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Students who isolate are angry, violent and addicted to screens – survey

CM 16/09/2021


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Putting children into quarantine is correlated with outbursts of anger, expressions of violence, prolonged use of screens and reversal of sleep hours, according to a new survey of Israeli children by the Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University.
Some of these symptoms are more acute in children who come from weak economic backgrounds.
The results of the survey are expected to be presented on Sunday by SPI Director Prof. Michal Grinstein-Weiss and discussed by the Knesset’s Education, Culture, and Sports Committee.

Around 150,000 Israeli children are in isolation only three weeks since the start of the school year, according to the most Health Ministry Data. Last year, about half (52%) of students were in isolation at least once, among them 17% who were in isolation more than one time.
The survey shows that the side effects of isolation are in general more dominant among children who have to quarantine multiple times.
“Keep in mind that the children who were in isolation in the previous school year are more or less the same children who are in isolation this year or may be sent into isolation later in the year, so the negative impact of isolation in the current school year accumulates on the negative impact of closures and isolations last year,” Grinstein-Weiss told The Jerusalem Post.
The findings of the survey should be relevant for government decision makers as they determine the policy for managing student isolation, whether by the proposed Green Class outline or the Education Shield (Magen Hinuch) program.
“Quarantine really hurts our children – maybe more than anything else,” Grinstein-Weiss said, noting that younger children tend to be put in isolation even more than teens. “Younger children don’t have the tools to deal with this, while teenagers can manage Zoom classes, talk to their friends, surf on social media.
“I don’t think enough people realize how hard this has hit our children and how much we really need to think seriously about different solutions than isolation,” Grinstein-Weiss added.
The survey was conducted online from March 25 to April 5, 2021 among a representative sample of 1,055 parents of children between the ages of 3 and 18.
Specifically, it found that isolation was more common the larger the family: 82% of children in families with four or more children were in quarantine at least once (43% once and 29% more than once), compared with 35% of children without siblings who were isolated.

Children getting COVID-19 tests (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Children getting COVID-19 tests (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

WHEN BREAKING down the numbers by the level of religiosity, three out of four ultra-Orthodox or religious children were in isolation (73% and 72%), compared with less than half among secular or traditional (47%) and Arabs (45%).
As noted, isolation was more common among preschool and elementary school children, with nearly two in three children in grades one through six put in quarantine (61%), slightly less in kindergarten (57%) and about half of middle- and high-school students (51%).
The impact of the isolation becomes clear when looking at the link between being in isolation and emotional difficulties and negative behaviors, although a direct causal effect could not be proven by the survey.
More than half (59%) of children who had been isolated more than once and outbursts of anger within 30 days of the time that the survey was conducted, compared to just under half (43%) of children who had isolated once and only around one-third (36%) of those who were never isolated.
Nearly one-third (31%) of parents whose children who were isolated multiple times said they had behaved violently towards family or friends in the past month compared to 17% and 16% among those who were isolated once or were not in isolation.
Very prolonged use of electronics to the point of addiction was much more prevalent in children who had isolated more than once: 75% compared to 64% of children who had isolated once and 60% of children who did not isolate at all.
And many parents of isolated children reported a reversal of sleep patterns. Nearly half of children who isolated (49% of children who isolated multiple times and 47% who isolated once) said their sleep hours had been turned around, compared to 34% of children who did not isolate.
Children from houses with lower income were more sensitive to the impact of isolation, the survey also showed.
Grinstein-Weiss suggested that this could be “a result of their parents’ greater difficulty in providing them with support – even material support such as helping to care for children whose parents are having difficulty financing.”
She also said these parents might struggle to provide emotional support during quarantine periods.
Some 37% of children who had more than one isolation whose parents’ income was low, showed violence, compared with 18% of children who had more than one isolation whose parents’ income was average and 29% of children who had more than one isolation and their parents’ income was high.
A SIMILAR phenomenon was found in the frequency of reversal of hours of sleep, where 63% of low-income children isolated more than once experienced this challenge, compared to 49% of middle-income children and 38% of high-income.
“The fact that children in vulnerable families are exposed to greater harm as a result of being in isolation is very disturbing,” Grinstein-Weiss said. “In Israel, the vast majority of students go to public schools that provide education and training services to all. Once schools take a step back, whether because of closure or student isolation, the first to be harmed are children who come from weak backgrounds whose parents find it difficult to fill the place of the school.”
She suggested that solutions be found specifically for these populations, which could include providing psychological services or other professional guidance or giving priority to vulnerable populations in implementing innovative programs that reduce isolation and length of isolation.
The Magen program ensures that coronavirus testing takes place in schools once a week in orange and red areas to keep them open. That program was piloted and found successful last year.
The Health Ministry is currently evaluating the Green Class outline developed by Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer in a handful of ultra-Orthodox and Arab schools.
The Green Class outline runs as follows: When a sick student is discovered in a school, that student will enter isolation immediately. The other students or faculty members with whom the child has been in contact will undergo testing for seven days. Each day, the contacts will be screened. If the tests are negative, they will go to school. If someone tests positive, he or she will be asked to be isolated.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday night that he expects the program to be implemented in all schools by the end of the month. However, coronavirus commissioner Prof. Salman Zarka told the Post only the day prior that it is still unclear whether the outline works.
“We still do not know if this is successful and ensures that kids do not contract coronavirus,” he said. “We want to live normal lives, but we are still not there yet.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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