Adjustment problems among soviet immigrants at risk, Part 2: Emotional distress among elderly Soviet immigrants during the Gulf War

J. Mirsky, M. Barasch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The nature and components of emotional distress under the threefold stress-old age, immigration and war-were studied in a group of 170 elderly Soviet immigrants in two settings-a mental health hotline for Soviet immigrants and an outreach project to immigrants deemed at risk. Most of the subjects reported distress during and following the war. Outreach subjects reported lower levels of distress determined by emotional factors and were much more concerned with objective problems related to immigration. In contrast, the predominant determinants of the hotline subjects' distress were emotional reactions related to the war. Among the emotional reactions, anxiety reactions were the most common symptom among women, while depressive reactions were more characteristic of men. Identified risk factors for emotional distress in men included prior experience with acute stress (Chernobyl accident) and living within an extended family. Academic education was identified as a resilience factor for women. No factors were identified that related to emotional distress combined with active help seeking behavior. This finding is particularly important in the context of primary and secondary prevention with Soviet immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Volume30
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

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