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International medical graduates provide a valuable service to the healthcare of their adopted countries. However, there remain a significant number of challenges in their adjustment and acculturation in the post-migration phase. We believe that the cultural capital these doctors bring with them can act as a support as well as a challenge. They are likely to face subtle and not-so-subtle, covert and overt discrimination at a number of levels. In this brief report, we highlight some of the issues faced by them and some potential solutions.
Rainer K. Silbereisen was born in Germany in 1944. He was Professor of Psychology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena (Germany) and President of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development. His research program focused on complex ecology-biology-person interactions. Ecology was hypothesized to be a major developmental force. Maladjusted behaviors, such as antisocial behavior during adolescence, were investigated in order to understand their putative constructive role in the development of entrepreneurial behavior during adulthood. Longitudinal studies were conducted on a wide range of topics, such as substance use and delinquency during adolescence, variation in the timing of psychosocial transitions, the impact of social change on adjustment and development, psychological dimensions of entrepreneurship and civic participation, biobehavioral aspects of adolescent development, and acculturation among immigrants. These studies had an explicit cross-national and cross-cultural format. The prevention of maladjustment and scientific advice for policy makers were important dimensions of this research program. With longitudinal studies, Silbereisen examined the effects of German unification and of globalization on adjustment in adulthood. This provided opportunities to investigate how individuals cope with new challenges to their developmental tasks as the result of gross changes in ecological opportunity structures.
Remote acculturation advocates for acculturative processes people may be engaged in without making first-hand, continuous contact with others from different cultural groups. It creates new opportunities for people to negotiate their identities. Due to globalization and the related increase in multiculturalism in societies, the cultural context in which people find themselves provides different options about which identity-related aspects they may consider important when defining themselves. In this chapter, we examine tridimensional identity (accounting for personal, relational, social identities) in relation to remote acculturation. We start by evaluating the long-standing relationship between identity and acculturation. We then define remote acculturation as an extension of traditional (proximal) acculturation, and review quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to examine the role of identity within remote acculturative studies. The chapter closes with recommendations to enhance our understanding of the relationship between identity and remote acculturation.
Globally, organizations are becoming increasingly more diverse. In Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD) contexts, this is often the consequence of globalization and increased migration. For plural, non-WEIRD contexts such as South Africa, this is different. In South African organizations, diversity is a consequence of labor legislation that advances “Brown” (i.e., Black African, Coloured [mixed race], and Indian) people, who were disadvantaged during apartheid, in the employment market. This chapter presents the Dual Process Model of Diversity (DPMD) as a means for understanding pathways towards positive diversity management. The DPMD combines an acculturation framework (Berry, 1997) with a dual-process model of occupational health (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007) and makes a distinction between positive (enhancing) and negative (encumbering) factors influencing the pathways (cf. Ely & Thomas, 2001). We argue that organizations should consider their institutional role (e.g., organizational norms, culture, policies, and practices) to promote the integration of employees.
The quality of any research is undoubtedly based on a sound methodological approach, and this is certainly true for acculturation psychology. Unfortunately, acculturation psychology has had its own challenges and limitations. In this chapter, we will review the development and evolution of models, measures and methods that are specific to psychological acculturation research as well as explore the mechanisms underlying acculturation processes. We approach this by describing three generations of acculturation theory and research in terms of their areas of emphasis and major contributions to the field: (i) Models; (ii) Measurements and Methods; and (iii) Mechanisms. We conclude with a note on re-visioning acculturation and speculate about the next cycle of developments.
Despite growing public and academic interest in the role of religion in immigrants’ lives, research focusing on a religious dimension of acculturation is still scarce. This chapter proposes an integrative acculturation framework (cf. Arends-Toth & van de Vijver, 2006) as a heuristic for conceptualizing and assessing a distinct religious dimension of acculturation conditions, orientations, and outcomes. We focus on Muslim immigrant minorities in Europe as illustrative cases and review exemplary empirical studies on (1) the processes related to religious transmission in immigrant families and communities as a critical religious acculturation condition, (2) the role of high religiosity in maintaining a distinct heritage culture and adopting the mainstream culture as acculturation orientations, and (3) the conditions under which religiosity serves as a cultural boundary maker in an intercultural context. To conclude, we encourage researchers to integrate religiosity assessment as standard practice in acculturation research.
