Help-seeking among Muslim Arab divorcees in Israel

Riki Savaya*, Orna Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study investigated the help-seeking of Muslim Arab divorcees living in Israel. Analysis of responses to Veroff et al.'s Patterns of Helpseeking Scale shows low rates of help-seeking by divorcees of both genders, yet higher rates among the female than among the male divorcees. They also show that the propensity to seek help increased with the experience of more stressful events around the divorce. The help-seeking patterns of the men and women were found to be quite similar. Both were more inclined to seek emotional help and advice than instrumental help. Both were more likely to seek help from informal than formal sources. Both were more likely to seek help from their family of origin than from any other source. Relatively few divorcees of either gender sought help from either their extended family or from community or religious figures. The few who sought formal help were more likely to turn to social workers than psychologists. These findings point to the continuing centrality of the family in the support system of Muslim Arabs in Israel, to the decline in the relevance of the community and religious figures who were once an integral part of the Arab support network, and to the fact that professional help has not yet filled in the gaps left in the traditional support system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-742
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2005


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel1101–393, 1101–392, 1101–391


    • Emotional help
    • Help-seeking
    • Instrumental help
    • Muslim Arab divorcees


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