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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 46
The mediating role of the perceived COVID-19 vaccine benefits: examining Israeli parents' perceptions regarding their adolescents' vaccination

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

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.
Factors associated with decisions of Arab minority parents in Israel to vaccinate their children against COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
Changes in body mass index in children and adolescents in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic

Shlomit Shalitin; Moshe Phillip; Michal Yackobovitch-Gavan (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Journal of Obesity

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has health, social, and economic implications. This study primary objective was to evaluate changes in body mass index (BMI) from the pre-pandemic to COVID-19 pandemic period among a large pediatric population in Israel. This retrospective cohort study is based on data from Clalit Health Services, the largest health maintenance organization in Israel. The data accessed included sociodemographic, anthropometric, and clinical parameters of persons aged 2–20 years with at least one BMI measurement during 2017–2019 (pre-pandemic period) and one between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 (pandemic period).

The mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescents: risk and protective factors

Anat Shoshani; Ariel Kor

Published: February 2022   Journal: Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance
The restrictions to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have led to considerable social isolation, posing significant threats to mental health worldwide. The preventive lockdowns may be especially difficult for children and adolescents, who rely extensively on their daily routines and peer connections for stability and optimal development. However, there is a dearth of longitudinal research examining the mental health and daily life impact of the pandemic among children and adolescents. This study addresses this gap by examining the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescents’ mental health and well-being, and potential risk and protective moderators of mental health change. In the present study, 1,537 Israeli children and adolescents (Mage = 13.97; 52% girls) completed a battery of questionnaires in September 2019; before the COVID-19 outbreak and immediately after an 8-week lockdown period when schools reopened in May 2020.
“Together in a pressure cooker”: parenting children with disabilities during the COVID-19 lockdown

Hochman Yael; Shpigelman Carmit-Noa; Holler Roni (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Disability and Health Journal

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate and unprecedented impact on children with disabilities, their parents and families. This impact has been particularly evident during periods of lockdowns and severe restrictions. This study employed the social model of disability to illuminate negative and positive experiences of Israeli parents of children with disabilities during the first COVID-19 lockdown, as well as the way social environments, particularly educational and welfare services, shape that experience. The study draws upon thematic analysis of written responses of 80 Israeli parents to open-ended questions.

Parental mentalizing during a pandemic: use of mental-state language on parenting social media before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tal Yatziv; Almog Simchon; Nicholas Manco (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Clinical Psychological Science
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a demanding caregiving context for parents, particularly during lockdowns. This study examined parental mentalization, parents’ proclivity to consider their own and their child’s mental states, during the pandemic, as manifested in mental-state language (MSL) on parenting social media. Parenting-related posts on Reddit from two time periods in the pandemic in 2020, March to April (lockdown) and July to August (postlockdown), were compared with time-matched control periods in 2019. MSL and self–other references were measured using text-analysis methods. Parental mentalization content decreased during the pandemic: Posts referred less to mental activities and to other people during the COVID-19 pandemic and showed decreased affective MSL, cognitive MSL, and self-references specifically during lockdown. Father-specific subreddits exhibited strongest declines in mentalization content, whereas mother-specific subreddits exhibited smaller changes. Implications on understanding associations between caregiving contexts and parental mentalization, gender differences, and the value of using social-media data to study parenting and mentalizing are discussed.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on respiratory morbidity during infancy: a birth-cohort study

Nataly Rosenfeld; Avigdor Mandelberg; Ilan Dalal (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Pediatric Pulmonology

To evaluate the incidence of wheezing and overall respiratory morbidity in healthy infants born during the first peak of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, compared with infants born during the preceding year. This was a single-center retrospective birth cohort study to compare a cohort of children born between February and March 2020 (COVID-19 group) to a control group of children born between February and March 2019 (pre-COVID-19 group). At 1 year of age, this study collected respiratory data using parental and telephone questionnaires. Primary outcome: wheezing incidence and/or bronchodilator use. Secondary outcomes: recurrent wheezing, emergency-room visits, hospital admissions, pneumonia diagnosis, and admissions due to lower-respiratory-tract-infections (LRTI). It included the following covariate risk factors in the logistic regression models; atopy, daycare attendance, breastmilk feeding, parental smoking, C-section, siblings, and gestational age.

Children during coronavirus: Israeli preschool children’ s perspectives

Or Perah Midbar Alter

Published: January 2022   Journal: Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology
The corona pandemic has changed the lives of human beings in almost every corner of the globe. This study sought to explore how Israeli children aged 3-6 experienced the corona period, through semi-structured interviews conducted with a playing cards method. The study is based on the context-informed perspective theory (Nadan and Roer-Strier, 2020) which examines the different contexts in the lives of children growing up in different families, while striving to make children's voices heard as agents/experts of their lives (Corsaro, 1997Mayall, 2002). The interviews with the children revealed that the Corona period was indeed a challenging and complex period for them. At the same time, following the intensive stay at home, these children showed mental resilience and took responsibility in three main areas: (1) sibling relationships (2) supporting their parents (3) staying alone. Through taking responsibility for these roles, the children have become partners in coping with the challenges that the Corona and the frequent lockdowns have brought to their family’ s lives.
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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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