million girls are married before they reach the age of 18, robbing them of the opportunity to reach their full potential. Child marriage can result in early pregnancy (with associated serious health risks) and social isolation, interrupt schooling, limit opportunities for career and vocational advancement, and place girls at increased risk of domestic violence.

Parental intimate partner violence and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic: learning from remote and hybrid working to influence future support

AUTHOR(S)
Hayley Alderson; Simon Barrett; Michelle Addison (et al.)

Published: October 2022   Journal: Women's Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated intimate partner violence and abuse. Incidents of intimate partner violence and abuse have increased as a result of household tensions due to enforced coexistence (multiple national lockdowns and working from home practices), economic stress related to loss of income, the disruption of social and protective networks and the decreased access to support services. This study aimed to understand how female survivors of parental intimate partner violence and abuse have experienced the adapted multi-agency response to intimate partner violence and abuse during the pandemic and consider learning from remote and hybrid working to influence future support. This study adopted a qualitative research design, utilizing semi-structured interviews and a focus group. Data collection took place between March and September 2021. In total, 17 female survivors of intimate partner violence and abuse took part in the project; we conducted the semi-structured interviews via telephone (n = 9) and conducted an online focus group (n = 8).
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.

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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.