Challenges in the transition to adulthood of young-adult Arabs who graduated from residential facilities in Israel

Yafit Sulimani-Aidan - Children and Youth Services Review


Emerging adulthood is a complex and critical period during which young adults are required to make significant decisions that will affect their adult lives (Arnett, 2000). The current exploratory study is the first to look at the challenges and barriers in this transitional life stage of 23 Israeli Arab young adults, from their own perspectives, after leaving residential care. Thematic analysis revealed several main themes among the participants, including cultural and social expectations, self-perceptions as a minority group, harmful and unsupportive family relationships, lack of informal guidance, and economic hardship. The study's findings illustrate the role of cultural and sociopolitical aspects during this transition, and emphasize the unique additional challenges for Arab young adults as a result of their being part of a collectivist and patriarchal society as well as being part of a minority. The discussion addresses the connection between these multiple challenges in the context of emerging adulthood theory. Implications for practice include developing new services that take into consideration the young adults' needs, and designing interventions that allow for the strengthening of family ties, as well as the creation of positive and supportive relationships with formal and informal authority figures.