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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 122
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.

Child protective services during COVID-19 and doubly marginalized children: international perspectives

AUTHOR(S)
Carmit Katz; Natalia Varela; Jill E. Korbin (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Alongside deficits in children's wellbeing, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an elevated risk for child maltreatment and challenges for child protective services worldwide. Therefore, some children might be doubly marginalized, as prior inequalities become exacerbated and new risk factors arise. This paper aims to provide initial insight into international researchers' identification of children who might have been overlooked or excluded from services during the pandemic.

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 impact of parental monitoring on cyberbullying victimization in the COVID-19 era

AUTHOR(S)
Seung Yeop Paek; Julak Lee; Yeon-Jun Choi

Published: March 2022   Journal: Social Science Quarterly

The purpose of the current research was to examine the predictors of cyberbullying victimization among South Korean students during a period in which the coronavirus disease was spreading worldwide. This study assessed whether parental guardianship protected against victimization when most people worked from home and school instructions were shifted to online learning. It analyzed nationally representative data collected between October 6 and November 13, 2020. Binary logistic regression models were developed based on the Routine Activities Theory theoretical model to investigate the correlates of cyberbullying victimization among participants.

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.
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.

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.

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.

Supporting survivors of child sexual abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic: an ecosystems approach to mobilizing trauma-informed telemental healthcare

AUTHOR(S)
Corry Azzopardi; Cynthia Sing-Yu Shih; Andrea M. Burke (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Canadian Psychology = Psychologie canadienne
The emergence of the COVID-19 global health pandemic and its associated adversities have had cascading and compounding effects on vulnerable children and families impacted by abuse and trauma. Mandated public health physical distancing measures necessitated an abrupt transition from traditional in-person mental healthcare to virtual mental healthcare. While ushering in new and unexpected opportunities, this shift presented significant challenges and unique implications for trauma-focused pediatric interventions. This article (a) proposes an ecological systems framework through which we can better understand the multilevel effects of child sexual abuse in the context of a pandemic; (b) describes our administrative and clinical processes for rapidly mobilizing a trauma-informed model of telemental healthcare for sexually abused children and families in a pediatric hospital setting; and (c) shares our clinical observations and experiences delivering therapy via virtual platforms during the early stage of the pandemic through an ecosystems lens.
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

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted both school bullying and cyberbullying

AUTHOR(S)
Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Joshua Goodman; Jennifer G. Green (et al.)

Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research
Published: December 2021   Journal: NBER Working Paper Series

One-fifth of U.S. high school students report being bullied each year. This study uses internet search data for real-time tracking of bullying patterns as COVID-19 disrupted in-person schooling. It first shows that, prepandemic, internet searches contain useful information about actual bullying behavior. It then shows that searches for school bullying and cyberbullying dropped 30-35 percent as schools shifted to remote learning in spring 2020. The gradual return to in-person instruction starting in fall 2020 partially returns bullying searches to pre-pandemic levels. This rare positive effect may partly explain recent mixed evidence on the pandemic’s impact on students’ mental health and well-being.

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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.