Depression, Stress and the Mediating Role of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Among Israeli Women of Childbearing Age in the Shadow of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ofra Halperin, Ola Ali-Saleh, Liora Ore, Jimmy E. Jadaon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dealing with the outbreak of the new coronavirus has generated unprecedented challenges around the world, including in Israel. Women of childbearing age may be forced to live under particularly difficult circumstances during the pandemic. The current study among Israeli women of childbearing age has three main objectives related to the specific period of the COVID-19 pandemic: to study the prevalence and predictors of intimate partner violence (IPV); to investigate the prevalence and predictors of depression; to examine whether IPV mediates the association between general stress, fear of COVID-19 and depression as an outcome. In a cross-sectional study, 722 married women, Jewish and Arab residents of Israel, were recruited to answer an online self-completion questionnaire during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaire included an assessment of their degree of general stress and depression, fear of COVID-19, experiences of IPV and demographic variables. The results of the current study show that a high percentage of women reported IPV (with Muslim women reporting higher IPV than Jewish women), perceived stress (PSS), perceived COVID-19 stress and depression. The findings also show that IPV and its three dimensions mediate the relationship between COVID-19 stress and depression, such that higher stress was related to higher IPV, raising the odds for depression. Moreover, the total scores for IPV and emotional violence were found to mediate the relationship between stress and depression. That is, domestic violence explains part of the association between stress and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the current pandemic has resulted in an increase in IPV and depression, and especially in the specific stress associated with the disease itself. Based on the findings of the current study, preventing violence will reduce stress-related depression. The Muslim population, and especially those who are more religious, is in particular need of intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3586-3611
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • anything related to domestic violence
  • cultural contexts
  • domestic violence
  • domestic violence and cultural contexts
  • sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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