Acculturation, religious identity, and psychological well-being among Palestinians in Israel

Hisham Motkal Abu-Rayya, Maram Hussien Abu-Rayya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined relationships between Palestinian ethnic identity, Israeli identity, religious identity, and psychological well-being among 520 indigenous Muslim Palestinians (36% males and 64% females) in Israel. The sample ranged in age between 17 and 38 years, with a mean of 24.18 (S.D. = 4.23). Analyses revealed that participants' immersion in their Palestinian ethnicity and their immersion in Israeli society were negatively correlated to a statistically significant degree. This finding disconfirms Berry's (1997) hypothesis of independence between minority individuals' identification with their minority group and their identification as members of the majority group within the Israeli Palestinian context. Participants were statistically significantly more immersed in their Palestinian ethnicity than in Israeli society. Additionally, increased degrees of religious identification among participants contributed statistically significantly positively to their Palestinian ethnic identification and negatively to their identification as Israeli. Analyses revealed that while participants' Palestinian ethnic identification and religious identity contributed statistically significantly to their psychological well-being, an Israeli identification made no such contribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Israeli Palestinians
  • Muslims
  • Psychological well-being
  • Religious identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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