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Psychological and Socio-Cultural Adaptation of Immigrant and National Adolescents in Australia: A Test of the Acculturative Stress Hypothesis
American Journal of Applied Psychology
Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages: 1-6
Received: Dec. 24, 2012; Published: Jan. 10, 2013
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Author
Hisham Motkal Abu-Rayya, School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Abstract
Purpose: The first aim of this study was to test the acculturative stress hypothesis within the Australian context predicting that immigrant adolescents are more prone to psychological and socio-cultural adaptation problems than their national Australian peers. The second aim of the study was to profile the socio-demographic factors underlying adaptation problems. Methods: The study utilised stratified surveys conducted by the New South Wales Ministry of Health during the years 2005-2008. The surveys collected information on socio-demographics, and psychological problems (i.e. emotional problems) and socio-cultural problems (i.e. hyperactivity-inattention, peer problems, and conduct problems). Adolescents aged 11-15 years (n = 5,779 for the total sample; n = 638, n = 5054, for immigrants and nationals, respectively) were included. Logistic regression analyses, taking observations’ weights into account, were used for the adaptation problems outcomes. Results: The two groups differed in socio-cultural adaptation problems only (specifically in hyperactivity-inattention), with nationals having greater odds for this than immigrants even after adjusting for socio-demographics (adjusted OR = 2.23; 95% CI = 1.23—4.06). While immigrant adolescents’ sex was associated with hyperactivity-inattention problems only, sex was associated with emotional problems, hyperactivity-inattention problems, and conduct problems among national adolescents. In addition, mothers’ education was associated with conduct problems and household income was associated with peer problems among national adolescents only. Conclusions: Contrary to the acculturative stress hypothesis, this study shows that immigrant adolescents do not seem maladaptive. In addition, certain socio-demographic factors play a differential role in the emergence of adaptation problems among immigrant and national adolescents.
Keywords
Immigrant Adolescents, Acculturative Stress, Psychological Adaptation, Socio-Cultural Adaptation
To cite this article
Hisham Motkal Abu-Rayya, Psychological and Socio-Cultural Adaptation of Immigrant and National Adolescents in Australia: A Test of the Acculturative Stress Hypothesis, American Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2013, pp. 1-6. doi: 10.11648/j.ajap.20130201.11
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