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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Reasons underlying the intention to vaccinate children aged 5-11 against COVID-19: A cross-sectional study of parents in Israel, November 2021

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole G. Morozov; Amiel A. Dror; Amani Daoud (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
Vaccination is a key tool to mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Israel, COVID-19 vaccines became available to adults in December 2020 and to 5–11-year-old children in November 2021. Ahead of the vaccine roll-out in children, this study aimed to determine whether surveyed parents intended to vaccinate their children and describe reasons for their intentions. Information on parental socio-demographic characteristics, COVID-19 vaccine history, intention to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, and reasons for parental decisions were collected using an anonymous online survey. Associations between parental characteristics and plans to vaccinate children were identified using a logistic regression model and described reasons for intentions to vaccinate or not.
Depression, stress and the mediating role of Intimate partner violence (IPV) among Israeli women of childbearing age in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ofra Halperin; Ola Ali-Saleh; Liora Ore (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Dealing with the outbreak of the new coronavirus has generated unprecedented challenges around the world, including in Israel. Women of childbearing age may be forced to live under particularly difficult circumstances during the pandemic. The current study among Israeli women of childbearing age has three main objectives related to the specific period of the COVID-19 pandemic: to study the prevalence and predictors of intimate partner violence (IPV); to investigate the prevalence and predictors of depression; to examine whether IPV mediates the association between general stress, fear of COVID-19 and depression as an outcome. In a cross-sectional study, 722 married women, Jewish and Arab residents of Israel, were recruited to answer an online self-completion questionnaire during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaire included an assessment of their degree of general stress and depression, fear of COVID-19, experiences of IPV and demographic variables.
Children and adolescents' mental health following COVID-19: the possible role of difficulty in emotional regulation

AUTHOR(S)
Meirav Hen; Vered Shenaar-Golan; Uri Yatzker

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered routines throughout the world, creating closures and social isolation. Preliminary studies conducted during the pandemic have shown that children and adolescents are mainly affected by social distancing and the lack of a supportive framework. The purpose of the present study was to compare mental health symptoms of 430 children and adolescents who sought mental health services in the community before vs. during the pandemic. The study examined children's perceived burden of the pandemic, reports of emotional and behavioral problems (SDQ) anxiety (SCARED), depressed moods (SMFQ-C), and difficulty in emotional regulation (DERS), as well as intervening variables such as age and gender. Furthermore, the effect of difficulty in emotional regulation on children's mental health symptoms was explored.
Home-quarantine during the initial Covid-19 outbreak in Israel: parent perceived impact on children with ASD

AUTHOR(S)
Ayelet Arazi; Judah Koller; Ditza A. Zachor (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Heliyon
Studies have reported that Covid-19 home-quarantine periods have had mostly negative psychological impact on children with ASD and their families. Here we examined parent perceived impact of a 6-week quarantine period imposed in Israel at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, in mid-March 2020. An anonymous online questionnaire was completed by parents of 268 children with ASD. Parents rated deterioration/improvement in their child's behaviors, abilities, mood, sleep, and anxiety along with changes in their own mood, sleep, parenting skills, and family relationships. T-tests and ANOVA analyses were performed to assess the significance of perceived impact on each domain and potential differences in the impact across families with children of different ages, genders, and levels of required support as well as families that experienced different magnitudes of economic hardships.
The mediating role of the perceived COVID-19 vaccine benefits: examining Israeli parents' perceptions regarding their adolescents' vaccination

AUTHOR(S)
Shiran Bord; Carmit Satran; Ayelet Schor

Published: June 2022   Journal: Vaccines
Israel was among the first countries to initiate adolescent COVID-19 vaccination. As adolescent vaccination requires parental consent, this study evaluated the factors associated with parents’ willingness to vaccinate their adolescents and their point of view regarding adolescents’ involvement in this decision. An online survey was completed by 581 parents of adolescents aged 16–18. The main independent variables included trust in the healthcare system, components of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and adolescents’ involvement in the decision, as well as background data, including demographics. Analysis included a multiple logistic regression and mediation examination. Parents reported that 446 adolescents (76.8%) have been or will soon be vaccinated against COVID-19, 12.2% chose not to vaccinate their child and 11% have not yet decided. Vaccination was significantly associated with HBM components and with adolescents’ involvement in the decision. The perceived vaccination benefits acted as a mediator in the association between parents’ COVID-19 perceived threat and adolescent vaccination, as well as between parents’ trust in the healthcare system and adolescent vaccination. Addressing vaccination benefits and barriers is pivotal in the attempt to enhance adolescents’ vaccination adherence. Considering the importance of adolescents’ involvement in the decision, addressing them directly may also be beneficial in improving vaccination rates.
Self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions among Jewish Israeli adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Yaniv Efrati; Marcantonio M. Spada

