Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 89–104 | Cite as

The Subjective Well-Being of Immigrants Aged 50 and Older in Israel

  • Karin AmitEmail author
  • Howard Litwin
Article

Abstract

The present study evaluated the integration of elderly people who migrated to Israel during their lifetimes. Subjective well-being, as measured by the immigrants’ perception of quality of life, satisfaction with life and emotional state, served as a general indicator of integration. The integration of elderly immigrants has not received adequate attention in the literature. A unique database (SHARE-Israel) that was recently released has made study of this topic possible. The current study sample was composed of former migrants aged 50 and older (n = 930). The analytic model examined ethnic origin and migration variables in relation to the respective subjective outcomes, controlling for sociodemographic background, human and social capital and health. The findings show that in general, ethnic origin seems to matter less for the evaluation of immigrants’ subjective well-being than other socio economic factors such as economic status, social capital and health status. However, recent arrivals from the Former Soviet Union do differ from all other immigrant groups in their lower levels of well-being. In addition, the study points to the importance of language proficiency as a central means for integration in the destination country.

Keywords

Well-being Quality of life Life satisfaction Depression Elderly 

References

  1. Amit, K. (2005). The binary ethnic classification and the economic assimilation of first and second generation immigrants in the Israeli labor market. Megamot, 44(1), 3–28. (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  2. Amit, K. (2009). Determinants of life satisfaction among immigrants from Western Countries and from the FSU in Israel. Social Indicators Research.Google Scholar
  3. Amit, K., Borowski, A., & DellaPergola, S. (2009). Demographic aspects of immigration in Israel: Trends and composition. In A. Markus, & M. Semyonov. (Eds.), Nations of immigrants: Australia and Israel (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  4. Amit, K., & Semyonov, M. (2006). Israel as a return Diaspora. Metropolis World Bulletin, 6, 11–14.Google Scholar
  5. Anson, O., Pilpel, D., & Rolnik, V. (1996). Physical and psychological well-being among immigrant referrals to colonoscopy. Social Science and Medicine, 43(9), 1309–1316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ayalon, L. (2008). Cognitive functioning of Israelis fifty years and older. In L. Achdut, & H. Litwin (Eds.), The 50+ cohort: First results from SHARE-Israel—data from the survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe. Bitahon Sociali, 76, 225–245 (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  7. Beenshtock, M., & Ben Menahem, Y. (1997). The labor market absorption of CIS immigrants to Israel: 1989–1994. International Migration, 35, 187–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Black, S. A., Markides, K. S., & Miller, T. Q. (1998). Correlates of depressive symptomatology among older community-dwelling Mexican Americans: The Hispanic EPESE. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 53(4), S198–S208.Google Scholar
  9. Bohnke, P. (2008). Does society matter? Life satisfaction in enlarged Europe. Social Indicators Research, 87, 189–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bonini, A. N. (2008). Cross-national variation in individual life satisfaction: Effects of national wealth, human development, and environment conditions. Social Indicators Research, 87, 223–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bordieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  12. Borjas, J. G. (1994). Long-run convergence of ethnic skill differentials: The children and grandchildren of the great migration. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 47(4), 553–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Börsch-Supan, A., & Jürges, H. (Eds.). (2005). The survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe—Methodology. Mannheim: Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging.Google Scholar
  14. Castro-Costa, E., Dewey, M., Stewart, M. D., Banerjee, S., Huppert, F., Mendonca-Lima, C., et al. (2007). Prevalence of depressive symptoms and syndromes in later life in ten European countries: The SHARE study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 191, 393–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). (2007). Statistical Abstract of Israel, 58, 231–232.Google Scholar
  16. Chiswick, B. (1979). The economic progress of immigrants: Some apparently universal patterns. In W. Fallner (Ed.), Contemporary economic problems (. 357–399). Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  17. Chiswick, B. (1998). Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel. Journal of Population Economics, 11(2), 253–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chiswick, B. (2002). Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle. Journal of Population Economics, 15(2), 31–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cohen, Y., & Haberfeld, Y. (1998). Second generation Jewish immigrants in Israel: Have the ethnic gaps in schooling and earnings declined? Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2, 507–528.Google Scholar
