Determination of life satisfaction among young women care leavers from the Ultraorthodox Jewish community

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Based on self-determination theory this study examined the contribution of background variables (age and economic status) as well as personal (religiosity and optimism), environmental (presence of supportive figure), and psychological (fulfillment of basic needs) resources to life satisfaction among Ultraorthodox Jewish young women who left care. The study, conducted among Ultraorthodox young women in Israel, included 95 participants between the ages of 18 and 27 (M = 21.8, SD = 2.18), who left a care framework designed especially for Ultraorthodox at-risk young women. A path analysis model indicated the significant role played by the fulfillment of three basic needs – competence, relatedness, and autonomy – which directly contributed to life satisfaction and also mediated between optimism and presence of supportive figure on the one hand, and life satisfaction on the other. Moreover, economic status was found to make a direct significant positive contribution to life satisfaction. Surprisingly, religiosity made no contribution to life satisfaction. The discussion highlights the importance – given their affiliation with a close, collectivistic community – of the fulfillment of basic needs of Ultraorthodox young women who left care. It also addresses the importance of promoting intervention programs while these young women are still in care, focusing on economic opportunities and on the presence of a supportive figure in their lives after they leave care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106428
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Care leavers
  • Optimism
  • Self-determination theory
  • Supportive figure
  • Ultraorthodox community
  • Young women

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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