The overarching aim of this research group is to study developmental regulation at crucial transitions in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood for migrants and minorities in comparison with the native population in Germany and Israel. The developmental transitions of interest include formal transitions within the educational system (e.g., entering kindergarten, progression from kindergarten to school) and informal transitions outside the family (e.g., first romantic relations, marriage) because of their influence on acquiring fundamental competencies in coping with normative life challenges. A particular strength of the project is the focus on positive development, i.e., the study of factors that lead towards a better and more optimal adjustment of individuals of specific social groups. With respect to this concern we investigate the Five Cs of positive outcomes (Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character and Caring; Lerner et al., 2005). More information about the theoretical framework is given in figure 1. Our study will be quantitative and longitudinal. Children, adolescents and their parents will be interviewed before and after the respective transitions, in order to study causal influences in the acculturation process. In Germany, Russian-Jewish immigrants, ethnic German immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and Turkish migrants will be studied. In Israel, Russian-Jewish immigrants and the Arab population will be studied. A native group will also be interviewed in both countries and will constitute a reference group (for overview see table 1) A comparison between different social (immigrant or minority) groups in Israel and Germany, together with a native group in each context is a design that allows individual resources, group-specific and context-specific factors in coping with the challenges of the respective transition, and their relevance for the acculturation process among immigrants, to be disentangled. Study results of that research collaboration between psychologists and sociologists will be made public for politics, researchers, and media.
This project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).