Intergenerational Family Relations and Life Satisfaction Among Three Elderly Population Groups in Transition in the Israeli Multi-cultural Society
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- Katz, R. J Cross Cult Gerontol (2009) 24: 77. doi:10.1007/s10823-009-9092-z
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The study aims to illuminate the links between personal and familial resources and wellbeing of elders 65+ in three population groups in Israel: kibbutz members, new immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Arabs—all of whom are undergoing different types of personal, social and economic transitions. About 70 respondents in each group were interviewed regarding life satisfaction, familial relations based on the paradigm of intergenerational family solidarity and personal resources (socio-demographic and physical functioning). The main conclusions of this study are: the lives of the elderly immigrants are much more disruptive by the transitional migration processes they are undergoing and this affects their well-being which was much lower than the other two groups. Additionally they received more help from the family. Family solidarity, mainly opportunity structures and emotional bonds were especially strong among the Arabs, with the lowest level of conflict. The Arab elderly were also different from the other two groups in the lower level of help they provided to their adult children, probably due to their more limited level of personal resources and the differing social expectations. The majority of respondents acknowledged some degree of filial obligations, although much lower among kibbutz members. Personal resources (physical functioning and financial adequacy) had the strongest effect on life satisfaction in all three groups. The dimensions of family solidarity played a less dominant role. The discussion highlights the distinctive family culture of the three groups, the transition they face, and their differential resources with some policy recommendations.