Moving to, living in, and working in a different country can be a profoundly transformative experience. The locus of motivation to move impacts an immigrant's intercultural adjustment, requirements by the receiving culture, loss or change in status, and resulting mental health challenges. Both migrants and refugees have unique societal, cultural, and psychological challenges that can be addressed in the language classroom that utilizes a transformative learning framework.
Transformative learning asks students to release fixed mindsets and presuppositions, and to risk change by considering new thoughts and ideas. This process is “threatening, emotionally charged and extremely difficult” (Mezirow, , p.48). A safe and nurturing language classroom for immigrants can build resiliency by addressing psychological needs while also developing empowerment and greater independence through improved language ability. This increases the possibility for positive intercultural adaptation. The author's extensive intercultural teaching experience, supported by current research, demonstrates that the language classroom can be a unique resource to address the salient challenges of immigrants.
Acting on socially learned information involves risk, especially when the consequences imply certain costs with uncertain benefits. Current evolutionary theories argue that decision-makers evaluate and respond to this information based on context cues, such as prestige (the prestige bias model) and/or incentives (the risk and incentives model). We tested the roles of each in explaining trust using a preregistered vignette-based study involving advice about livestock among Maasai pastoralists. In exploratory analyses, we also investigated how the relevance of each might be influenced by recent cultural and economic changes, such as market integration and shifting cultural values. Our confirmatory analysis failed to support the prestige bias model, and partially supported the risk and incentives model. Exploratory analyses suggested that regional acculturation varied strongly between northern vs. southern areas, divided by a small mountain. Consistent with the idea that trust varies with socially transmitted values and regional differences in market integration, people living near densely populated towns in the southern region were more likely to trust socially learned information about livestock. Higher trust among market-integrated participants might reflect a coordination solution in a region where traditional pastoralism is beset with novel conflicts of interest.
Childbirth may pose many challenges to the psychological well-being of marriage-based immigrant mothers in interracial marriages, who must negotiate bi-dimensional acculturation – adaptation to the host culture and maintenance of her own heritage culture. We examined the temporal relationships between bi-dimensional acculturation and depressive symptoms from pregnancy to 1 year postpartum among marriage-based immigrant mothers in Taiwan using the cross-lagged structural equation modeling.
This study recruited 310 immigrant mothers, who were examined in the second and third trimesters, and again at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year postpartum from March 2013 to December 2015. Depressive symptoms and bi-dimensional acculturation were measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Bidimensional Acculturation Scale for Marriage-Based Immigrant Women, respectively.
The study found that adaptation to the host culture followed a downward linear trajectory, while maintenance of the mother's own heritage culture followed an upward linear trajectory from pregnancy to 1 year postpartum. All but one cross-lagged path between bi-dimensional acculturation and depressive symptoms was statistically insignificant, though almost all cross-sectional associations were significant. Adaptation to host culture was negatively associated with depressive symptoms at all time points. The association between maintenance of heritage culture and depressive symptoms reversed from positive to negative after 6 months postpartum.
Adaptation to the host culture and maintenance of the mother's heritage culture differed in their associations with maternal depressive symptoms. Health professionals should assist immigrant mothers in adapting to the host culture while supporting their heritage culture in the childbearing period.
Demographic trends and the globalization of neuropsychology have led to a push toward inclusivity and diversity in neuropsychological research in order to maintain relevance in the healthcare marketplace. However, in a review of neuropsychological journals, O’Bryant et al. found systematic under-reporting of sample characteristics vital for understanding the generalizability of research findings. We sought to update and expand the findings reported by O’Bryant et al.
We evaluated 1648 journal articles published between 2016 and 2019 from 7 neuropsychological journals. Of these, 1277 were original research or secondary analyses and were examined further. Articles were coded for reporting of age, sex/gender, years of education, ethnicity/race, socioeconomic status (SES), language, and acculturation. Additionally, we recorded information related to sample size, country, and whether the article focused on a pediatric or adult sample.
