Ethnic Inequality Between Arabs and Jews in Israel in Global Life Satisfaction: A Social Determinants Examination Among Young Adults

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Global life satisfaction (GLS), a core construct of subjective well-being, plays a vital role in positive development among young adults. Persistent inequality in subjective well-being across minority versus majority groups is a growing public health concern. However, research evidence on the minority–majority disparity in GLS among representative samples of young adults is scarce. Based on national data from Israel (N = 2, 405), this study examines (a) the association of multiple forms of economic (not in education, employment, or training status, subjective socioeconomic status indicators), social-relational (trust, discrimination, loneliness), and environmental determinants (neighborhood conditions) with GLS among young adults from a minority–majority (Israeli Arabs–Israeli Jews) perspective; (b) whether minority–majority disparity in GLS can be explained by differential health returns for the determinants considered across participants from the two groups; (c) whether minority–majority disparities in GLS persist when controlling for these determinants, suggesting the effect of ethnicity per se. Significant disparities in GLS by ethnicity were found, with young Arab adults far less likely to be satisfied or very satisfied with their lives. Hierarchical logistic regression indicated that economic, social-relational, and environmental determinants shape GLS, but these factors do not eliminate the adverse effect of minority status on GLS. While social-relational and environmental factors uniformly affect GLS across minority and majority participants, economic factors were less influential among the Arab minority, suggesting lower health returns for economic resources among young Arab adults. Implications for policies aimed at promoting health equity and social justice are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2024


  • ethnic minorities
  • health inequality
  • life satisfaction
  • social determinants
  • young adults

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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