Arab American Acculturation and Ethnic Identity Across the Lifespan: Sociodemographic Correlates and Psychological Outcomes

  • Mona M. Amer


This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of acculturation patterns and their psychological correlates among Arab Americans across the lifespan. First, Arab American racial and ethnic identifications are analyzed within the historical context of three waves of immigration to the USA. This history provides a backdrop to the diversity of present-day acculturation orientations, which are influenced by factors such as generation status, length of residence in the USA, religion, and discrimination. The chapter reviews the mental health correlates of these acculturation orientations, as well as protective factors such as family, ethnic identity, and religiosity that have been found to promote resilience and reduce acculturative stress. Unique acculturation experiences are discussed for youth, women, and the elderly. In addition to identifying gaps in the literature, the chapter offers a critique of Arab American acculturation research to date, including limitations in conceptualizations and methodologies. Notwithstanding these limitations, recommendations are offered for using existing and future research to inform community-based programming.


Arab American acculturation ethnic identity immigration acculturation stress risk and protective factors gender roles identity development psychological wellbeing community intervention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology UnitThe American University in CairoNew CairoEgypt

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