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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 85
Childhood maltreatment is associated with distrust and negatively biased emotion processing

AUTHOR(S)
Johanna Hepp; Sara E. Schmitz; Jana Urbild

Published: February 2021   Journal: Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation
Cognitive models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) propose that trauma entails cognitive alterations of increased distrust and perceived threat from others. We tested whether these predictions also hold in individuals with varying levels of childhood maltreatment (CM), which is much more prevalent than traumatic events as required for a PTSD diagnosis. This study hypothesized that higher levels of CM would entail greater distrust and perceived threat, and that distrust would be more change-resistant in participants with more CM.
Progress toward ending child marriage over the last decade: a missed opportunity to deliver for girls
Institution: Save the Children
Published: February 2021

Compared to the previous generation, the incidence of child marriage worldwide has declined. However, strides forward have suffered from substantial limitations. At the global level, child marriage is still too widespread, and progress too slow, to meet the SDG target in 2030. At the regional level, some areas have achieved remarkable progress, while others are lagging behind. Worryingly, in the majority of cases, progress over the past decade (2010-2020) has not matched advancements achieved in the decade prior (2000-2010). At the country level, inclusive progress hasn’t always materialized: in a number of countries, gaps are widening not only between wealth groups, but also on the basis of residence. In a nutshell, progress has been unevenly distributed not only across time, but also across geographies, with stark divides both among and within countries. COVID-19 is expected to have a damaging impact on child protection, including according to Save the Children’s own projections. Urgent efforts are needed to guarantee girls’ rights and prevent devastating setbacks. In the longer term, more research is needed to understand what drives child marriage, so as to tackle it more effectively in different regions.

Are we asking the right questions?: choices and challenges in assessing COVID-19 impact on the vulnerable in Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Debapriya Bhattacharya; Sarah Sabin Khan; Towfiqul Islam Khan

Institution: Citizen’s Platform for SDGs
Published: January 2021
The paper puts forward a framework to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable population groups in a developing country context. Bangladesh has been used as a case study. The pandemic has not only exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities of these groups but has also induced new ones. Policy actions towards recovery and resumption—both immediately and over the medium-term—need to be informed by genuine and disaggregated evidence based on realities on the ground. The paper urges a need to have conceptual, analytical and methodological clarity on the relevant issues. Towards this end, it explores the current state of knowledge on the topic and digs deep into the existing literature to analyse these issues. The paper offers a set of analytical questions to construct the assessment framework. The resultant framework presented can be adopted and replicated across national contexts.
Children’s right to be heard: we’re talking; are you listening?
Institution: Child Fund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children
Published: January 2021
As countries usher in 2021, children throughout the world continue to grapple with unprecedented hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that turned the world upside down in 2020. The global health crisis prompted lockdown efforts that raised the risk of violence, hunger, child labor, child marriage, and school dropouts—particularly among girls. It also curtailed opportunities for children to engage in activities aimed at promoting their right to be heard. Recent research shows children are eager to have their voices heard and to play a pivotal role in halting the spread of the virus and minimizing its negative impacts. During consultations for this policy brief, children reported it was very important that they maintain strong peer participation groups and connections to other adolescents and children during lockdowns. They also shared that participation during lockdowns helped promote positive mental health and lessen anxiety and loneliness.
Youth (in)justice and the COVID-19 pandemic: rethinking incarceration through a public health lens

AUTHOR(S)
Faith Gordon; Hannah Klose; Michelle Lyttle Storrod

Published: January 2021   Journal: Current Issues in Criminal Justice

Serious concerns for the safety and well-being of children and young people are multiplying due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has called for children’s urgent release from prison. Evidence demonstrates that incarceration can aggravate existing health conditions and result in new health issues, such as depression, suicidal thoughts and post-traumatic stress disorder. This paper draws on findings from a larger study involving 25 qualitative interviews with policy makers, practitioners and researchers working in youth justice and utilises Victoria in South East Australia as a case study.


Collaboration of child protective services and early childhood educators: enhancing the well-being of children in need

AUTHOR(S)
Karmen Toros; Keidy Tart; Asgeir Falch‑Eriksen

Published: January 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
This paper examines the role of interprofessional collaboration in the identification and reporting of a child in need. Such collaboration is especially important in the context of the global pandemic caused by the novel Coronavirus disease of 2019, known as COVID-19. The child protection system must have the capacity and resources to respond to increased demands during this time, and early childhood educators serve as an essential link for child protective services in identifying and reporting a child in need. As an effective system to accomplish these two aims requires a working collaboration among its participants, Bronstein’s interdisciplinary collaboration model was used as a framework to interpret this practice. A small-scale qualitative study was conducted that included principals of nursery schools and child protection workers from one region in Estonia.
It’s time for care, prioritizing quality care for children - Challenges, opportunities and an agenda for action

