COVID-19: A poverty-aware perspective.

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14 Scopus citations


Preliminary evidence indicates that Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects people differently along social axes, among which socioeconomic status is key. This study used mixed methods to add data from Israel to this developing body of knowledge. Using closed questions, the study compared 126 people living in poverty with 147 people not living in poverty in terms of their economic and employment status, need for assistance, and mental distress. In addition, in order to better understand the experiences of poverty, open questions regarding the effect of COVID-19 on the participants’ lives and their means of coping with the pandemic were employed. The study was conducted in May 2020, just after the first lockdown, through online media and through social workers who personally went to disadvantaged neighborhoods to reach out to participants who are vulnerable to digital illiteracy. The analysis points to major differences between the groups, with people in poverty suffering more in terms of their economic and employment situation and mental distress. In addition, we found that people in poverty needed and received more support. The qualitative analysis indicates the specificities of the severe nature of the intersection of poverty and the pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) <strong xmlns:lang="en">Public Policy Relevance Statement—This study suggests that policymakers use the pandemic as a wake-up call for stronger social services and systems to promote lasting changes in our societies. In particular, we call upon policymakers to adopt a poverty-aware perspective in order to adapt policy steps to the specific needs of people in poverty and ensure that policy addresses the manifestations of COVID-19 in marginalized groups. Such policy should include the knowledge of people in poverty and promote both redistribution and recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Israel
  • mixed methods
  • poverty
  • poverty-aware

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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