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A Rough Guide to Immigrant Acculturation: Hassles, Stress, & Support. Saba Safdar, Ph.D. Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Psychology Department Presented at the SOAS, University of London October 29, 2008. What is Acculturation? .

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a rough guide to immigrant acculturation hassles stress support

A Rough Guide to Immigrant Acculturation: Hassles, Stress, & Support

Saba Safdar, Ph.D.

Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Psychology Department

Presented at the SOAS, University of London

October 29, 2008

what is acculturation
What is Acculturation?
  • Acculturation is the process of cultural and psychological change that takes place as a result of contact between cultural groups and their individual members (Redfield, Linton & Herskovits, 1936).
acculturation research
Acculturation Research
  • Research on acculturation in the last four decades indicates that the long term psychological consequences of the process of acculturation depend on social and personal factors that reside in the society of origin and the characteristics of the society of settlement (Berry 1997; Berry & Safdar, 2007; Phinney et al., 2001).
acculturation of iranians
Acculturation of Iranians
  • The Goals of the study were:
  • To evaluate the generalizability of Multidimensional Individual Difference Acculturation (MIDA) model which includes the key factors identified for a framework of cultural adaptation for immigrants.
  • To identify characteristics of groups and settings that influence the adaptation of immigrants.
components of the mida model
Components of the MIDA Model

Psycho-Social Resources

Psychological Well-being, Out-group Support, Cultural Competence

Contact with Out-group & New culture

Acculturation Attitudes

Contact with In-group & Heritage culture

Connectedness

Family Allocentrism, In-group Support, Ethnic Identity

Avoidance of Psycho-Physical Distress

Psychological & Physical Distress

Hassles

In-group, Out-group, Family, & General

varieties of intercultural strategies berry 1974
Varieties of Intercultural Strategies (Berry, 1974)

Maintenance of heritage culture

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Contact with the other group

Integration Assimilation

Separation Marginalization

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multidimensional acculturation model safdar lay struthers 2003

Psycho-Social Resources

Out-group Contact

Separation

In-group Contact

Connectedness

Assimilation

Psycho-Physical Distress

Hassles

Multidimensional Acculturation Model – Safdar, Lay, & Struthers (2003)

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measures
Measures
  • Psychological well-being (18-item; Ryff & Singer, 1989)
  • Cultural Competence (10-item; based on Lay et al., 1998)
  • Perceived Social Support (12-item; Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988)
  • Ethnic Identity Scale (9-item; Cameron, Sato, Lay, & Lalonde, 1997)
  • Behavioural Adaptation Scale (8-item; Safdar, Lay, & Struthers, 2003)
  • Hassles Inventory (12-item; Lay & Nguyen, 1998)
  • Acculturation Attitudes (4-item; van Oudenhoven & Eisses, 1998)
  • Psychological Distress (9-item; van Oudenhoven & van der Zee, 1994)
  • Health Symptoms Scale (6-item; Safdar et al., 2003)
the three countries in the study
The Three Countries in the Study
  • Participants in the study were first generation Iranian immigrants in the U.S., the U.K., and the Netherlands.
  • The U.S., the U.K., and the Netherlands, are relatively similar in cultural terms, including values, family structure, religion, and gender equality (Hofstede, 2001).
  • The U.S., U.K., and the Netherlands differ in their level of “policy diversity” from Canada (Berry, Westin, Virta, Vedder, Rooney, & Sang, 2006).
iranians in the uk
Iranians in the UK
  • 68 Male, 26 Female
  • Age M=33
  • Years in Britain M=10
  • 41% Citizen
  • 40% Refugee
  • 46% High school diploma or under
  • 38% Employed
  • 29% Home-maker/ Student
  • 32% Unemployed
iranians in the netherlands
Iranians in the Netherlands
  • 40 Male & 40 Female
  • Age M=37
  • Years in the Netherlands: M=10
  • 49% Refugee, 43% Citizen
  • 95% Post Secondary
  • 27% Unemployed
  • 24% Student/Homemaker
iranians in the usa
Iranians in the USA
  • 35 Male, 28 Female
  • Age M=36
  • Years in the U.S. M=19
  • 59% US Citizen
  • 98% Post-secondary
  • 76% Employed
  • 24% Student/ Home-maker
the best fit model for the three immigrant groups
The Best-Fit Model for the Three Immigrant Groups