  20. Diener, E. R. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diener, E. R., Emmos, R., Larsen, R., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Diener, E., Sandvik, E., Seidlitz, L., & Deiner, M. (1993). The relationship between income and subjective well-being: Relative or absolute? Social Indicators Research, 28, 195–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Eckstein, Z., & Weiss, Y. (2002). The integration of immigrants in the Former Soviet Union in the Israeli labor market. In A. Ben-Bassat (Ed.), The Israeli Economy, 1985–1998: From government intervention to market economics. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  24. Helliwell, J. F. (2003). How’s life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being. Economic Modeling, 20(2), 331–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hyde, M., Wiggins, R. D., Higgs, P., & Blane, D. B. (2003). A measure of quality of life in early old age: The theory, development and properties of a needs satisfaction model (CASP-19). Aging and Mental Health, 7(3), 186–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kahneman, D., & Krueger, A. B. (2006). Developments in the measurement of subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(1), 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Khazzoom, A. (1998). The origins of ethnic inequality among Jews in Israel. Unpublished dissertation, Berkeley University.Google Scholar
  28. Knesebeck, O. V., Wahrendorf, M., Hyde, M., & Siegrist, J. (2007). Socio-economic position and quality of life among older people in to European countries: Results of the SHARE study. Ageing and Society, 27, 269–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Landau, R., & Litwin, H. (2001). Subjective well-being among the old–old: The role of health, personality and social support. Aging and Human Development, 52(4), 265–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lester, L. H. (2005). Immigrants satisfaction: What is it? Does it matter? NILS Working Paper, 154, 2–103.Google Scholar
  31. Litwin, H. (2005). Correlates of successful aging: Are they universal? International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 61(4), 313–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Litwin, H., & Leshem, E. (2009). Late-life migration, work status and survival: The case of older immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Israel. International Migration Review, 42(4) (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  33. Litwin, H., & Sapir, E. (2008). The SHARE-Israel methodology. Social Security, 76, 25–41. (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  34. Massey, D. S., & Redstone, A. I. (2006). Immigrant intentions and mobility in a global economy: The attitudes and behavior of recently arrived US immigrants. Social Science Quarterly, 87(5), 954–971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McMichael, C., & Manderson, L. (2004). Somali women and well-being: Social networks and social capital among immigrant women in Australia. Human Organization, 63(1), 88–99.Google Scholar
  36. Neto, F. (1995). Predictors of satisfaction with life among second generation Migrants. Social Indicators Research, 35(1), 93–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Neto, F. (2001). Satisfaction with life among adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30(1), 53–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nilsson, J., Ranan, M., & Kabir, Z. N. (2006). Social capital and quality of life in old age. Journal of Aging and Health, 18(3), 419–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Portes, A. (1998). Social capital: Is origins and applications in modern sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone. A touchstone book. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  41. Raijman, R., & Semyonov, M. (1997). Best of times, worst of times of occupational mobility: The case of Russian immigrants in Israel. International Migration, 36, 291–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Remennick, L. (2003). Retired and making a fresh start: Older Russian immigrants discuss their adjustment in Israel. International Migration, 41(5), 153–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rozenbaum-Tamari, Y. (2004). Immigrants from the FSU: Motives for migration and commitment to Israel, The Israeli Ministry of Absorption, special issue no. 1.Google Scholar
  44. Semyonov, M., & Lerenthal, T. (1991). Country of origin, gender and the attainment of socioeconomic status: A study of stratification in the Jewish population of Israel. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 10, 325–345.Google Scholar
  45. Shin, D., & Johnson, D. (1978). Avowed happiness as an overall assessment of the quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 5, 474–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wiggins, R. D., Higgs, P., Hyde, M., & Blane, D. B. (2004). Quality of life in the third age: Key predictors of the CASP-I9 measure. Aging and Society, 24, 693–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. World Health Organization Quality of Life Group. (1998). The World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment (WHOQL): Development and general psychometric properties. Social Science and Medicine, 46, 1569–1585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ruppin Academic CenterEmek HeferIsrael
  2. 2.Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations