Perceived discrimination and the well-being of immigrant adolescents

Gustavo S. Mesch, Hagit Turjeman, Gideon Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study draws on the social-discount and social-rejection hypotheses to examine the effect of perceived discrimination on immigrant youths' depressive moods, self-efficacy, and preferences for in-group socialization experiences. Data from a panel study of immigrant young adolescents (aged 12-18) who came to Israel from countries of the former Soviet Union during the preceding 6 years was used (n = 732). The average age of participants was 15.5 years; and 50% were boys. Partial support emerged for the social-rejection hypothesis: perceived discrimination increases depressive moods and reduces self-esteem. Yet increased perceived discrimination did not increase the preference for in-group socialization. Perceived discrimination seems to be detrimental to individuals' psychological well-being but apparently does not hinder social integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-604
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement The study was funded by the German Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP) Research grant # DIP-C 4.1.


  • Acculturation
  • Discrimination
  • Immigrants
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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