Editors' introduction Adjustment to the new society and new culture following migration takes a degree of time and effort. Different individuals respond in different ways and the process of acculturation may take many forms. Some of these acculturative processes may well start in the pre-migration phase and may carry on for a long period after migration. Migrants may influence the majority culture, but by and large it is the majority culture which affects the minority one. Individuals from the minority culture and the minority culture itself will change in response to the exposure to the majority culture. In this chapter, Ruiz et al. describe the acculturative stress related to migration. The stress occurs as a result of cultural and psychological changes and can lead to mental health problems. The contact between the majority and the minority cultures, and migrants and the majority culture will often lead to some stress – levels of which will vary according to a number of factors. Degrees of pluralism and tolerance in the new society and age, gender, marital status and educational and economic status are individual factors which may influence acculturative stress. Such stress will also increase substance misuse in vulnerable individuals. Ruiz et al. recommend that the conceptualisation of stress be integrally related to psychological phenomena. Clinicians who treat migrants must be aware of the impact that acculturative stress can have on migrants and on the new culture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas