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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 88
Child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic rapid review

AUTHOR(S)
Ashley Rapp; Gloria Fall; Abigail C. Radomsky (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatric Clinics of North America
It is estimated that each year more than 1 million children worldwide are victims of physical, sexual, or emotional violence. Collectively, this violence has been termed child maltreatment (CM) and defined by the World Health Organization as “the abuse and neglect that occurs to children under 18 years of age.”1 The impacts of CM are multifaceted, having short- and long-term consequences on a child’s attitudes and behaviors, as well as their mental and physical well-being.23456 Increases in CM have been well-documented in association with increased parental stress,7 during and after recessions and epidemics, such as the Ebola and AIDS crises.8910 Continuing to understand the situations that create, perpetuate, and amplify CM are of the utmost importance to then lower the rates of CM and decrease their impact. Thus, the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its subsequent impacts have become an area of interest and concern for linkages to CM.
Epidemiological study of violence against children and its increase during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Stela Maria Tavolieri de Oliveira; Ewerton Alexandre Galdeano; Evelynne Maria Gomes Galvão da Trindade (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The aim of this study was to identify the epidemiological profiles of violence against children, victims, and their aggressors, and their correlations between socioeconomic and demographic factors analyzed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a cross-sectional, retrospective observational study based on a review of Individual Notification Forms from the Information System for Notifiable Diseases, including child victims of violence, under 18 years, assisted by a pediatric emergency service in Brazil, from 2016–2020. Data were stratified, then statistical analysis was performed using the two-proportion equality test and the Chi-square test, with p < 0.05 and a 95% confidence interval. A total of 609 notifications were analyzed and a prevalence of sexual violence (63.2%) was reported. The prevalent profile of victim was female (76.7%), aged between 2–9 years (38.1%) and 14–18 years (35.6%). The violence occurs in the victim’s home (58.9%). The prevalent profile of perpetrator was male (82.4%), young adolescent (59.2%), living as family (64%), mainly the parents (18.4%).
"Evidence matters – now more than ever: results from a review of UNICEF’s evidence on COVID-19 and child protection"

AUTHOR(S)
Manahil Siddiqi; Ramya Subrahmanian

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021

This paper presents a review of select evidence generated by UNICEF on the impact of COVID-19 on child protection. It takes stock of UNICEF’s contributions to the global COVID-19 child protection knowledge base and presents what has been learned so far from this evidence base on the impacts of COVID-19 on child protection and the response measures put in place since the pandemic. This review offers a starting point for UNICEF to further build its evidence base with external partners for continued evidence generation – so that it can be used to address child protection issues and lessons in the context of COVID-19.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Australian domestic and family violence services and their clients

AUTHOR(S)
Kerry Carrington; Christine Morley; Shane Warren (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Australian Journal Of Social Issues
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports emerged that lockdowns were increasing the prevalence of domestic and family violence (DFV) in Australia and across the world. The lockdowns and restrictions were necessary to contain the pandemic. However, leaders in the domestic family violence sector expressed concerns early during 2020 that these lockdowns would lead to the escalation of domestic and family violence. Calling it a shadow pandemic, the United Nations Secretary-General urged all governments to prioritise the prevention of violence against women in their national response plan for COVID-19. To gain some insight into the Australian context, a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Centre for Justice research team conducted a nationwide survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on DFV services and their clients.
Patterns of sexual violence against adults and children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya: a prospective cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Rockowitz; Laura M. Stevens; James C. Rockey (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMJ Open

This study examined patterns of sexual violence against adults and children in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform sexual violence prevention, protection, and response efforts. A prospective cross-sectional research design was used with data collected from March to August 2020.

Roles of family stress, maltreatment, and affect regulation difficulties on adolescent mental health during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie G. Craig; Christina L. Robillard; Brianna J. Turner (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Violence
This study examines the indirect effects of affect dysregulation and suppression on the associations between family stress from confinement, maltreatment, and adolescent mental health during COVID-19. It examined both adolescent and caregiver perspectives to yield a more well-rounded understanding of these associations than afforded in previous research. Using both adolescent (N = 809, Mage = 15.66) and caregiver (N = 578) samples, family stress from confinement, exposure to physical and psychological maltreatment, affect dysregulation and suppression, and youth internalizing and externalizing symptoms were measured in the summer of 2020, following three months of stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.
Physical abuse of young children during the COVID-19 pandemic: alarming increase in the relative frequency of hospitalizations during the lockdown period

AUTHOR(S)
Mélanie Loiseau; Jonathan Cottenet; Sonia Bechraoui-Quantin (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

In France, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a general lockdown from mid-March to mid-May 2020, forcing families to remain confined. This study hypothesized that children may have been victims of more physical abuse during the lockdown, involving an increase in the relative frequency of hospitalization. Using the national administrative database on all admissions to public and private hospitals (PMSI), all children aged 0–5 years hospitalized were selected and physically abused children based on ICD-10 codes were identified.