AUTHOR(S)
Gillian Huebner

Institution: *UNICEF, Better Care Network
Published: December 2020
COVID-19 is having unprecedented impacts on children and families across the globe; however, these are not being evenly experienced. While the challenges of caregiving are increasing for most families, the effects are particularly acute for those already engaged in low-wage or in-kind work, often in the informal economy where there are few safeguards. Caregivers are stretched, and there is a lack of quality, affordable childcare, with limited access to social protection, services and support to address the multiple and cumulative risks associated with the pandemic, as well as persistent poverty, systemic inequality and discrimination.
The perfect storm: hidden risk of child maltreatment during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Christina M. Rodriguez; Shawna J. Lee; Kaitlin P. Ward (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Child Maltreatment
The Covid-19 pandemic upended the country, with enormous economic and social shifts. Given the increased contact from families living in virtual confinement coupled with massive economic disarray, the Covid-19 pandemic may have created the ideal conditions to witness a rise in children’s experience of abuse and neglect. Yet such a rise will be difficult to calculate given the drop in official mechanisms to track its incidence. The current investigation utilized two studies conducted early in the pandemic to evaluate maltreatment risk.
Child marriage in COVID-19 contexts: disruptions, alternative approaches and building programme resilience
Institution: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, *UNICEF
Published: December 2020
This brief has been developed jointly by UNFPA and UNICEF regional offices in Eastern and Southern Africa. It provides an overview of child marriage in the region, particularly in the context of COVID-19, as well as an analysis of disruptions to child marriage programmes. The brief also describes alternatives to traditional programmatic work as a means to overcome challenges presented by COVID-19. It proposes a way forward for child marriage programming during the COVID-19 response and recovery phases, as well as outlining implications for future programming, including the need to strengthen programme resilience
Social protection for families with children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean: an imperative to address the impact of COVID-19

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have predicted that the social and economic effects of the ongoing pandemic will have a significant impact on the well-being of families with children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, children and adolescents were already a highly vulnerable population group, suffering a higher incidence of poverty than other age groups and affected by numerous inequalities in various dimensions. Not only does the current emergency threaten families with the loss of their livelihoods and a drop in their incomes, children and adolescents also face significant barriers in securing access to health care —including vaccination schemes— and to education. Thus, they are also at a higher risk of falling behind or dropping out of school, as well as at risk from food insecurity and threats of violence or physical punishment. It is therefore urgent to invest in children and to ensure their development in a context characterized by adversities old and new.

COVID-19 protection needs identification and analysis in the State of Palestine

AUTHOR(S)
Zeudi Liew

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2020
Prior to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the State of Palestine, the country was already affected by a protracted humanitarian protection crisis due to the ongoing occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip. The country level Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR) wished to explore the impact of COVID-19 on children’s health, education, well-being, safety and protection as well as on families’ socioeconomic situation.
Perceived knowledge as [protective] power: parents’ protective efficacy, information-seeking, and scrutiny during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth Johnson Avery; Sejin Park

Published: November 2020   Journal: Health Communication
During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents were issued numerous, sometimes changing, safeguarding directives including social distancing, mask use, hygiene, and stay-at-home orders. Enacting these behaviors for the parent presented challenges, but the responsibility for children to follow protocol properly was an even more daunting undertaking. Self-efficacy is one of the most power predictors of health behavior and has been adapted to a context-specific crisis self-efficacy scale conducted on March20, 2020, captures real-time perceptions of parents as coronavirus anxieties peaked. The study reveals a relationship between self- and protective efficacy that is mediated by parents’ assessments of how informed they are about COVID-19. It also examines the role of perceived knowledge on information-seeking and scrutiny of pandemic information found online.
Essential services, risk, and child protection in the time of COVID-19: an opportunity to prioritize chronic need

AUTHOR(S)
Johanna Caldwell; Ashleigh Delaye; Tonino Esposito (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
In many North American jurisdictions, socioeconomically vulnerable families are more likely to be involved with child protection systems and experience ongoing challenges. The current public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on these families via unemployment, “essential” work, isolation, and closures of childcare and schools, with negative implications for children’s developmental wellbeing. Experts warn that while child protection referrals have gone down, children who are at risk of maltreatment are less exposed to typical reporters (e.g., school professionals). At the same time, physical distancing measures are prompting many human service settings to shift toward virtual intervention with children and families. This commentary suggests that a focus on short-term risk in the response to COVID-19 may obscure support for children’s long-term outcomes.
COVID-19: digital and remote approaches in eliminating female genital mutilation and child marriage
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2020
This brief is designed to support country programmes to conduct quality, evidence-based, meaningful and measurable engagement for prevention of harmful practices programming, even when interpersonal communication is not possible. In particular, this note will provide insights to the use of digital communications resources, since physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic have further strengthened reliance on mass media, social media and mobile technology as a way of reaching and engaging with intended audiences.
Children on the brink: risks for child protection, sexual abuse, and related mental health problems in the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sheila Ramaswamy; Shekhar Seshadri

Published: November 2020   Journal: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
In developing contexts such as India, children in adversity form a high-risk group, one that cannot be subsumed under the general category of children, who are generally considered as a vulnerable group in disaster and crisis situations. Child mental health issues in contexts of protection risks and childhood adversity tend to be over-looked in such crises. This article focuses on examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences on children in adversity, describing the increased child protection and psychosocial risks they are placed at, during and in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and its lockdown situation. It specifically links the lockdown and the ensuing economic issues to sexuality and abuse-related risks, as occur in contexts of child labour, child sex work and trafficking, child marriage and child sexual abuse, and that result in immediate and long-term mental health problems in children.
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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.