Publications Global Policy Initiatives Health *Journal Article

COVID-19-Related Fear among Youth in Israel


The present study sought to expand the now expansive research on COVID-19 by examining COVID-19-related fear among adolescents in Israel, focusing on demographic variables, COVID-19-related variables (e.g., exposure and vaccination), psychosocial variables (e.g., adolescent wellbeing and perceived social support), and technology usage (e.g., amount of time spent on social media). Data from parents were also collected, reflecting parental attitudes toward the pandemic, anxiety and depression, and wellbeing. A total of 150 youth aged 12–18 and 150 parents participated in the study.

Findings indicated that being a female, having a parent who knew someone who had died from COVID-19, and never having tested positive for COVID-19 were positively associated with increased fear of COVID-19. Increased fear of being infected with COVID-19 was also associated with high levels of anxiety and depressive symptomatology in both youth and parents and with low parent subjective wellbeing. Youth who used social media for sharing experiences and for politics also reported such fear. Youth whose parents reported that the media exaggerated COVID-19 risks were less likely to fear something bad would happen to them or to a loved one or fear another outbreak of the virus. Our findings call for paying further scholarly and professional attention to the role intrapsychological, interpersonal, and social aspects play in processes of increased fear and wellbeing in adolescents who constitute a particularly vulnerable group to the mental health consequences of the pandemic.


Estlein R, Gewirtz-Meydan A, Mitchell KJ, Grinstein-Weiss M. COVID-19-Related Fear among Youth in Israel. Youth. 2023; 3(3):883-896.