Advertisement

Suicide Among Youth of Soviet-Jewish Origin

  • Dina Goldstein SilvermanEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The unique psychological and sociocultural variables influencing the development of suicidality in Soviet-Jewish adolescents are examined in this chapter. Stressors endemic to this refugee population and cultural complexities related to pre- and peri-migration stress and resettlement are examined. Soviet-Jewish refugee adolescents and the intricate complexities of their multidimensional ethnic and religious identity, as well as nonlinear acculturation patterns, are discussed. There is some evidence of heightened rates of depression, demoralization, and somatization of psychological distress in this population. There is also evidence that over time, some adolescents become more strongly identified with Russian culture and have trouble integrating into American culture. Due to the lengthy history of psychiatric abuse in the Former Soviet Union, Russian-Jewish immigrants may be particularly wary of pursuing mental health services for themselves and their teenage children. Possible treatment approaches for this population are discussed to help facilitate outreach to this community.

Keywords

Soviet-Jewish Russian-Jewish Former Soviet Union Acculturation Refugee Suicide in adolescents Somatization in immigrants Migration stress 

References

  1. 1.
    Aspaturian VV. The non-Russian people. In: Kassof A, editor. Prospects for Soviet society. New York: Praeger; 1968. p. 143–98.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Langman PF. Jewish issues in multiculturalism: a handbook for educators and clinicians. Northvale: Jason Aronson; 1999.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Radzilowski J. Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union. Immigrant Groups [Internet]. Accessed 2016, Feb 16. 2016. Available from: http://immigrationtounitedstates.org/507-former-soviet-union-immigrants.html.
  4. 4.
    Lashenykh-Mumbauer V. Difficulties with acculturation and coping strategies of recent non-Jewish Russian immigrant women in the United States of America. Dissertation Abstracts International. 2005;65,11-B (UMI No. 3153761).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    European Immigrants in the United States [Internet]. Migrationpolicy.org. 2017 [cited 31 January 2017]. Available from: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/european-immigrants-united-states.
  6. 6.
    Johnson P. History of the Jews. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers; 1988.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Salimbene S. Culture-sensitive health care: Russian-Jewish immigrants. In: What language does your patient hurt in? A practical guide to culturally competent patient care, from other cultures. Amherst: Diversity Resources; 2000.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Goldstein DE. The function of mutuality and social support in exercise adherence and the prevention of cardiovascular disease in first-generation Russian-Jewish immigrants. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. 2007.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Miller A, Chandler P. Acculturation, resilience and depression in midlife women from the Former Soviet Union. Nurs Res. 2002;51(1):26–32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Perez-Foster R. When immigration is trauma: guidelines for the individual and family clinician. Am J Orthop. 2001;71(2):153–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Perez-Foster R. The long-term mental health effects of nuclear trauma in recent Russian immigrants in the United States. Am J Orthop. 2002;72(4):492–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Isralowitz R, Straussner SLA, Vogt I, Chtenguelov V. A preliminary explanation of immigrant substance abusers from the Former Soviet Union living in Israel, Germany and The United States: a confirmatory factor analysis. J Soc Work Pract Addict. 2008;2(3–4):119–36.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Speckhard A. The Boston Marathon bombers: the lethal cocktail that turned troubled youth to terrorism. Perspect Terrorism. 2013;7(3):64–78.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Enosh G, Leshem E, Buchbinder E. Attitudes towards domestic violence and corporal punishment among Former Soviet Union immigrants in Israel. Violence Against Women. 2016;22(11):1326–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shor R. Jewish immigrant parents from the Former Soviet Union. A method for studying their views for how to respond to children’s misbehavior. Child Abuse Negl. 2000;24:353–62.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Finzi-Dottan R, Bilu R, Golubchik P. Aggression and conduct disorder in former Soviet Union immigrant adolescents: the role of parenting style and ego identity. Child Youth Serv Rev. 2011;33:918–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kim-Cohen J, Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Harrington H, Milne BJ, Poulton R. Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental disorder: developmental follow-back of a prospective-longitudinal cohort. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60:709–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dwairy M, Dor A. Parenting and psychological adjustment of adolescent immigrants in Israel. J Fam Psychol. 2009;23:416–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Slonim-Nevo V, Mirsky J, Rubinstein L, Nauck B. The impact of familial and environmental factors on the adjustment of immigrants: a longitudinal study. J Fam Issues. 2009;30:92–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ponizovsky AM, Ritsner MS, Modai I. