Ethnic and Gender Differences in Mental Health Utilization: the Case of Muslim Jordanian and Moroccan Jewish Israeli Out-Patient Psychiatric Patients Academic Article uri icon


  • A sample of 148 (87 Jordanian [61 male, 26 female] and 61 Israeli [26 male, 35 female]) was selected from a psychiatric clinic in Ashdod Israel and Zarka Jordan, using convenience sampling methodology over a 12 month period in late 1997 and early 1998. A revised Hopkins Symptom Checklist: A Self-Report Symptom Inventory (HSCL) was translated into Arabic and Hebrew and distributed to subjects; additional questions explored demographic characteristics, forms of received treatment, patient perceptions of treatment efficacy, patient use of traditional healers, and patient explanation of etiology. Data revealed that there were differences in dimensions between the 2 groups based on nationality and gender. More Jordanians than Israelis expected medications as the main treatment, and unlike Israelis, no Jordanian patients received individual psycho therapy. Israeiis expected medications, advice, directions, and instructions from psychiatrists. Both ethnic groups consulted a wide array of traditional healers, although precise types of healers varied according to gender and ethnicity. Israeli subjects gave more diverse explanations of mental health etiologies: physical, family, divorce, economic, unernploynlent; whereas Jordanians tended to emphasize divine and spiritual sources. implications for psychiatric practice are discussed.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001