Published: June 2022   Journal: Addictive Behaviors Reports
This study examined self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions among Israeli adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic across different sociodemographic categories. The sample comprised 2,074 adolescents (40% males, 60% females) aged 12–19 years who completed the survey anonymously and with parental consent. The study examined what is the prevalence of self-perceived substance and behavioral addictions in this population in the COVID-19 pandemic context. Participants reported self-perceived addictions to social networks (70%), shopping (46%), binge eating (34%), gaming (30%), sex-related behavior (15%), psychoactive substance (31%, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and/or cocaine), and gambling (3%). Moreover, differences were found to be directly related to age, biological sex, religiosity, socioeconomic status, and immigration status. From a lay epidemiological perspective, the current research expands our knowledge about self-perceived addiction among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering better understanding of the likelihood probability factors for self-perceived addiction among adolescents and its related negative outcomes, including increased risk factors for later adult life.
COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms among quarantined adolescents and its impact on sleep pattern changes and somatic symptoms

AUTHOR(S)
Yulia Gendler; Ayala Blau

Published: May 2022   Journal: Children
Home-quarantine due to COVID-19 may have negative psychological effects on vulnerable sub-groups such as children and adolescents. We aimed to explore the prevalence of anxiety among adolescents who were in home-quarantine and its impact on onset of sleep disturbance and somatic symptoms, and on the level of agreement between adolescent and parent perceptions. Five hundred adolescents (ages 10–17) and 500 parents participated in the study. Adolescents filled out PROMIS Anxiety, PROMIS Sleep Disturbance, and PHQ-15 Physical-Symptom forms, while their parents completed proxy questionnaires containing the same domains.
Data-driven assessment of adolescents' mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Yonatan Bilu; Natalie Flaks-Manov; Maytal Bivas-Benita (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: The Lancet
Adolescents’ mental health was severely compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Longitudinal follow-up studies, based on real-world data, assessing the changes in mental health of adolescents during the later phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are needed. This study aimed to quantify the effect of COVID-19 on the incidence of Israeli adolescents’ mental health outcomes from electronic health records (EHR). This is a retrospective cohort study analyzing EHR data of Maccabi Healthcare Services members in Israel. Incidence rates of mental health diagnoses, and psychiatric drug dispensations were measured among adolescents aged 12-17, for 2017-2021 years. Relative risks were computed between the years and interrupted time series (ITS) analysis evaluated changes in monthly incidence rates of psychiatric outcomes.
Factors associated with decisions of Arab minority parents in Israel to vaccinate their children against COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Ola Ali-Saleh; Shiran Bord; Fuad Basis

Published: May 2022   Journal: Vaccines
The Arab ethnic community in Israel is characterized by low social economic status and is at risk due to the typically crowded households. Understanding parents’ level of awareness is important to avoid new outbreaks. This study seeks to identify predicting factors associated with perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, and barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. A survey was conducted through social media, using snowball sampling via social networks. Additionally, t-tests, Chi-square tests, and Z tests were used to evaluate differences between independent proportions. Pearson correlations were calculated for the study variables. Multiple logistic regression examined the extent to which the background variables were related to the intention to vaccinate the child.
Covid-19 in children aged 5 to 11: examining the issues surrounding vaccination and public health policy

AUTHOR(S)
Vicki Myers; Mor Saban; Rachel Wilf-Miron

Published: April 2022   Journal: Paediatric Respiratory Reviews

Children under 12 are now the largest unvaccinated group. Following FDA approval, vaccination of 5–11 year olds is now being encouraged in some countries. We present data on child COVID-related morbidity in Israel and discuss the complexities surrounding vaccinating children aged 5–11. Data were obtained from Israel’s open COVID database regarding new confirmed daily COVID-19 cases, severe hospitalized cases and deaths by age group in Israel from February 2020-November 2021, as well as vaccination rate and adverse events following vaccination