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among immigrant adolescents from the Former Soviet Union to Israel. J Am Acad Child Psych. 1999;38(11):1433–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Govorin N, Sakharov A, Plusnina O. Characteristics of Russian students committed suicidal attempts. Eur Psychiatry. 2015;30(Supp 1):945.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Makasheva V, Slobodskaya H. Youth prevention and crisis services for children and families in Siberia. Eur Psychiatry. 2015;30(Supp 1):958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Oznobishin O, Kurman J. Parent-child role reversal and psychological adjustment among immigrant youth in Israel. J Fam Psychol. 2009;23:403–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Walsh SD, Shulman S, Bar-On Z, Tsur A. The role of parentification and family climate in adaptation among immigrant adolescents in Israel. J Res Adolesc. 2006;16(2):321–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Titzmann P. Growing up too soon? Parentification among immigrant and native adolescents in Germany. J Youth Adolesc. 2011;41(7):880–93.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Birman D, Trickett E. Cultural transitions in first-generation immigrants: acculturation of Soviet Jewish refugee adolescents and parents. J Cross-Cult Psychol. 2001;32(4):456–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Birman D, Trickett E, Vinokurov A. Acculturation and adaptation of Soviet Jewish refugee adolescents: predictors of adjustment across life domains. Am J Community Psychol. 2002;30(5):585–607.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Birman D, Taylor-Ritzler T. Acculturation and psychological distress among adolescent immigrants from the Former Soviet Union: exploring the mediating effect of family relationships. Cult Divers Ethn Minor Psychol. 2007;13(4):337–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chentsova-Dutton YE. Butting in vs. being a friend: cultural differences and similarities in the evaluation of imposed social support. J Soc Psychol. 2012;152(4):493–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chentsova-Dutton YE, Vaughn A. Let me tell you what to do: cultural differences in advice-giving. J Cross-Cult Psychol. 2011. Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022111402343.
  31. 31.
    Jurcik T, Chentsova-Dutton Y, Solopieieva-Jurcikova I, Ryder AG. Russians in treatment: evidence supporting cultural adaptations. J Clin Psychol. 2013;69(7):774–91.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Leipzig C. When Russians come to therapy. Am J Fam Ther. 2006;34:219–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Perez-Foster R, Branovan DI. Surviving Chernobyl in America: the physical and mental health needs of recent FSU immigrants to the United States. J Immig Refuge Stud. 2006;4(2):97–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Perez-Foster R, Goldstein M. Chernobyl disaster sequelae in recent immigrants to the United States from the Former Soviet Union. J Immigr Health. 2007;9:115–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ben-David A. Cross-cultural differences between Russian immigrants and Israeli college students: the effect of family on the sense of coherence. Israel J Psychiatry. 1996;33:13–20.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Yakhnich L, Ben-Zur H. Personal resources, appraisal, and coping in the adaptation process of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union. Am J Orthop. 2008;78:152–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Mana A, Orr E, Mana Y. An integrated acculturation model of immigrants’ social identity. J Soc Psychol. 2009;149(4):450–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Tartakovsky E. The psychological well-being of unaccompanied minors: a longitudinal study of adolescents immigrating from Russia and Ukraine to Israel without parents. J Res Adolesc. 2009;19(2):177–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ponizovsky AM. Mental health problems among immigrants in Israel. In: Sher L, Vilens A, editors. Immigration and mental health. New York: Nova Science Publishers; 2010. p. 187–208.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ritsner MS, Ponizovsky AM. The stress-support patterns and psychological distress of immigrants. Stress Health. 2000;16(3):139–47.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Birman D, Trickett E, Buchanan RM. A tale of two cities: replication of a study on the acculturation and accommodation of immigrant adolescents from the Former Soviet Union in a different community context. Am J Community Psychol. 2005;35(1–2):83–101.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Pottle K, Dahal G, Georgiades K, Premji K, Hassan G. Do first generation immigrant adolescents face higher rates of bullying, violence and suicidal behaviors than do third generation and native born? J Immigr Minor Health. 2014;17:1557–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Almqvist K, Broberg A. Mental health and social adjustment in young refugee children three and a half years after their arrival in Sweden. J Am Acad Child Psych. 1999;38:723–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Fox P, Burns K, Popovich J, Belknap P, Frank-Stromborg M. Southeast Asian refugee children: self-esteem as predictor of depression and scholastic achievement in the US. Int J Psychiatr Nurs Res. 2004;9:1063–72.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Pumariega AJ, Rothe EM, Pumariega J. Mental health of immigrants and refugees. Community Ment Health J. 2005;45:567–81.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Rothe EM, Pumariega AJ, Sabagh D. Identity and acculturation in immigrant and second generation adolescents. Adolescent Psychiat. 