Swimming against the tide: Characteristics of muslim-arab women in Israel who initiated divorce

Liat Kulik, Dana Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The present study compared Muslim-Arab women in Israel who initiated divorce (n545) with those who stayed in stressful marital relationships (n546). Based on an ecological approach and using a cross-sectional design, we explored the differences between the two groups with regard to the following variables: personal resources (education, paid employment, hardiness, styles of coping with stressful situations, and egalitarian gender role ideology), spousal variables (evaluation of marital difficulties), and environmental resources (formal and informal support from the environment). The findings revealed that levels of education and rates of participation in the labor force were higher among the divorced women than among those who stayed in stressful marriages. In addition, the divorced women had a more egalitarian gender role ideology and tended to adopt problem-focused styles for coping with stressful situations, whereas the married women tended to combine emotion-focused and problem-focused styles. The main difficulty experienced by the divorced women was the husbands' violence, whereas the married women primarily experienced difficulties related to the husbands' alcoholism or drug addiction. In light of the findings, practical recommendations are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-931
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010


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