Key variables such as age and sex/gender (both over 95%) as well as education (71%) were frequently reported. Language (20%) and race/ethnicity (36%) were modestly reported, and SES (13%), and acculturation (<1%) were more rarely reported. SES was more commonly reported in pediatric than adult samples, and the opposite was true for education. There were differences between the present results and those of O’Bryant et al., though the same general trends remained.
Reporting of demographic data in neuropsychological research appears to be slowly changing toward greater comprehensiveness, though clearly more work is needed. Greater systematic reporting of such data is likely to be beneficial for the generalizability and contextualization of neurocognitive function.
The objective of our study was to investigate the acculturation experiences of Syrian refugee families in two contexts (Toronto, Canada, and Munich, Germany) 2 years postresettlement. Specifically, using qualitative methodologies, we examined acculturation orientation through the lens of parent and child minority and majority language use and preferences within multiple contexts. The interview data related to parent and child minority and majority language practices in Canada suggested an integration orientation. Those of families living in Germany were less indicative of a clear orientation; contextual factors restricted parents’ participation in the majority culture, while the youngest of their children tended toward assimilation. Our study revealed similarities and differences in the acculturation experiences of Syrian refugees in Canada and Germany and unveiled specific factors that influenced acculturation orientation in each country.
Intimate Partner violence (IPV) is a global major public health problem, exposing women and children to adverse health outcomes. Refugee families are particularly at risk for IPV, a consequence of previous exposure to organized violence as well as migration stress and lack of societal protection. Refugee families from societies with traditional and patriarchal values resettling in secular societies cherishing gender equality and children’s rights face a challenge when women and children adjust to new ideals more rapidly than the men do. It is important to address that migration stress may cause or increase conflicts in the family and learn to handle conflicts in close relationships without violence. Health care procedures developed to recognize women exposed to IPV in general, such as screening for IPV in maternal care and child health care, need to be available for immigrants and refugee women. In the chapter, a case vignette illustrates how clinicians can work to unveil domestic violence and wartime trauma in refugee families and find ways to support a child exposed to both through collaboration with the parents.
Immigration has changed the United States from having a predominantly white to a more ethnically diverse population. People who move to the U.S. may initially have diets unlike native-born Americans but gradually adopt eating patterns more like them. Using NHANES data and a censored gamma regression model, this study estimated the daily consumption of major food products among groups of immigrants and the corresponding groups born in the U.S. Results show that immigrants had lower consumption of meat and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, and immigrants’ consumption converged towards a less healthy American diet after five years in the U.S.
Several studies have stressed a correlation between difficulties in acculturation and mental distress or even mental disorders. The stress related to the process of acculturation can lead to depressive symptoms by way of changes in the activity of the HPA axis. However, it remains difficult to measure acculturation stress, as difficulties in acculturation strongly depend on subjective interpretations of every day experiences. The association between acculturation stress and mental distress was examined in two different migrant groups in Germany, 202 migrants of Russian and 100 of Iranian origin. In both migrant groups a significant correlation between acculturation stress and mental distress was found, yet no significant association between acculturation stress and length of residency in Germany. These findings will have to be replicated with representative samples and also with other migrant groups, both in and out of treatment. Considering the fact that the Russian sample was younger and nonetheless had relatively high acculturation stress scores, prevention of future mental health problems among migrants will have to focus on easing the process of integration into the host society.
To examine differences in eating and physical activity behaviours among ethnic groups in Queensland, Australia, and differences in those behaviours due to the duration of residency in Australia.
Cross-sectional study using baseline data collected for the Living Well Multicultural–Lifestyle Modification Program between October 2014 and June 2017.
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD), including Afghani, Somali, Burmese, Pacific and South Sea Islander, Sri Lankan, Sudanese and Vietnamese, living in Queensland, Australia.
People were recruited if they were ≥18 years old and living in the targeted CALD communities.
Burmese/Vietnamese, on average, had better eating scores in line with Australian dietary guidelines, compared with Afghani/Arabic-speaking (difference = 2·05 points, 95 % CI 1·39, 2·72), Somali/Sudanese (difference = 1·53 points, 95 % CI 0·79, 2·28) and Pacific Islander (difference = 1·46 points, 95 % CI 0·79, 2·13). Association between ethnicity and meeting the physical activity guideline was not significant. Those who stayed in Australia longer than a year were less likely to meet the physical activity guideline than those staying <1 year (OR = 0·51, 95 % CI 0·31, 0·84). There was no significant association between duration of residency in Australia and eating scores.
