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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 82
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.
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.

Discourses of childism: how covid-19 has unveiled prejudice, discrimination and social injustice against children in the everyday

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca Adami; Katy Dineen

Published: June 2021   Journal: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Do children suffer from discriminatory structures in society and how can issues of social injustice against children be conceptualised and studied? The conceptual frame of childism is examined through everyday expressions in the aftermath of policies affecting children in Sweden, the UK and Ireland to develop knowledge of age-based and intersectional discrimination against children. While experiences in Sweden seem to indicate that young children rarely suffer severe symptoms from covid-19, or constitute a driving force in spreading the virus, policy decisions in the UK and Ireland to close down schools have had detrimental effects on children in terms of child hunger and violence against children. Policy decisions that have prioritised adults at the cost of children have unveiled a structural injustice against children, which is mirrored by individual examples of everyday societal prejudice.
Using social media data for assessing children’s exposure to violence during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Pouria Babvey; Fernanda Capela; Claudia Cappa (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect
There are concerns that the COVID-19 crisis and the measures adopted by countries in response to  the  pandemic may have led  to  an  upsurge in  violence against children. Added stressors placed on caregivers, economic uncertainty, job loss or disruption to livelihoods and social isolation may have led to a rise in children’s experience of violence in the home. Extended online presence by children may have resulted in increased exposure to abusive content and cyberbullying.
Calculating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child abuse and neglect in the U. S.

AUTHOR(S)
Loc H. Nguyen

Published: June 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. This paper aims 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.

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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.