Personal characteristics, unemployment, and anxiety among highly educated immigrants

Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Roni Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This exploratory study examines the relationship between personal resources (sense of potency, marital quality, social support from family and friends), the duration of unemployment, and the level of state anxiety experienced by highly educated, unemployed, middle-aged immigrants. Studying the anxiety levels among populations at-risk such as unemployed immigrants is particularly important in the context of situations of military conflict. In such situations, when formal support systems are in the process of erosion, the unemployed must increasingly rely on social and familial support. The following measures were examined in an anonymous, self-report questionnaire: potency (defined as a person's enduring confidence in his/her own capacities and confidence in, and commitment to, his/her social environment which is perceived as being characterized by a basically meaningful order and just distribution of rewards), social support from friends and family, marital quality, and state anxiety. Results indicate that personal resources - particularly potency and social support from family - predicted the level of state anxiety among immigrants. Duration of unemployment was also positively correlated with state anxiety. A major recommendation that emerges is the need to foster the development of social support groups consisting of both veterans and new immigrants in order to broaden the social ties of the immigrants. This may assist newcomers not only in finding jobs, but also in coping with political and economic uncertainties in a new cultural context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-75
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number3
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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