Eating behaviours were significantly different among the ethnic groups in Queensland with Burmese/Vietnamese and Sri Lankan/Bhutanese having the healthiest diets. All ethnic groups were less likely to meet the physical activity guideline compared with the general Australian population. People with duration of residency of at least 1 year in Australia were less likely to meet the physical activity guideline compared with those who had shorter stays.
This chapter shows that in spite of her dominant position in commercial magazines of the late Pahlavi era, "the western woman" was also discursively constituted as the nemesis of the Iranian woman in the competition over the heart of the “eastern man.” The discussion in this chapter is framed by the heated public debate evoked by a 1965 bill to cancel the passports or revoke the citizenship of Iranian students who married foreign women. Backed by a trove of popular materials from the 1970s (including literature and films), the chapter addresses the cultural formation of "the western woman” and "the modern Iranian man” in the context of Iran’s brain drain, fears of cultural assimilation, and the sense that educated, modern Iranian men were being lost as a result of mixed marriages. This discussion is especially intriguing considering the fact that Mohammad Reza Shah’s first marriage to a foreign princess, Queen Fawziya of Egypt, was followed by his second marriage to Soraya, daughter of a German mother and an Iranian father.
In this chapter I revisit the literature on culture and emotion through the lens of affective social learning (ASL). Conceptualizing emotions as evaluations of the world, I consider the different processes through which people come to fit in emotionally with their culture as processes of ASL. By describing how children enculturate and immigrant minorities acculturate emotionally, I thus aim to shed more light on ASL. The main results of this undertaking are not only that culture and emotion are integral to the study of ASL, but also that ASL (i) encompasses many more processes than those initially described; (ii) affects children, immigrant minorities and even adult majorities; and (iii) is, in many cases, multidimensional and context-dependent. In closing the chapter, I outline some of the ways forward for studying ASL, such as further integrating it with other literatures and conducting empirical studies that take into account some of the complexities and contextual factors that may shape both its speed and course. By embarking on this journey, it is my hope (and belief) that ASL may become a mature and multidisciplinary approach that can stimulate novel research to shed light on meaning-making in context.
In this chapter we discuss the ways in which expressions of regret provide “lessons” for observers of those expressions, thereby constituting a case of affective social learning. We review three lines of research to argue that another person’s regret tells us something about the aversive consequences of a decision made by that person and influences our own behaviour when we have to make a similar decision. In the first line of research we found that participants who had seen another person acting unfairly but then expressing regret – as opposed to pride – were more likely to anticipate regret if they were to act the same way, and this anticipated emotion affected the likelihood of participants themselves acting fairly. This “lesson” learned by witnessing another person’s regret can also be extended to relations between groups. In the second line of research, observers appeared to “learn” from an out-group’s expression of regret that members of the out-group were unhappy about the decision they took, which encourages the observers to see the out-group as more trustworthy. In the third line of research, we show that similar effects are found when an in-group member expresses regret about the in-group’s failure to reciprocate the trust shown by an out-group. Thus, expressing regret serves the function of communicating the inappropriateness of the in-group’s decision and thereby encourages trusting behaviour in other in-group members. Our contention is that the effects of emotional expression in the experiments described here are due to shifts in the perceived appropriateness of certain behaviours, shifts that result from a process of affective social learning.
Acculturation is the process of group and individual changes in culture and behaviour that result from intercultural contact. These changes have been taking place forever, and continue at an increasing pace as more and more peoples of different cultures move, meet and interact. Variations in the meanings of the concept, and some systematic conceptualisations of it are presented. This is followed by a survey of empirical work with indigenous, immigrant and ethnocultural peoples around the globe that employed both ethnographic (qualitative) and psychological (quantitative) methods. This wide-ranging research has been undertaken in a quest for possible general principles (or universals) of acculturation. This Element concludes with a short evaluation of the field of acculturation; its past, present and future.