The psychological well-being of unaccompanied minors: A longitudinal study of adolescents immigrating from Russia and Ukraine to Israel without parents

Eugene Tartakovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the psychological well-being of high school adolescents immigrating from Russia and Ukraine to Israel without parents. Data were collected in a 3-year longitudinal study that covered the premigration through postmigration periods. Immigrant adolescents were compared with nonemigrating adolescents in Russia and Ukraine. Psychological well-being of immigrants was highest in the premigration period. During the process of immigration, general self-esteem, body image, social competence, school competence, and loneliness followed a U-curve: they declined in the 1st year after immigration and improved in the 3rd year after immigration. Emotional and behavioral problems of immigrants increased in the 1st year after immigration and did not change in subsequent years. At the end of the 3-year period, self-esteem exceeded the premigration level, emotional and behavioral problems and loneliness remained below the premigration level, while body image, social competence, and school competence returned to the premigration level. Throughout the entire immigration period, the psychological well-being of immigrants was higher than that of nonemigrating adolescents. Premigration psychological well-being as well as perceived social conditions in the host country (discrimination and social support) predicted postmigration psychological well-being. The results obtained are discussed in light of the stress-coping model of immigration and ecological systems theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-204
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The psychological well-being of unaccompanied minors: A longitudinal study of adolescents immigrating from Russia and Ukraine to Israel without parents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this