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British Journal of Social Work ; : 19, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1852945


The prevalence of child maltreatment is quite high during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in rural Hubei province, and children from vulnerable families are at greater risk of self-harm behaviours. The impact of lockdown measures in Wuhan, China during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on child maltreatment remains unknown. The present study attempted to estimate the prevalence of child maltreatment during this period, to identify risk factors, and the influence of child maltreatment. A representative sample of 1,062 school-aged children in rural Hubei province was surveyed. Results indicated that the prevalence of family violence, physical violence, emotional abuse and neglect during the lockdown period were 13.9, 13.7, 20.2 and 7.3 percent, respectively, and that of lifetime prevalence were 17.0, 13.9, 14.6 and 6.9 percent, respectively. And most victims did not seek official help. Boys were more likely to experience physical violence. Children from separated/divorced families tended to report more emotional abuse. Those having family members with a history of drug abuse and mental illness were more likely to experience neglect during the lockdown period. All types of child maltreatment were positively associated with self-harm behaviours. These findings highlight the importance of identifying at-risk children immediately and implementing timely intervention programmes to prevent self-harm behaviours for social workers and health professionals.