The Role of Perceived Health, Ethnicity, and Psychosocial Resources in Students’ Emotional Reactions and Risk-Taking Behaviors

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This study assessed the extent to which perceived health and economic status, ethnicity (Arabs vs. Jews), and psychosocial resources were associated with emotional reactions and risk taking among students following stressful academic events. The sample consisted of 294 Jewish (50.7% women) and 234 Arab (54.7% women) students enrolled at an Israeli university. Participants completed questionnaires assessing dispositional optimism, sense of mastery, and social support (combined to create a total psychosocial resources score), positive and negative affect (used to create positivity ratio by dividing positive affect by negative affect), risk-taking behaviors, health and economic status, social desirability, and demographic variables. The main results showed that perceived health was positively correlated with psychosocial resources; Arab students scored lower than Jewish students on psychosocial resources; and psychosocial resources positively correlated with positivity ratio and negatively with risk-taking behaviors. A mediation model was tested with psychosocial resources mediating the effects of perceived health and economic status, and ethnicity on positivity ratio and risk-taking behaviors. The model was confirmed as having very good fit indices: Chi-square (6)=6.92, p=.328; NFI=.967; IFI=.995; TLI=.983; CFI=.995; and RMSEA=.017. The results highlight the role of perceived health, ethnicity, and psychosocial resources in relation to the emotional and behavioral reactions of students to academic stressors, and suggest appropriate interventions, especially for enhancing psychosocial resources among minority (Arab) students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Common Ground Research Networks. All rights reserved.


  • Economic Status
  • Ethnicity
  • Health Status
  • Positivity Ratio
  • Psychosocial Resources
  • Risk Taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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