Salutogenesis and culture: Personal and community sense of coherence among adolescents belonging to three different cultural groups

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Abstract

The salutogenic theory considers sense of coherence (SOC) as a cross-cultural concept (Antonovsky, 1987), meaning that in all cultures and at all stages of coping with a stressor, a person with a strong SOC is at an advantage in preventing tension from being transformed into stress. However, in seeking to understand how the SOC works, it is culture which seems to define which resources are appropriate. The aim of our paper is to examine this theoretical assumption of Antonovsky. Data on personal and community SOC as well as on stress reactions were gathered after the last fire in northern Israel (December 2010) among adolescents aged 1218 belonging to three cultural groups (Jews, Druze, Muslims). We compared the pattern of personal versus community SOC in explaining stress reactions in the three cultures. Results indicate that personal SOC was the strongest predictor of stress reactions in all cultures. Community SOC, however, played a significant role mainly for Druze. Results are discussed relating to Antonovsky's theory and to adolescence as a 'universal' period, as well as considering the uniqueness of each culture separately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-541
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011

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