Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 191–205 | Cite as

Psychosocial Adjustment in Middle Eastern Adolescents: The Relative Impact of Violent vs. Non-Violent Social Disorganization

  • Salman Elbedour
  • Michael R. Van Slyck
  • Marilyn Stern


The relationship between extreme social changeand the psychological adjustment of adolescentsundergoing such change was examined. The impact ofextreme social change relative to other conditions ofcatastrophic social disorganization such as chronic socialconflict and violent war-like conditions was alsoconsidered. The results indicate that Bedouinadolescents in Israel, members of a community that hasexperienced drastic social upheaval, show elevated rates ofpsychopathology. Comparisons of Bedouin adolescents toPalestinian adolescents from the West Bank and Gazasuggest that for older adolescents the impact of extreme social change on mental healthadjustment generally parallels that of both chronicsocial conflict (West Bank) and that of violent war-likeconditions (Gaza). However, this pattern did not hold for younger adolescents. In the Bedouincommunity, younger adolescents demonstratedsignificantly less adverse impact on adjustment thanolder adolescents, while such differences did not holdin the West Bank and Gaza. Thus the findings suggest acontinuum of adverse impact of the types of socialdisorganization examined and a possible interactionbetween type of social disorganization and organismicvariables such as age and gender.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salman Elbedour
  • Michael R. Van Slyck
  • Marilyn Stern

There are no affiliations available

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