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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1997 Jun;95(6):494-9.

Changing patterns of distress during the adjustment of recent immigrants: a 1-year follow-up study.

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Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, Talbieh Mental Health Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


A sample of 419 recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union to Israel was assessed, with a 1-year follow-up of 199 of these subjects. The Immigration Related Stressors Scale, Talbieh Brief Distress Inventory and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were employed to measure the level and sources of distress, as well as the sources of social support. Three major patterns of change in distress level were distinguished, and their 1-year prevalence rates were established. In total, 44% of the respondents demonstrated the 'normal' pattern, with a permanent low distress level, 33% displayed the 'positive' pattern, with either persistent moderate or decreasing distress, and 23% displayed the 'negative' pattern, with either persistent high or increasing distress. Among the immigrants who demonstrated the positive pattern of change in distress, rates of stressors such as 'anxiety about the future', 'uncertainty in the present', 'depressive state', 'insufficient knowledge of Hebrew' and 'malevolence of Israelis' decreased during the study period. In those who showed the negative pattern, rates of stressors such as 'personality characteristics' and 'lack of acceptance of the host culture/mentality' have increased. Immigrants who showed the normal and positive patterns had greater total social support than those who showed the negative pattern. The level of family support tended be higher among immigrants with the normal pattern, while support by friends tended to be greater among those with the positive pattern of change in distress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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