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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 210
Associations between caregiver stress and child verbal abuse and corporal punishment in Thailand's impoverished Deep South region during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Rohani Jeharsae; Manusmeen Jehnok; Haneefah Jeh-alee (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Mental Health
The objectives of this study are: (1) To describe the levels of parental stress, self-reported child verbal abuse and corporal punishment among caregivers, and; (2) To assess the extent that having moderate or higher levels of parental stress is associated with self-reported child verbal abuse and corporal punishment. We randomly sampled 12 villages and sampled 40 households per village in Thailand’s impoverished Deep South region in June 2020. Study participants included 466 caregivers residing in sampled households. Trained enumerators used the standard ST-5 questionnaire to measure stress level and asked the participants to self-report the study outcomes.
Impact on the incidence of suspected physical abuse in children under 24 months of age during a global pandemic: a multi-centre irish regional retrospective cross-sectional analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Caoimhe McDonnell; Michael Courtney; Michael Barrett (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: The British Journal of Radiology

he advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in periods of nationwide restrictions in Ireland including school and workplace closures. The authors hypothesised that this disruption to society may have led to a change in patterns of suspected physical abuse (SPA) presentations to the paediatric emergency department (ED), whilst ED attendance fell dramatically during the period. We reviewed data to determine whether there was an increase in presentations of SPA during periods of social restrictions. The National Integrated Medical Imaging Service was searched for all skeletal survey examinations performed between the dates of the 1 March 2016 and 28 Feb 2021 for studies performed in cases of SPA. Electronic records of attendance were extracted from the emergency department administrative system at the three paediatric emergency departments which serve the 400,000 children regionally. The data were reviewed to determine if SPA presentations increased during restriction periods.

The utility of administrative data in understanding the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on child maltreatment: learning from the Scotland experience

AUTHOR(S)
Alexander McTier; Joanna Soraghan

Published: June 2022   Journal: Child Maltreatment
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health ‘stay at home’ restrictions have intensified familial risk factors. Children would appear to be at increased risk of harm and abuse, yet administrative data from the early months of the pandemic showed falling cases of child maltreatment. Using weekly administrative data from Scotland, UK that span the first 17 months of the pandemic, this article found that child maltreatment activity levels fluctuated as ‘stay at home’ restrictions changed. During lockdown periods, the number of children subject to Inter-agency Referral Discussion fell but a higher number of children were placed on the Child Protection Register. When restrictions were eased, the number of Inter-agency Referral Discussions increased but the number of children placed on the Child Protection Register fell. To explain the fluctuations, the article asserts that the pandemic’s impact on services’ ability to engage directly with children and families has been critical, but the limitations of administrative data in providing an accurate measure of child maltreatment levels also need to be recognised.
The relationship between family variables and family social problems during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Saeko Kamoshida; Naoto Nihonmatsu; Gen Takagi (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Plos One
This study examined the relationship between variables about family members co-residing during the COVID-19 pandemic and anxiety about COVID-19, domestic violence from spouse, child abuse anxiety, internet addiction, and mental health as social problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 220 parents (70 male and 150 female, age; M = 41.6, SD = 34.4) were included in the analysis. Stepwise hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted with dependent variables of fear of COVID-19, spousal violence, anxiety regarding perpetrating child abuse, internet addiction, and mental health. The independent variables were basic variables related to family members such as family composition.
Jeopardized mental health of children and adolescents in coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Bohyun Jin; Sohee Lee; Un Sun Chung

Published: June 2022   Journal: Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak became a worldwide pandemic in 2020. Social distancing measures, such as self-quarantine, lockdowns, and school closures, which have proven efficacy in various pandemic situations, remain in use in Korea. These measures prevented viral transmission to some extent; however, adverse effects have also resulted. First, the negative effect of social isolation on mental health is evident. This influences the psychiatric milieu of parents and children directly and indirectly. The most stressful factor among Korean youth was the restriction of outdoor activities. Increasing parenting burden result in increased screen time among youth, and social isolation created depressive mood with symptoms similar to those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety. Second, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and somatization are prevalent among children and adolescents. The sense of threatened health and life during the pandemic, one symptom of PTSD, is a strong risk factor for somatization. Finally, the increased pattern of child abuse in pandemic indicates increased levels of emotional/psychological abuse and nonmedical neglect. Social isolation makes people less aware of these events. Because pediatricians evaluate pediatric patients and their families, they should regularly assess emotional/stress factors, especially when somatization is prominent during the pandemic, and cautiously recommend that families seek advice from mental health professionals when warranted. Primary physicians must understand the characteristics and aspects of child abuse in the COVID-19 pandemic, make efforts to identify signs of child abuse, and deliver accurate information and preventive strategies for child abuse to caregivers, thereby functioning as a professional guardian. To promote the mental health of parents and children during the COVID-19 pandemic, more research and cooperation among health professionals, families, governments, and schools are needed in the future.
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.

