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Trajectories of Adjustment and Maladjustment among Russian Immigrant Adolescents at Risk

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

English abstract

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.

About the authors

Ludmila Rubinstein 


Ludmila Rubinstein, MSW is a social worker and doctoral student in the Department of Social Work at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her research interests include adjustment processes of immigrants, family relations, and adolescents. Ludmila combines teaching, research, and field work.

Julia Mirsky 


Prof. Julia Mirsky, Ph.D. is clinical psychologist and the Chair of the Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She studies the psychological aspects of migration and has published widely in local and international professional periodicals and authored a number of books (including recent Hebrew and Englsh editions of “Immigration Narratives”).

Yana Sharaga 


Yana Sharaga, Ph.D, is educational psychologist; she immigrated to Israel from the FSU in 1991. She is a research fellow in the Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her research interests include the processes of adaptation and acculturation among Russian-speaking immigrants.

Vered Slonim-Nevo 


Vered Slonim-Nevo, Ph.D. and DSW is Professor of Social Work at the Spitzer Department of Social Work in Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She is a family therapist and studies immigration, family relations, and poverty.

 

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Last Updated Date : 29/12/2014