Risk and protective factors associated with multiproblem behaviours of Ethiopian young adults in Israel

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Immigrants and second-generation immigrants from Ethiopia in Israel are assumed to be more vulnerable to problematic risk behaviours than host culture population. The aim of this study was to assess risk and protective factors associated with multiproblem behaviours such as committing driving violations, alcohol use, drugs use and violence among Ethiopian young adult immigrants and second-generation immigrants in Israel. This is a cross-sectional study, based on a self-reported anonymous structured questionnaire distributed to 383 Ethiopian emerging adults (mean age 25.3; SD = 3.27, 59.3% female). Multiple Problem Behavior Index (MPBI) was created from their responses to 21 risk behaviour variables including driving violations, alcohol use, Marijuana use and violence. Logistic regression to predict multiproblem behaviours was used. We found that unplanned leisure activity hours during weekends (adjusted odds ratio – AOR = 2.594, p <.01, 95% CI 1.332–5.052), excitement seeking (AOR = 2.122, p<.01, 95% CI 1.257–3.582), depression symptoms (AOR = 2.521, p <.01, 95% CI 1.491–4.261) and gender (AOR = 0.277, p <.001, 95% CI 0.164–0.469) were associated with MPBI. In contrast, racism, perceived discrimination, Israeli and Ethiopian identities were not significantly associated with MPBI after adjusting for gender and family status. These results suggest that in a minority of Ethiopian emerging adult immigrants similar to host culture populations, risk factors such as unplanned leisure activities, excitement seeking and depression symptoms are stronger and significant factors associated with multiproblem behaviours rather than racism, perceived discrimination or Israeli and Ethiopian identities. Resources should be allocated to produce appropriate intervention programs with planned content for leisure time, especially on weekends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1157-e1169
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • emerging adults
  • ethiopian immigrants
  • multiproblem behaviour index
  • risk behaviours
  • substance use


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