2011;1:72–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Gold SJ. Refugee communities: a comparative field study. Newbury Park: Sage Publications; 1992.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Amit BH, Krivoy A, Mansbach-Kleinfeld I, Zalsman G, Ponizovsky AM, Hoshen M, et al. Religiosity is a protective factor against suicidal behavior in Jewish adolescents: findings from a nationally representative survey in Israel. Eur Psychiatry. 2014;29:509–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Kakhnovets R, Wolf L. An investigation of Jewish ethnic identity and Jewish affiliation for American Jews. N Am J Psychol. 2011;13(3):501–8.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Weisskirch RS, Kim SY, Schwartz SJ, Whitbourne SK. The complexity of Jewish identity among Jewish American emerging adults. Identity. 2016;16(3):127–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Rosner JL, Gardner WL, Hong Y. The dynamic nature of being Jewish: identity centrality and the acculturation of Russian Jews in the United States. J Cross-Cult Psychol. 2011;42(8):1341–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Camp Tel Yehudah. The Hevurah program. n.d. (http://www.telyehudah.org/program/havurah/).
  53. 53.
    Aroian KJ, Khatutsky G, Tran TV, Balsam AL. Health and social service utilization among elderly immigrants from the Former Soviet Union. Nurs Res. 2001;33(3):265–71.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Ritsner MS, Ponizovsky AM, Kurs R, Modai I. Somatization in an immigrant population in Israel: a community survey of prevalence, risk factors, and help-seeking behaviors. Am J Psychiatry. 2000;157(3):385–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Aroian KJ, Norris AE, Patsdaughter CA, Tran TV. Predicting psychological distress among former Soviet immigrants. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 1998;44(Winter, 4):284–94.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Fitzpatrick TR. Older Russian immigrants to the USA. Int J Soc Work. 2000;43:305–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Cho YB, Haslam N. Suicidal ideation and distress among immigrant adolescents: the role of acculturation, life stress and social support. J Youth Adolesc. 2010;39:370–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Walsh SD, Harel-Frisch Y, Fogel-Grinvald H. Parents, teachers and peer relationships as predictors of risk behaviors and mental well-being among immigrant and Israeli born adolescents. Soc Sci Med. 2009;70(7):976–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Luthar SS. Annotation: methodological and conceptual issues in research on childhood resilience. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1993;34(4):441–53.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Iliceto P, Pompili M, Candilera G, Borges G, Lamis DA, et al. Suicide risk and psychopathology in immigrants: a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2013;48:1105–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Aroian KJ, Norris AE. Resilience, stress and depression among Russian immigrants to Israel. West J Nurs Res. 2000;22(1):54–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Remennick LI. Immigrants from Chernobyl-affected areas in Israel; the link between health and social adjustment. Soc Sci Med. 2002;54:309–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Stevens GW, Vollebergh WA. Mental health in immigrant children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2008;49:276–94.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Ackerman LK. Health problems of refugees. J Am Board Fam Med. 1997;10(5):337–48.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Shemesh AA, Levav I, Blumstein T, Novikov I. A community study on emotional distress among the elderly in Israel. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2004;41(3):174–83.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Gutkovich Z, Rosenthal RN, Galynker I, Muran C, Batchelder S, Itskhoki E. Depression and demoralization among Russian-Jewish immigrants in primary care. Psychosomatics. 1999;40(2):117–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Ponizovsky AM, Mansbach-Kleinfeld I. Prevalence of mental disorders and use of services in an immigrant adolescent population: findings from a National Mental Health Survey. J Child Adolesc Behav. 2015;3(1):1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Ahlberg J, Lobbezzo F, Ahlberg K, Manfredini D, Hublin C, et al. Self-reported bruxism mirrors anxiety and stress in adults. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2013;1(18):e7–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Blanchard EB, Scharff L, Schwarz SP, Suls JM, Barlow D. The role of anxiety and depression in irritable bowel syndrome. Behav Res Ther. 1990;28(5):401–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Duncan L, Simmons M. Health practices among Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. J Community Health Nurs. 2010;13(2):129–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Hundley G, Lambie GW. Russian-speaking immigrants from the commonwealth of independent states: implications for mental health counselors. J Ment Health Couns. 2007;29:242–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Stanley B, Brown G, Brent D, Wells K, Poling K, et al. Cognitive behavioral therapy for suicide prevention (CBT-SP): treatment model, feasibility and acceptability. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2009;48(10):1005–13.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychologyCooper Medical School of Rowan University and Cooper Health SystemCamdenUSA

Personalised recommendations