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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 102
Remote evaluations of violence against women and girls interventions: a rapid scoping review of tools, ethics and safety

AUTHOR(S)
Ilana Seff; Luissa Vahedi; Samantha McNelly (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMJ Global Health
Although programmes and policies targeting violence against women and girls (VAWG) have increased in the past decade, there is a paucity of evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions. To expand this evidence base, researchers increasingly employ remote data collection (RDC)—including online surveys, mobile applications and telephone interviews—in their evaluations. Although RDC allows for evaluations without in-person interactions—which are restricted during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic— information about these methods is necessary to understand their potential usefulness and limitations. This scoping review examines remote evaluations of VAWG interventions to describe the landscape of RDC methods, reflect on safety and ethical considerations, and offer best practices for RDC in VAWG research. Fourteen studies met eligibility criteria, with seven, five, and two studies employing telephone interviews, online surveys, and mobile applications, respectively.
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.
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.
The challenges of inequality and COVID-19 for young people in Peru: evidence from the listening to young lives at work COVID-19 phone survey

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Santiago Cueto; Alan Sanchez

Published: August 2021

This policy brief looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of adolescents and young people in Peru as they transition into adulthood, focusing on how widening inequalities are hitting those from disadvantaged backgrounds hardest. Peru continues to suffer one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world, despite an initial strict national lockdown between March and June 2020, and subsequent regional lockdowns between July and September 2020. A second set of regional lockdowns, and new related restrictions, have been introduced since January 2021, in response to an even more devastating second wave of infections. This brief investigates the broader economic and social impacts of the pandemic, presenting policy recommendations based on findings from the Listening to Young Lives at Work COVID-19 phone survey, conducted in the second half of 2020. It focuses on five key areas of impact: interrupted education and inequality in learning outcomes; unequal access to decent jobs; worsening mental health and well-being; specific implications for girls and young women, including increased domestic work burdens; and increasing risk of domestic violence. It is part of a series of national policy briefs drawing on findings from our 2020 COVID-19 phone survey.

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.

Abusive and positive parenting behavior in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic under the state of emergency

AUTHOR(S)
Yui Yamaoka; Mariko Hosozawa; Makiko Sampei (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the lives of children and parents, raising concerns about child maltreatment. This study examined the prevalence of abusive parenting behavior during the pandemic of the COVID-19 and its relations with physical, psychological, and social factors and positive parenting behavior. An online survey was performed during the COVID-19 state of emergency in Japan. Participants were 5344 parents of children aged 0–17 years.

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.
The relationship between common mental disorders (CMDs), food insecurity and domestic violence in pregnant women during the COVID-19 lockdown in Cape Town, South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Zulfa Abrahams; Sonet Boisits; Marguerite Schneider (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

This study aimed to explore the relationship between common mental disorders (CMDs), food insecurity and experiences of domestic violence among pregnant women attending public sector midwife obstetric units and basic antenatal care clinics in Cape Town during the COVID-19 lockdown. Perinatal women, attending 14 healthcare facilities in Cape Town, were enrolled in the study during baseline data collection before the COVID-19 lockdown. During the lockdown period, fieldworkers telephonically contacted the perinatal women who were enrolled in the study and had provided contact details. The following data were collected from those who consented to the study: socio-demographic information, mental health assessment, food insecurity status and experiences of domestic violence. Poisson regression was used to model the associations of a number of risk factors with the occurrence of CMDs.

Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on presentation and severity of traumatic injury due to physical child abuse across US children's hospitals

AUTHOR(S)
Christopher De Boer; Hassan Ghomrawi; Megan E. Bouchard (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Pediatric Surgery

Physical child abuse affects 9 in every 1,000 children in the United States and associated traumatic injuries are often identified by the healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified risk factors for physical child abuse and increased avoidance of the healthcare system. This study examined the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on presentation and severity of physical child abuse. A retrospective, cross-sectional study utilizing the Pediatric Health Information System was performed. An interrupted time series analysis estimated the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of children <15 years old presenting with physical child abuse to children's hospitals from March 1st to June 30th of 2020 by comparing to those presenting during the same period for years 2016-2019. Hierarchical regression models estimated the effect of the pandemic on likelihood of operative intervention, ICU admission, traumatic brain injury, and mortality.

When home is not safe: media coverage and issue salience of child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Stephanie Madden; Kate Guastaferro; Chris Skurkaa (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Howard Journal of Communications
While staying at home is crucial for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, there is concern that such public health measures may increase the risk for child maltreatment (CM). Using a qualitative content analysis of news coverage and a quantitative survey (N = 250) of media consumers, this study explored the framing of CM as an issue during COVID-19, as well as audience recall and perceived efficacy to prevent maltreatment. Findings from the content analysis indicate that domestic violence and CM are frequently discussed together, and that less frequent interaction with mandatory reporters during the pandemic was often cited as a problem. Survey results suggest that social media and public service announcements are more important compared to news media for increasing audience perceptions of salience and efficacy around CM during a pandemic. Implications for studying media coverage of intertwined public health issues, like a pandemic and CM, are discussed.
Violence and abuse experiences and associated risk factors during the COVID-19 outbreak in a population-based sample of Norwegian adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Else-Marie Augusti; Sjur Skjørshammer Sætren; Gertrud S. Hafstad

Published: July 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

The lockdowns occurring across society because of the COVID-19 pandemic have had far-reaching consequences for children and adolescents. One immediate concern was what the impact of the comprehensive disease control measures on rates of violence and abuse against children and adolescents would be. This study aimed to establish rates of child abuse and degree of family conflict during the first COVID-19 lockdown spring 2020. Additionally, we aimed to investigate associations between preexisting and concurrent risk factors and abuse during these unique times.

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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.