Lone parenthood in the COVID-19 context: Israeli single gay fathers' perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Maya Tsfati; Dorit Segal-Engelchin

Published: April 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
This article focuses on Israeli single gay fathers, using the Stress Process Model (SPM) as a framework to investigate their fathering experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thematic analysis of 15 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Israeli single gay fathers during the third national lockdown revealed that their parenting experiences during the pandemic were shaped by both COVID-related stress exposure and interpersonal resources, which the fathers viewed as interactive. These fathers described three main pandemic-specific stressors: financial insecurity and workplace transformation, feelings of loneliness and isolation and health-related fears.
Mothers as teachers to their children: lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Audrey Addi-Raccah; Noa Seeberger Tamir

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Family Studies
The study examined Israeli mothers’ engagement in their children’s distance learning during COVID-19 crisis. A thematic analysis of interviews with 20 mothers from high and low socioeconomic background yielded three core categories: (a) mothers’ responses to the situation of school closures that addressed to organizing, supervising and less learning pressure by keeping boundaries between school and home activities; (b) challanged and concerens that refed to workload, instructional difficulty and the quality of teachers’ work; (c) mothers’ resources for engaging in their children's learning that comprised social capital and human capital including digital skills. Socioeconomic differences were found in regard to these three core categories that sustain inequality. However, mothers from low socioeconomic background reported being actively engaged and critical toward teachers.
Burden and growth during COVID-19: comparing parents of children with and without disabilities

AUTHOR(S)
Shirli Werner; Yael Hochman; Roni Holler (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have had a disproportionate impact on families with young children, especially with disabilities. This study examined factors associated with burden and growth among parents of young children in Israel, while comparing parents of children with and without disabilities. It hypothesized that the association between family functioning, informal social support, and perceived adequacy of educational services and burden and growth would be moderated by disabilities. An online questionnaire was completed by 675 parents of young children, 95 of them with disability. The moderating effect of disability on burden and growth was examined using PROCESS.
When COVID-19 met families living in armed-conflict zones: the importance of maternal trauma and child self-regulation

AUTHOR(S)
Kinneret Levavi; Porat Yakov; Alison Pike (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
The COVID-19 outbreak began in Israel at the end of February 2020, and on March 17, 2020, a general lockdown was announced. Families were instructed to stay at home and schools and non-essential businesses were closed. Aiming to understand how families who were already living in areas of high exposure to armed conflict would be affected by another external stressful condition, data were collected before and after the outbreak. Mothers and children (aged 10–45 months) were recruited from areas with high (n = 40) and low (n = 78) exposure to armed conflict. Mothers reported on their posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and on their child's effortful control tendencies prior to the outbreak. Toward the end of the first lockdown, mothers were interviewed regarding adverse effects of the outbreak on their family. No group differences were found for maternal perceptions of adverse effects of COVID-19. However, a moderation model was revealed, indicating that maternal PTSS as well as child effortful control predicted adverse effects of COVID-19 only in the high-exposure group. Results are discussed considering cumulative stress and risk factors.
Mediation-moderation links between mothers' ACEs, mothers' and children's psychopathology symptoms, and maternal mentalization during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Daphna G. Dollberg; Keren Hanetz-Gamliel

Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Research has suggested adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as a transdiagnostic risk factor for a variety of affective disorders. They are also linked with a parent's tendency toward affect dysregulation and hyperarousal, which may interfere with parenting and children's wellbeing. On the other hand, maternal mentalization can serve as a moderating factor that can help parents regulate their arousal, shielding children during adverse circumstances. This study analyzed the mediated links between ACEs and mothers' and children's psychopathology symptoms during COVID-19 to determine whether maternal mentalization and the child's age moderate these links. Using results from 152 Israeli mothers of children aged 3–12 years recruited during the month-long lockdown in Israel, it documented that the mothers' ACEs were linked with increased risk of depressive and anxiety symptoms and with children's internalizing and externalizing behaviors.
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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.