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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2005

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Fifty Shades of Gray: Satisfaction with Life Among Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to Israel 87


Tartakovsky E.
PhD, Associate Professor, Tel-Aviv University, the School of Social Work, Tel Aviv, Israel

In the present study, we tested the morbidity and salutary hypotheses of immigration investigating satisfaction with life (SWL) among Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to Israel. The study was conducted using a random representative sample of first-generation immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to Israel (N = 400) and a large geographically dispersed sample of Jews staying in Russia (N = 935). We applied three measures of SWL: general satisfaction with life (GSWL), multifaceted satisfaction with life (MSWL), and relative satisfaction with life (RSWL). The results demonstrated that immigrants were higher than stayers in GSWL. At the same time, the difference between the two populations was not significant in the average scores of MSWL. When comparing the two populations in ten domains of MSWL, immigrants reported higher satisfaction only in medical care. Stayers reported higher satisfaction in four domains: work, family relationships, relationships with friends, and entertainment and leisure. Immigrants assessed their standard of life as higher compared to the premigration period and to that presently existing in their country of origin. However, they assessed their standard of life as lower compared to the non-immigrant Israelis. Thus, immigration was a mixed blessing for the studied group of immigrants, salutary in some aspects and onerous in others.

Keywords: General satisfaction with life, Multifaceted satisfaction with life, Relative satisfaction with life, Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel, Jews staying in Russia

Column: Intercultural Relations, Identities and Psychological Well-Being: Post-Soviet Experiences


Funding. The study was partly funded by a grant from Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry and by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation

Received: 18.08.2021

Accepted: 16.12.2021

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