Help-Seeking and the Efficacy of Rabbinic Interventions Amid Divorce in the Orthodox Jewish Community
Sytner, Ari Alan
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Help-Seeking and Rabbinic Interventions Amid Divorce in the Orthodox Jewish Community This correlational research study looks at the Orthodox Jewish population's help-seeking behaviors upon confronting divorce, and to whom they turn for support, including: friends, family, therapists and rabbis, and which of these sources of support are related to the highest post-divorce wellbeing outcomes. Furthermore, it examines the results by age, gender and socio-religious identity to determine what variables are most related to help-seeking tendencies. By analyzing secondary data collected from a 2014 survey by The Institute for Applied Research and Community Collaboration, looking at 242 divorced individuals from the Orthodox community, the study has confirmed that more than 70% turn to a rabbi for support, however, rabbinic support does not directly relate to increased post-divorce wellbeing (p=.75). Those who self-identified with the Yeshivish community were associated with the highest (p=.04) rates of rabbinic support (80%), compared to Modern Orthodox (65%) and Chasidish (64%). Additionally, no significant differences were found between the rate of rabbinic help-seeking for men versus women, however, women reported higher rates of overall post-divorce wellbeing than men (p=.008). As a result of these findings, this research underscores the importance of forming partnerships between rabbis and mental-health professionals, as well as enhancing the cultural competence of social workers and clinicians who serve the needs of this population.