Arab parents' attitudes toward out-of-home placement of their adult children with psychiatric disability

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The decision of out-of-home placement for the Arab population is a very stressful event that sometimes causes a real crisis situation for them, because of cultural assumptions and attitudes against placement. The tradition in the Arab culture is to take care of their offspring at home, no matter how serious the situation is. Mental health is also a case of chronic illness and it is very important for us to understand who are those who are willing to place their adult child and what the factors are that make them to do this decision. Better understanding will lead to better use of the services that the state offers them. The rate of placement in Arab society remains significantly lower than among the Jewish population of Israel. The aim of this study was to examine the attitudes of Arab parents who have an adult son or daughter with a psychiatric disability toward out-of home placement. Method: A convenience sample of 189 parents of adult children with a mental disability from the Arab population of Israel. The questionnaires included were assessing social support, emotional stress, cognitive appraisal of the situation, and various socio-demographic characteristics. Results: Parents who chose home placement reported being in a better financial position and were more religious than parents who chose out-of-home placement. Parents who chose to care for their children at home had a significantly higher perception of this as a challenge. The decision regarding the child's placement appears to depend mainly on the parents' education and financial situation. Conclusions: Financial situation, social support and perceiving the illness as a challenge are the most important factors in the process of the decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-48
Number of pages16
JournalIllness Crisis and Loss
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Arab culture
  • Arab parents with offspring with mental illness
  • attitudes to out-of-home placement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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