A Comparative Study of Family Functioning, Health, and Mental Health Awareness and Utilization Among Female Bedouin-Arabs From Recognized and Unrecognized Villages in the Negev Academic Article uri icon


  • A good portion of geography is contested by the Israeli state and the country's Bedouin-Arab population. There are two categories of Bedouin villages: those areas that are "officially" recognized by the state and those that are not. In this article we determine utilization and awareness of health and mental health services among 376 Bedouin-Arab women in recognized and unrecognized villages in the Negev. Although there are differences between them, primary health care (PHC) services usually are available within recognized villages, accessible to those from unrecognized villages, and tend to precipitate user satisfaction. We conclude with various suggestions for improving health service delivery and making PHC and mental health delivery more accessible. Through this article we intend to help mental health practitioners on two levels: the policy level, regarding the design of mental health services for societies in transition, such as the Bedouin Arab, and the practical level by helping practitioners better appreciate the psychosocial status of women in Bedouin-Arab societies and the factors associated with Bedouin-Arab PHC utilization.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006