Intergenerational Support and the Emotional Well-being of Older Jews and Arabs in Israel

Merril Silverstein, Ariela Lowenstein, Ruth Katz, Daphna Gans, Yu Kang Fan, Petrice Oyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This investigation examined the cultural context of intergenerational support among older Jewish and Arab parents living in Israel. The authors hypothesized that support from adult children would be more positively consequential for the psychological well-being of Arab parents than of Jewish parents. The data derived from 375 adults age 65 and older living in Israel. Psychological well-being was measured with positive and negative affect subscales of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Overall, positive affect was highest when filial expectations for support were congruent with whether or not instrumental support was received. Findings by cultural background revealed that, among older Jews, receiving instrumental support raised positive affect and stronger filial expectations lowered it. Among older Arabs, receiving financial support raised positive affect and receiving instrumental support lowered it. Culture appears to serve as a potent force in determining which types of intergenerational support functions are expected and accepted means of serving the everyday needs of older parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-963
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabs
  • Israel
  • Jews
  • culture
  • emotional well-being
  • intergenerational support
  • older parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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