Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 April 2020
The relationship between immigration and psychopathology is increasingly understood to be indirect and moderated by the stressors related to the migratory process. Empirical study of acculturative stress has been hindered by the lack of an instrument sensitive to the local immigration context. The Barcelona Immigration Stress Scale (BISS) was developed for as a response to this lack. A four factor model is hypothesized as constituting acculturative stress: (1) stress related to the migratory process (homesickness); (2) stress related to the acculturative process (culture shock); (3) stress related to perceived discrimination; and (4) general psychosocial stress. The objective of this study was to evaluate the internal validity of the BISS.
The BISS was administered to 500 immigrant patients who participated in a study concerned with psychopathology and immigration. Internal consistency was estimated on the basis of the Cronbach alpha and a maximum likelihood factor analysis was carried out with a prior direct oblim rotation.
The BISS has satisfactory internal consistency. Preliminary findings confirmed the four factor model which explained a significant proportion of the common variance.
The BISS is internally valid and supports the hypothesized model of acculturative stress. Future studies will establish the external validity of the BISS comparing the scale to related instruments and to determine if acculturative stress is predictive of psychopathology.