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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 460
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.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence during pregnancy: evidence from a multimethods study of recently pregnant women in Ethiopia

AUTHOR(S)
Shannon N. Wood; Robel Yirgu; Abigiya Wondimagegnehu (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

This multimethods study aimed to: (1) compare the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy pre-COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 pandemic using quantitative data and (2) contextualise pregnant women’s IPV experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through supplemental interviews. Quantitative analyses use data from Performance Monitoring for Action-Ethiopia, a cohort of 2868 pregnant women that collects data at pregnancy, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1-year postpartum. Following 6-week postpartum survey, in-depth semistructured interviews contextualised experiences of IPV during pregnancy with a subset of participants (n=24).

Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes: a scoping review of the literature from low-and-middle income countries from 2016 - 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Thao Da Thi Tran; Linda Murray; Thang Van Vo

Published: April 2022   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is significantly associated with negative outcomes for both mother and child. Current evidence indicates an association between low levels of social support and IPV, however there is less evidence from low-and-middle income countries (LMIC) than high-income countries. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered how women can access social support. Hence since 2020, studies investigating IPV and pregnancy have occurred within the changing social context of the pandemic. This scoping review summarizes the evidence from LMICs about the effects of IPV during pregnancy on maternal and child health. The review includes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social support as mentioned in studies conducted since 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.
Child maltreatment-related children's emergency department visits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Connecticut

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Amick; Kathryn Bentivegna; Amy A. Hunter (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Previous studies of national emergency department (ED) data demonstrate a decrease in visits coded for physical abuse during the pandemic period. However, no study to date has examined the incidence of multiple child maltreatment types (physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect), within a single state while considering state-specific closure policies. Furthermore, no similar study has utilized detailed chart review to identify cases, nor compared hospital data to Child Protective Services (CPS) reports. This study aims to determine the incidence of child maltreatment-related ED visits before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, including characterizing the type of maltreatment, severity, and CPS reporting.

The unheld child: social work, social distancing and the possibilities and limits to child protection during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Harry Ferguson; Sarah Pink; Laura Kelly

Published: March 2022   Journal: The British Journal of Social Work
The COVID-19 pandemic changed dramatically the ways social workers engaged with children and families. This article presents findings from our research into the effects of COVID-19 on social work and child protection in England during the first nine months of the pandemic. Its aim is to provide new knowledge to enable realistic expectations of what it was possible for social workers to achieve and particularly the limits to child protection. Such perspective has become more important than ever due to knowledge of children who died tragically from abuse despite social work involvement during the pandemic.
The unintended consequences of school closures during COVID-19 on children and young people’s physical health rights -what are they and how can they be mitigated?

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe Picton-Howell

Published: March 2022   Journal: The International Journal of Human Rights
This paper examines the unintended consequences of emergency school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the impact of these closures on children and young people’s United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and wider physical health rights. It addresses how States Parties should address and balance these rights during a crisis. It then contextualises the school closures, using global data mainly collated by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), exploring the direct health risk to children and young people from COVID-19 and the risk they posed to the wider community, finding both low. It then draws on findings from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Scotland’s COVID-19 Independent Children and Young People’s Rights Assessment (ICRA) and wider literature identifying numerous unintended rights breaches, focusing on the rights breaches experienced by three particularly vulnerable groups of children and young people, namely those (i) at risk of physical or sexual violence; (ii) with additional support needs; and (iii) experiencing poverty and deprivation. Recommendations are made as to how to avoid breaching children and young peoples’ physical health rights in future emergency school closures.
The short- and long-term impact of COVID-19 lockdown on child maltreatment

AUTHOR(S)
Mengqing Long; Jia Huang; Yishun Peng (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new threat to child health and safety. Some studies suggest that social isolation and economic stress have exacerbated child abuse and neglect, whereas other studies argue that orders to stay at home are likely to promote parent–child relationships during this stressful time. Due to a lack of prospective studies including before–during–after lockdown assessments, the impacts of lockdown measures on child maltreatment are unclear. This study retrospectively investigated child maltreatment of 2821 Chinese children and adolescents from 12 to 18 (female, 59%) before, during and after lockdown, and identified risk factors. Potential predictors including socio-economic and individual mental health status were collected.
Incidence of child abuse with subdural hemorrhage during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic: a nationwide study in France