Own Culture Maintenance

.05

In-group Contact

Psycho-Social Resources

.27**

.14

.40***

.46***

Out-group Contact

Connectedness

-.18*

.28**

.16

New Culture Acquisition

-.26**

Psycho-Physical Distress

-.40***

.17

Hassles

X2(63) = 78.97, p = .08, GFI=.93, TLI = .94, RMSEA = .03

the best fit model for the three immigrant groups1
The Best-Fit Model for the Three Immigrant Groups

Own Culture Maintenance

In-group Contact

Psycho-Social Resources

.46***

Out-group Contact

Connectedness

-.40***

.28**

New Culture Acquisition

Psycho-Physical Distress

Hassles

the best fit model for the three immigrant groups2
The Best-Fit Model for the Three Immigrant Groups

Own Culture Maintenance

In-group Contact

Psycho-Social Resources

.27**

.40***

-.18*

Out-group Contact

Connectedness

New Culture Acquisition

Psycho-Physical Distress

Hassles

the best fit model for the three immigrant groups3
The Best-Fit Model for the Three Immigrant Groups

Own Culture Maintenance

In-group Contact

Psycho-Social Resources

Out-group Contact

Connectedness

New Culture Acquisition

Psycho-Physical Distress

.17

Hassles

the best fit model for the three immigrant groups4
The Best-Fit Model for the Three Immigrant Groups

Own Culture Maintenance

In-group Contact

Psycho-Social Resources

.05 (U.K.)

.50*** (U.S.); .42*** (Dutch)

Out-group Contact

Connectedness

.16 (U.K.); .14 (Dutch)

.34*** (U.S.)

New Culture Acquisition

Psycho-Physical Distress

Hassles

psychophysical distress
Psychophysical Distress
  • The three groups differed significantly on Psychophysical Symptoms, F (2, 188) = 6.26, p < 0.01.
  • The Iranian-American group had significantly lower scores on Psychophysical Symptoms than the other two groups.
psychological well being
Psychological Well-Being
  • The three groups differed significantly on Psychological Well-Being, F (2, 188) = 4.94, p < 0.01.
  • The Iranian-American group had significantly a higher level of positive psychological functioning than the Iranian-British group.
cultural and linguistic competence
Cultural and Linguistic Competence
  • The three groups differed significantly on Cultural and linguistic Competence, F (2, 188) = 16.94, p < 0.001.
  • The Iranian-American group had significantly higher scores on Cultural and linguistic Competence than the other two groups.
iranians groups
Iranians Groups
  • Three waves of emigration from Iran:
  • Beginning in 1950 and lasting until the 1979 revolution.
  • After revolution and it is referred to as “brain drain.”
  • From mid 1990s to the present and consists of two very distinct population; highly skilled individuals and working-class labour immigrants and economic refugees.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • How people acculturate in their ethno-cultural groups and the larger society is a function of the societal and the individual variables.
  • The association between some variables within the MIDA model varies from one cultural context to another and from one immigrant group to the next.
future research
Future Research
  • We need to examine mutual Intercultural Relations in plural societies by combining research traditions of acculturation and intergroup relations.
varieties of intercultural strategies berry 1984
Varieties of Intercultural Strategies (Berry, 1984)

Maintenance of heritage culture

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-

+

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Contact with the other group

Integration Assimilation

Separation Marginalization

Multiculturalism Melting pot

Segregation Exclusionism

-

a new international project
A New International Project
  • Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies (MIRIPS)
  • Assist us in collecting data among dominant and non-dominant groups in plural societies. Get authorship and publication.
  • Obtain samples of 200 persons distributed evenly by gender and by age groups (20-35, 36-50, 50+)
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