Excess google searches for child abuse and intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: infoveillance approach

AUTHOR(S)
Corinne A. Riddell; Krista Neumann; N. Jeanie Santaularia (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has created environments with increased risk factors for household violence, such as unemployment and financial uncertainty. At the same time, it led to the introduction of policies to mitigate financial uncertainty. Further, it hindered traditional measurements of household violence. Using an infoveillance approach, our goal was to determine if there were excess Google searches related to exposure to child abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV), and child-witnessed IPV during the COVID-19 pandemic and if any excesses are temporally related to shelter-in-place and economic policies.

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.
Impact of COVID-19 lockdown and link to women and children's experiences of violence in the home in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
P. Mahlangu; A. Gibbs; N. Shai (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health
Evidence on the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown remains at an early stage. There is limited research about the impact of hard lockdown restrictions on families, specifically how these restrictions impact on women and children’s experiences of domestic violence, including intimate partner violence (IPV) and child abuse in South Africa. This research was conducted among men and women in Gauteng province, South Africa to understand their experiences of the COVID-19 national lockdown and its impact and link to women and children’s experiences of domestic violence.
The types and determinants of child abuse in Sri Lanka

AUTHOR(S)
T. H. A. S. De Silva; K. A. P. Siddhisena; M. Vidanapathirana (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Asian Review of Social Sciences

This study examines types and determinants of child abuse    in    Sri    Lanka.    Further,    the    study    provides    the    demographic and social characteristics of victims who are aged below  18  years  as  well  as  their  family  background  in  Sri  Lanka. There is an increasing trend of different types of child abuses  globally  as  well  as  nationally.  In  Sri  Lankan  context,  child sexual abuse reveals study mainly based on the secondary data  and  the  main  source  of  data  was  the  National  Child  Protection Authority of Sri Lanka. Sample size includes all the complaints  on  child  abuse  from  2015-2020  to  the  NCPA  Sri  Lanka.  The  analysis  of  determinants  of  child  abuse  in  Sri  Lanka  reveals  as  to  who  are  the  most  vulnerable  group  for  child abuse in Sri Lanka and what are the associated factors to be   a   child   victim.   Reporting   child   abuses   have   highly   determined   with   the   school   vacation   period   and   seasonal   variation   has   affected   by   Covid-19 pandemic   in   2020.   Migration  of  parents  has  a  negative  impact  on  a  child  victim  for  abuse.  Especially,  the  family  background  is  a  primarily  determined factor to be a child victim. The nearest relatives to the  family  have  been  the  major  abuser  of  the  children.

Is household unemployment associated with increased verbal and physical child abuse during the COVID pandemic?

AUTHOR(S)
Ming Ma; Rebecca Orsi; Ashley Brooks-Russell

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child maltreatment
The economic downturn due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic initially led to a large increase in the US unemployment rate. Being laid-off or losing a job could cause financial stress and have an impact on the relationship between parents or other adults in the home and children. This study aimed to assess the effect of household unemployment on child physical and emotional abuse during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an older population of children.
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.

Role of maternal emotion in child maltreatment risk during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Christina M. Rodriguez; Shawna J. Lee

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Violence

Preliminary research early in the COVID-19 pandemic suggested children appeared to be at increased risk for child maltreatment, particularly as parents struggled with mental health and economic strains. Such strains were likely to influence parental emotions about their children, affecting their parent-child interactions to contribute to elevated maltreatment risk. To identify the potential affective elements that may contribute to such increased maltreatment risk, the current study focused on whether maternal worry about children’s behavior specifically as well as maternal anger were related to increased risk for neglect or physical or psychological aggression six months into the pandemic. The racially diverse sample included 193 mothers who completed an online survey during the COVID-19 pandemic in late September-early October 2020.

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.
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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.