Abu-Kaf, Sarah and Orna Braun-Lewensohn. “Paths to Depression Among Two Different Cultural Contexts. Comparing Bedouin Arab and Jewish Students.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 46.4 (2015): 612-30.
Over the past two decades, there has been an increase in the number of Bedouin Arab students studying at institutions of higher education in Southern Israel. To date, research on Bedouin students is limited, particularly with regard to their coping and adjustment. The main aim of the current study is to shed more light on potential pathways between vulnerability factors and depression among Bedouin Arab and Jewish students. This study was designed to explore cultural differences in the levels of self-criticism, depression, coping, and social support among Bedouin Arab college/university students and their Jewish peers, and to examine the effects of self-criticism on depression in the two cultural contexts. To that end, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 108 Bedouin students and 109 Jewish students. The participants completed the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire, Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey, Orientations to Problems Experienced Inventory, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and demographic questionnaire. In this work, we observed differences in the levels of self-criticism, depression, avoidant coping, and social support in the different groups. Moreover, among the Jewish participants, self-criticism affected depression directly. However, among the Bedouin Arabs, self-criticism affected depression only indirectly, through avoidant coping. The present study highlights the possibility that specific cultural contexts underscore the role of avoidant coping in the pathways between self-criticism and depression, whereas other cultural contexts underscore the direct effect of self-criticism on depression levels. Furthermore, the current research underscores the importance of cross-cultural perspectives in studies of vulnerability factors and depression.
Shelef, Leah Eyal Fruchter, Dror Ortasse Spiegel, Gal Shoval, J. John Mann, and Gil Zalsma. “Characteristics of Soldiers with Self-Harm in the Israeli Defense Forces.” Archives of Suicide Research 18.4 (2014): 410-418.
Suicide is the leading cause of soldier death in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in peace time. Suicide attempt (SA) and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) are risk factors for death by suicide in civilian studies and therefore their predictive value needs to be determined in the military. All army screening, psychometric and demographic data on consecutive cases of IDF soldier self-harm during the years 2010–2011 were analyzed. The Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale was used retrospectively to classify self-harm as suicidal or NSSI. The Suicide Ideation Scale and the Suicide Intent Scale were scored retrospectively by trained clinical psychologists. A total of 107 soldiers reported self-harm during the study period, comprising 70 SA and 37 with NSSI. The most prevalent diagnosis was personality disorder (n = 48). Soldiers with any mood/anxiety disorders comprised the smallest group (n = 21) and included major depression, dysthymia, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Soldiers with NSSI (n = 37) did not differ in any of the characteristics from those who attempted suicide (n = 70). Unlike the well-known female dominance in both SA and NSSI patients in other settings, males dominated this army sample in both groups. Soldiers with self-harm (both SA and NSSI) cannot be easily distinguished by any demographics or specific psychological attributes detectable at induction, and the scales used in suicide research cannot predict an attempt or NSSI. Unlike civilian samples, males dominated attempter and NSSI groups and the reason for this may be multifactorial. These retrospective findings, if replicated, indicate the need for different screening strategies at induction into the military.