This study examined cultural differences in self critical and dependent vulnerabilities to depression and sense of coherence as predictors of depression among Bedouin Arab and Jewish university students in Israel. In addition, this study explored the role of sense of coherence on the self-criticism-depression association and the dependency-depression association. 120 Bedouin Arab and 130 Jewish university students completed the depressive experiences questionnaire (DEQ), the center for epidemiological studies depression scale (CES-D), sense of coherence scale (SOC), and a questionnaire on demographic variables. Bedouin Arab students presented higher level of self-criticism and depression, as well as lower sense of coherence scores. There were no differences in the dependency scores. Sense of coherence partially mediated the association between self-criticism and depression within both groups of students. These results suggest that different cultural contexts associate with different levels of vulnerability to depression and resilience. However, the general mechanisms involved in the formation of depressive states seem to be similar across cultures.
Key words: Self-criticism, dependency, sense of coherence, Bedouin Arab, collectivism, individualism.
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