Acculturation and Psychological Adjustment of Vietnamese Refugees: An Ecological Acculturation Framework

Corrina D. Salo, Dina Birman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acculturation to the culture of the host society as well as to one’s heritage culture have been shown to impact immigrants’ adjustment during the years following resettlement. While acculturation has been identified as an important factor in adjustment of Vietnamese immigrants (Birman and Tran in Am J Orthopsychiatr 78(1):109–120. doi:10.1037/0002-9432.78.1.109, 2008), no clear pattern of findings has emerged and too few studies have employed an ecological approach. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize the study of acculturation and adjustment by taking an ecological approach to exploring these relationships across several life domains, using a bilinear scale, and examining mediators of these relationships for adult Vietnamese refugees (N = 203) in the United States. We call this approach the Ecological Acculturation Framework (EAF). Results of a structural equation model (SEM) showed that job satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between American acculturation and psychological distress, demonstrating that this relationship was specific to an occupational domain. However, while Vietnamese acculturation predicted co-ethnic social support satisfaction, it did not predict reduced psychological distress. Implications for a life domains approach, including domain specificity, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-407
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume56
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 6 2015

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Life domain specificity
  • Occupation
  • Refugee
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Applied Psychology
  • Health(social science)

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