Parenthood in the shadow of COVID-19: The contribution of gender, personal resources and anxiety to first time parents' perceptions of the infant

Miriam Chasson, Ofir Ben-Yaakov, Orit Taubman – Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

We sought to examine new parents' perceptions of their infant during the worldwide spread of COVID-19, exploring the contribution of gender, personal resources (attachment orientation, presence of meaning in life and intolerance of uncertainty) and COVID-19-related anxieties. A convenience sample of 606 Israeli first-time parents (137 fathers and 469 mothers), whose child was 3–12 months old, was recruited through social media during April 2020. Findings indicate that being a woman, younger age, lower education, better physical health, older infant's age, lower attachment anxiety, higher presence of meaning in life and greater COVID-19-related anxiety over the infant's health contributed significantly to a greater perception of infant's warmth; being a father, higher education and economic status, poorer physical health, higher attachment anxiety and intolerance of uncertainty and less presence of meaning in life contributed significantly to a greater perception of infant's invasiveness. Gender moderated the associations between the personal resources and infant's perception, and both the presence of meaning in life and intolerance of uncertainty mediated the associations between COVID-19-related anxieties and parent's perception of the infant. The findings reveal the crucial contribution of gender, and both risk and resilience factors, to the parent's perception of the infant in the shadow of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

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© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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