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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 387
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.
Strengthening lower-income families: Lessons learned from policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy B. Kanter; Deadric T. Williams; Amy J. Rauer

Published: September 2021   Journal: Family Process
Families are navigating an unstable economy due to COVID-19. Financial stressors have the potential to strain intimate relationships and exacerbate prior inequities across lower-income families. Notably, the economic impact of COVID-19 disproportionately influenced Black and Latinx families. As a response to families' economic adversity during the pandemic, the federal government initiated the CARES Act. This type of federal response to lower-income families, however, is not new. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize and historicize previous and current efforts to mitigate the consequences of financial hardship on families by comparing the assumptions and efficacy of the Healthy Marriages Initiative and the CARES act.
Associations of childhood unintentional injuries with maternal emotional status during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Xiangrong Guo; Hui Hua; Jian Xu (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMC Pediatrics

This study aims to explore the characteristics of unintentional childhood-injury during the COVID-19 pandemic and assess the association of unintentional-injury with maternal emotional status. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 1300 children under 12-years-old from 21 schools (including nurseries/ kindergartens/ primary schools) in Wuhan and Shanghai during March to April 2020, and the mothers completed questionnaires online. Self-rating Depression/Anxiety Scales were used to evaluate maternal emotional status, questions on child unintentional-injury were based on the International-Statistical-Classification-of-Diseases-and-Related-Health-Problems-version-10 (ICD-10), and a total of 11 kinds of unintentional injuries were inquired. Information on socio-demographic and family-background factors was also collected.

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.
Undertaking rapid assessments in the COVID-19 context: learning from UNICEF South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Deepika Ganju; Tom Pellens

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021
In order to quickly and repeatedly assess the COVID-19 situation and its impacts, UNICEF Country Offices across South Asia conducted a variety of rapid assessments or/and similar real-time evidence generating exercises from the start of the pandemic in 2020. This resulted in innovation and learning to adapt evidence generation to the context, needs and data collection constraints imposed by the pandemic. Drawing on the documented experiences of nine rapid assessments, covering six countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), insights with regard to the design and implementation of rapid assessments in a pandemic context have been documented to facilitate cross-country learning. The focus was on: data collection and analysis methodology, sampling strategy, partnership and stakeholder involvement, agility and timeliness, and the dissemination and use of the findings. Nine case study briefs were produced as well as a cross-case synthesis report.
Material hardship and child neglect risk amidst COVID-19 in grandparent-headed kinship families: the role of financial assistance

AUTHOR(S)
Yanfeng Xua; Merav Jedwab; Nelís Soto-Ramírez (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 has exacerbated material hardship among grandparent-headed kinship families. Grandparent-headed kinship families receive financial assistance, which may mitigate material hardship and reduce child neglect risk. This study aims to examine (1) the association between material hardship and child neglect risk; and (2) whether financial assistance moderates this association in a sample of kinship grandparent-headed families during COVID-19. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from a convenience sample of grandparent-headed kinship families (not necessarily child welfare involved) (N = 362) in the United States via Qualtrics Panels online survey.

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.
Are working children in developing countries hidden victims of pandemics?

AUTHOR(S)
Polyxeni Kechagia; Theodore Metaxas (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Social Sciences
The consequences of the recent pandemic have been disproportionately disruptive to several social groups, including children. As developing economies have been firefighting the recent pandemic, the welfare of minors could be affected and children’s economic exploitation and abuse could increase. Therefore, the present research aims to shed light on and to investigate the association between child labour in developing countries and pandemics, including the coronavirus, through conducting a systematic literature review on previous empirical studies. The present research concludes that previous studies on non-COVID-19 pandemics have mainly focused on the African economies, while studies on the recent pandemic have focused on Asian countries. In addition, differences were observed in relation to the methodological approaches and the characteristics of minor employees and the protection services in certain countries have proven to be insufficient.
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.

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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.