The current study examined the relationships between satisfaction with life and differentiation of self among Jewish and Arab women living inIsrael. The sample included 268 participants: 114 Jewish women and 154 Arab women. For both ethnic groups, satisfaction with life was negatively correlated with emotional cutoff. Among Arab women, satisfaction with life was found positively associated with I-position, marriage duration and education. The examination of cross-cultural differences yielded several findings: Arab women reported higher levels of emotional reactivity and I-position than Jewish women. No cultural differences were found in the levels of fusion with others, emotional cutoff and satisfaction with life. The current findings show that working women, who are highly differentiated, are satisfied with life to a greater extent than non-working women who are poorly differentiated. In general, the research findings provide support to the universality of the Family Systems Theory, and to the argument that differentiation of self is an important factor which may influence emotional wellbeing in all cultures.
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