Psychological distress among immigrant adolescents: Culture-specific factors in the case of immigrants from the former Soviet Union

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63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies investigating the effects of immigration on the psychological wellbeing of adolescents have produced variable and inconclusive results: some identify immigrant adolescents as a group of risk whereas others fail to demonstrate higher psychological distress in this group of adolescents. It is suggested in the present paper that cultural factors active in specific ethnic groups of immigrants may in part account for this inconsistency. The present study explores the psychological distress of immigrant adolescents from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) in Israel. The respondents were 560 university students (250 females and 310 males) who had immigrated to Israel from the FSU since 1989. The present report relates to one of the instruments applied in the study: the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Mean BSI scores of the respondents were significantly higher than those of Israeli adolescents and in some categories higher than the American norms. A high percent of the immigrant respondents have reported severely troubling symptoms; however no significant differences were found between the BSI scores of FSU immigrants in Israel and their peers in the FSU. The findings are discussed in light of some sociocultural characteristics of society in the FSU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)

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