Suicide Among Youth of Soviet-Jewish Origin

  • Dina Goldstein SilvermanEmail author


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.


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


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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

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