AUTHOR(S)
Fiorella Caron; Pierre Tourneux; Hyppolite Tchidjou Kuekou (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics
The global COVID-19 pandemic prompted governments to impose unprecedented sanitary measures, such as social distancing, curfews, and lockdowns. In France and other countries, the first COVID-19 lockdown raised concerns about an increased risk of child abuse. Abusive head trauma (AHT) is one of the most serious forms of child abuse in children aged 0–24 months and constitutes the leading cause of death in children under 2 years of age. Subdural hemorrhage (SDH) is present in 89% of cases of AHT and constitutes one of the most specific, objective clinical presentations in the diagnosis of child abuse. This French nationwide study sought to evaluate the potential impact of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of hospital admissions for child abuse with SDH, relative to the two previous years. This study conducted a nationwide, retrospective study of data in the French national hospital discharge summary database by applying the International Classification of Diseases (10th Revision) codes for SDH and for child abuse.
Supporting children experiencing family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: IPV and CPS provider perspectives

AUTHOR(S)
Lauren Risser; Rachel P. Berger; Veronica Renov (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Academic Pediatrics

Children experiencing family violence (child abuse and neglect and exposure to intimate partner violence) are at a particularly elevated risk for compounding challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, intimate partner violence (IPV) advocates, child protective services (CPS) caseworkers, and IPV and CPS administrators on the needs of children experiencing family violence during the pandemic were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews with IPV advocates, CPS caseworkers, and IPV and CPS administrators were conducted. Recruitment occurred through emails to national and state listservs, networks of the study team, and word of mouth. Interviews were completed through Zoom, took 45 to 60 minutes and were audio recorded. A mixed deductive-inductive content analysis approach was used.

The perceived effects of COVID-19 pandemic on female genital mutilation/cutting and child or forced marriages in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Senegal

AUTHOR(S)
Tammary Esho; Dennis J. Matanda; Timothy Abuya (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

The effects of COVID-19 on harmful traditional practices such Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Child or Forced Marriages (CFM) have not been well documented. We examined respondents’ perceptions on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected FGM/C and CFM in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study design with a mixed methods approach was used. Data collection on participants’ perceptions on the effects of COVID-19 on FGM/C and CFM took place between October-December 2020. Household surveys targeting women and men aged 15–49 years in Kenya (n = 312), Uganda (n = 278), Ethiopia (n = 251), and Senegal (n = 208) were conducted. Thirty-eight key informant interviews with programme implementers and policymakers were carried out in Kenya (n = 17), Uganda (n = 9), Ethiopia (n = 8), and Senegal (n = 4).

WINGS 2022 – The world of India’s Girls: spotlight on adolescent girls amid COVID-19
Institution: Save the Children
Published: March 2022

This research by Save the Children India highlights the disproportionate impact of India’s Covid-19 crisis on girls, with lockdowns and school closures exacerbating existing gender inequalities in the country and hindering girls’ access to health, education, and play. The report, The World of India’s Girls, reveals that only a third (33%) of girls in India attended online classes during lockdown, while two thirds (68%) struggled to access health and nutrition services. A further 80% were unable to access sanitary items due to limited government supplies, lack of money and shop closures. This study was conducted in four states – Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Telangana, representing the four geographical zones (East, West, North and South) and included a survey, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.

I was not safe in his house: The COVID-19 pandemic and violence against refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy
Institution: *UNICEF, Washington University in St. Louis
Published: March 2022

This research explored the specific impacts of the pandemic on exposure to gender based violence risks among refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy. The research focused on refugee and migrant girls and women because of the intersectionality of vulnerabilities related to their gender and their migration status. It examined the availability and accessibility of gender based violence service provision over the course of the pandemic, and explored how services adapted in the face of this health emergency.

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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.