Psychological adjustment among Israeli adolescent immigrants: A report on life satisfaction, self-concept, and self-esteem

Chana Ullman*, Moshe Tatar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our research examined central issues in the psychological adjustment of adolescents who immigrate: self-concept, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Questionnaires were administered to newcomers from the former Soviet Union (n = 119) as well as to their Israeli host classmates (n = 135) attending secondary schools. Our findings indicate that immigrant adolescents as compared to their counterparts express less satisfaction with their lives and report less congruence between their self-concept and the ways in which in their opinion they are perceived by others. The 2 groups do not differ in global self-esteem. Among the immigrants, the length of stay in Israel was related to the extent of their life satisfaction, and to the degree of similarity between the constituents of their self-concept and those of their classmates. Across the sample, gender and age were also related to self-esteem and self-concept. Our discussion highlights the psychological tasks faced by immigrant adolescents and provides possible implications for enhancing their well-being.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)449-463
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Research Institute for Innovation in Education, the School of Education, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 1Clinical psychologist and senior teacher, Division of Counseling, School of Education, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Received PhD in Psychology from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. Major research interests are self-understanding and self-esteem during adolescence and the psychological adjustment to stress and trauma in various populations. To whom correspondence should be addressed at School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. 2Senior lecturer and Head of the Division of Counseling, School of Education, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Received PhD in Psychology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Major research interests are adolescent help-seeking behaviors and attitudes, counseling adolescent immigrant populations, and parental perceptions of schools.

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