Volume 16, 2011 : The Emerging Second Generation of Immigrant Israelis

Trajectories of Adjustment and Maladjustment among Russian Immigrant Adolescents at Risk

Ludmila Rubinstein, Julia Mirsky, Yana Shraga, and Vered Slonim-Nevo
The School of Social Work
Ben-Gurion University

The present study assessed the sample of immigrant youths, who manifested signs of maladjustment at school, over a period of one year in terms of significant psychological and behavioral outcomes. The respondents were 167 immigrants from the former Soviet Union, aged 12-15, who immigrated to Israel over ten years prior to the study and resided in the Negev area. They were assessed in the beginning of two consecutive school years using standard instruments measuring their school functioning, psychological wellbeing, family and peer relationships. In addition, in depth interviews were conducted with 17 respondents. The results revealed two trajectories of adjustment over the course of one year: respondents who displayed more severe problems at the outset deteriorated, while those with relatively mild problems improved. Risk factors identified in the study were male gender and living in a single-parent family. Although the association between family composition and functioning and adolescents’ adjustment was not statistically significant, in the qualitative study family factors emerged as very prominent.

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