Personal Resources, Appraisal, and Coping in the Adaptation Process of Immigrants From the Former Soviet Union

Liat Yakhnich, Hasida Ben-Zur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between 1989 and 2005, Israel absorbed over a million new immigrants, about 90% of whom were from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The present study investigated the adaptation of these FSU new immigrants in a sample of 301 participants (67% women, ages 25-45 years), who completed inventories measuring personal resources (tolerance of ambiguity and cognitive flexibility), cognitive appraisals (of employment, language, and housing problems), coping strategies, well-being, distress, and willingness to remain in Israel. A structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis showed that tolerance for ambiguity and cognitive flexibility contributed positively to control appraisals, task-oriented coping, and level of participant well-being, and negatively to threat/loss appraisals, emotion/avoidance-oriented coping, and distress. Control appraisals contributed to task-oriented coping, whereas threat/loss appraisals contributed to both emotion/avoidance-oriented and task-oriented coping. Control and challenge appraisals, and task-oriented coping, contributed positively to participant willingness to remain in Israel, whereas emotion/avoidance-oriented coping contributed positively to distress levels, which in turn were negatively related to willingness to remain in Israel. The results of this study have significant implications for such aspects of immigrant adaptation as absorption policies and the provision of individual care by professionals and organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • coping
  • distress
  • immigration
  • personal resources
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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