New Article: Na’amnih et al, Continuous Decrease of Consanguineous Marriages

Na’amnih, Wasef, Orly Romano-Zelekha, Ahmed Kabaha, Liza Pollack Rubin, Natalya Bilenko, Lutfi Jaber, Mira Honovich, and Tamy Shohat. “Continuous Decrease of Consanguineous Marriages among Arabs in Israel.” American Journal of Human Biology 27.1 (2015): 94-98.






To describe the trend in the rate of consanguineous marriages among the Israeli Arab population and to identify factors associated with this custom shift in recent years.


The study was conducted between November 2009 and January 2010 in Family Health Centers. A questionnaire was presented to parents during routine visits to the center with their children.


Information on 6,437 couples was collected. The rate of consanguineous marriages decreased from 35.8% among those married before 2000, to 28.2% among those married in 2000–2004, and to 24.0% among those married in 2005–2009 (P for trend <0.001). First cousin marriages were the most common type of consanguineous marriages in all the time periods. Consanguineous marriages were associated with consanguinity between the couples’ parents (both husband and wife), a high consanguinity rate in the place of residence and younger age at marriage (wife).


The rates of consanguineous marriages among Israeli Arabs are decreasing but still high. Because consanguineous marriages are widely acceptable, the role of public health professionals and primary care personnel is to provide comprehensive information about the potential genetic risks of consanguinity on offspring health and to increase the accessibility of premarital and preconception counseling services.

New Article: Ayalon et al, Informal Mental Health Help-Seeking Attitudes according to Israeli Arab Women

Ayalon, Liat, Khaled Karkabi, Igor Bleichman, Silvia Fleischmann, and Margalit Goldfracht. “Between Modern and Traditional Values: Informal Mental Health Help-Seeking Attitudes according to Israeli Arab Women, Primary Care Patients and Their Providers.” International Journal of Social Psychiatry 61.4 (2015): 386-93.





Background: Israeli Arab women under-utilize mental health services.

Objectives: The present study evaluated the use of alternative services for dealing with depression and anxiety among Israeli Arab women and primary care providers.

Material: Four focus groups with primary care patients and two focus groups with primary care providers were conducted. Constant comparisons were employed in order to identify major themes related to informal help-seeking behaviors.

Discussion: Three informal help-seeking behaviors were identified: (a) social support, divided into extended family and neighbors versus nuclear family and close friends; (b) religiosity, divided into inner, direct practices and beliefs versus externally mediated ones; and (c) self-help techniques, such as engagement in activities and distancing oneself from the situation. Both social support and religiosity were viewed with ambivalence by primary care patients and providers.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the Arab population in Israel might be lacking informal sources of support at times of mental health needs.