Coping with the stress of immigration among new immigrants to Israel from commonwealth of independent states (CIS) who were exposed to chernobyl: The effect of age

J. Cwikel, U. Rozovski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the differential effect of age on coping and psychological measures among immigrants from Commonwealth of independent States (CIS) to Israel. Some of these immigrants originated in the Republics adjacent to the Chernobyl Power Plant, site of the 1986 accident. The sample consisted of 708 immigrants who were interviewed between the years 1993-1995 with an average age of 47.5 (sd 11.8). This sample was reinterviewed approximately a year and three months later (n = 520). The sample included two exposure groups-high exposed and low exposed based on the estimated levels of ground cesium contamination from the IAEA maps and a comparison group matched by age, gender, and year of immigration. Those over the age of sixty-five were disadvantaged, compared to those aged fifty to sixty-four, and younger, when it came to the tasks of immigrant absorption; learning the language, working and acquiring an income, and establishing alternative social networks which could offer support in times of illness. The psychological variables showed that over time, somatization, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to Chernobyl improved, however at a much slower pace for older immigrants (aged 55 and over) compared to younger ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-318
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998

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