Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Acculturative Stress

  • Katherine Crow
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_13

The concept of acculturation refers to the cultural and psychological changes that groups and individuals undergo when they come into contact with another culture. Acculturative stress is stress that directly results from and has its source in the acculturative process, often resulting in a particular set of stress behaviors that include anxiety, depression, feelings of marginality and alienation, heightened psychosomatic symptoms, and identity confusion. Acculturative stress may underlie a reduction in the health status of individuals, including physical, psychological, and social health.

People have long been emigrating to better their lives for a variety of reasons, including seeking a safer environment, greater food sources, and personal freedom. In the last few decades, people have migrated more than ever before. Civil wars in Africa, the fall of the Soviet Union, natural disasters, and human-made disasters have instigated the relocation of several million people. While immigrant...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Hovey, J. D. (2000). Acculturative stress, depression, and suicidal ideation in Mexican immigrants. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 6, 134–151. doi:10.1037//1099-9809.6.2.134.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Hovey, J. D., & Magana, C. (2000). Acculturative stress, anxiety, and depression among Mexican immigrant farm workers in the Midwest United States. Journal of Immigrant Health, 2, 119–131. doi:10.1023/A:1009556802759.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Perez Foster, R. (2001). When immigration is trauma: Guidelines for the individual and family clinician. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 71, 153–170.Google Scholar
  4. Williams, C. L., & Berry, J. W. (1991). Primary prevention of acculturative stress among refugees: Application of psychological theory and practice. American Psychologist, 46, 632–641.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Wrobel, N. H., Farrang, M. F., & Hymes, R. W. (2009). Acculturative stress and depression in an elderly Arabic sample. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology, 24, 273–290. doi:10.1007/s10823-009-9096-8.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Nwadoria, E., & McAdoo, H. (1996). Acculturative stress among Amerasian refugees: Gender and racial differences. Adolescence. FindArticles.com. Retrieved February 25, 2010, from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_n122_v31/ai_18435727/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Crow
    • 1
  1. 1.WebMD Health FoundationRancho Santa FeUSA