In-depth interviews were conducted to examine gender-related patterns of adaptation and maladaptation, and the relationship between adaptation and relationships (parents, friends, and romantic partners) for 34 emerging adult immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel. Qualitative analysis highlighted gender-related needs, difficulties, and challenges following the immigration experience. Women’s adaptation was connected to mutually supportive and empathic relationships with parents, friends, and romantic partners. Maladaption for women was connected to overly close, nonmutual, and enmeshed relationships with parents, which led to feelings of guilt or to distant relationships that lacked support and intimacy. Adaptation for men was connected to inner strengths that enabled achievement and success in acculturative tasks, which led to feelings of mastery, competence, and self-definition combined with respect and valuing the relationship they have with their family. In contrast, maladaption among men was not connected to relationships but to a lack of inner strengths needed to succeed in developmental and immigration-related tasks. Despite the gender-related distinction found among less adaptive individuals, adaptive young immigrants, women and men alike, were more characterized by an ability to balance between needs of self and needs of others in their family relationships. As such, narratives of adaptive emerging adult immigrants emphasized gender similarities, whereas those of less adaptive immigrants emphasized gender differences.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 27, 2006
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