A Cross-Cultural Longitudinal Examination of the Effect of Cumulative Adversity on the Mental and Physical Health of Older Adults

Yuval Palgi, Amit Shrira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-oriented adversity refers to traumatic events that primarily inflict the self, whereas other-oriented adversity refers to events that affect the self by primarily targeting others. The present study aimed to examine whether cultural background moderates the effects of self-oriented and other-oriented adversity on mental and physical health of older adults. Using longitudinal data from the Israeli component of the Survey of Health and Retirement, we focused on 370 Jews and 239 Arabs who reported their exposure to various adversities across the life span, and completed questionnaires regarding mental and physical health. Results showed that the effect of self-oriented adversity on health did not differ among Jews and Arabs. However, other-oriented adversity showed a stronger effect on Arabs' mental and physical health than on Jews' health. Our findings suggest that the accumulation of adverse events that affect the self by primarily targeting others may have a stronger impact in collectivist cultures than in individualist cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.

Keywords

  • Cumulative adversity
  • SHARE-Israel
  • cultural background
  • older adults

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