Evaluation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the reporting of maltreatment cases to the National Family Safety Program in Saudi Arabia

AUTHOR(S)
Shuliweeh Alenezi; Mahdi Alnamnakani; Mohamad-Hani Temsah (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a global and nationwide public health crisis. Although protective, socially restrictive measures may cause social isolation, which amounts to an increased ecological risk for mental health disturbance in vulnerable populations. Previous reports have suggested a significant association between the occurrence of public health crises and increased rates of multiple risk factors related to child mental health disturbances, domestic violence, and child-maltreatment. This study conducted a retrospective data review of reported child maltreatment cases from the National Family Safety Program during the period of September 2019 to September 2020. A descriptive analysis approach was used to compare rates before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic for families of infants involved with Child Protection Services for maltreatment concerns

AUTHOR(S)
Alison Fogarty; Andi Jones; Kirsty Evans (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Health and Social Care in the Community
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated physical distancing restrictions have exacerbated social, economic and health disadvantage within our communities. With increases in mental health difficulties and family violence already being seen, there is concern that the risk of child maltreatment risk may also be increased. The current study aimed to explore the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic for families identified to be at risk of child maltreatment in Victoria, Australia. Understanding the experiences of the pandemic for families already at risk is essential in identifying how to best support vulnerable parents and young children during this challenging time. Interviews were conducted with 11 parents currently involved with Child Protection Services, and nine clinicians working within a child and family health services, supporting clients with child protection involvement.
Uncertain pathways: how gender shapes the experiences of children on the move

AUTHOR(S)
Jan Beise; Danzhen You (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2021

Age plays a critical role in a child’s migration, but how will gender mediate that experience? Which gender-specific vulnerabilities, needs, and opportunities influence the lives of girls and boys on the move? This report reviews the existing evidence base – official statistics and quantitative and qualitative studies from the community level to the global level – to shed light on these important questions. Examining the available information not only indicates where and how children on the move need targeted resources, support and protection, but also pinpoints areas needing further investigation. Available data and research demonstrate that gender plays a pivotal role from the time the decision to leave home is made, and continues to shape experiences and vulnerabilities throughout the child’s journey and integration process at the destination. COVID-19 has added another layer of complexity to the lives of children on the move, exacerbating pre-existing insecurities in some dimensions and introducing new ones. Girls in particular are feeling many of these effects acutely, such as gender-based violence.

Prevalence and risk factors of violence against women and children during COVID-19, Germany

AUTHOR(S)
Cara Ebert; Janina I. Steinert

Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: August 2021   Journal: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
This study aims to assess the prevalence and exacerbating factors of violence against women and children in Germany during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. It conducted a representative online survey with partnered women (18–65 years) between 22 April and 8 May 2020, when participants had been under lockdown for a month. It determined the prevalence of several forms of violence within the previous month using both direct elicitation and a list experiment. It also conducted a multivariable logistic regression to assess the impact of pandemic associated risk factors.
Violence against children and the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Amiya Bhatia; Camilla Fabbri; Ilan Cerna-Turoff (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected children’s risk of violence in their homes, communities and online, and has compromised the ability of child protection systems to promptly detect and respond to cases of violence. However, the need to strengthen violence prevention and response services has received
insufficient attention in national and global pandemic response and mitigation strategies. This paper summarizes the growing body of evidence on the links between the pandemic and violence against children. Drawing on the World Health Organization’s INSPIRE framework to end violence against children, it illustrates how the pandemic is affecting prevention and response efforts.
A comparison of child abuse and neglect encounters before and after school closings due to SARS-Cov-2

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth Salt; Amanda T. Wiggins; Gena L. Cooper (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Risk factors for child abuse and neglect and commonly used reporting mechanisms were highly affected by SARS-Cov-2 pandemic; yet, little is known about the effects of SARS-Cov-2 on rates of child abuse and neglect. To compare overall rates, demographics, types of abuse and acuity of child abuse and neglect encounters seen at one university health system for the 6 months before and after school closings due to the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic. Data was extracted from a database of billed ICD10 codes for child abuse and neglect including sexual abuse codes. There were 579 encounters for patients <18 years of age and 476 unique patients.

Calculating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child abuse and neglect in the U.S.

AUTHOR(S)
Loc H. Nguyen

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 has had a major impact on child abuse and neglect (CAN) in the U.S. leading to a change in the number of reported screened-in CAN investigations, missed prevention cases, and missed CAN cases. To estimate the deficit number of CAN investigations and resultant estimated number of missed prevention and CAN cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. from March 2020 to December 2020.

Internet searches for terms related to child maltreatment during COVID-19: infodemiology approach

AUTHOR(S)
Madelon M. E. Riem; Pietro De Carli; Jing Guo (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting
This study examined internet searches indicative of abusive parental behaviors before and after the World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic (March 11, 2020) and subsequent lockdown measures in many countries worldwide. Using Google Trends, the study inferred search trends between December 28, 2018, and December 27, 2020, for queries consisting of “mother,” “father,” or “parents” combined with each of the 11 maltreatment-related verbs used in the Conflict Tactics Scales, Parent-Child version. Raw search counts from the Google Trends data were estimated using Comscore.
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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.