Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Examination of the Relationship between Acculturation Level and PTSD among Central American Immigrants in the United States
by Sankey, Sarita Marie, Ph.D., Ohio University, 2010, 165; 10834921
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between acculturation level and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence in Central American immigrants in the United States. Central American immigrants represent a population that is a part of the Latino/Hispanic Diaspora in the United States. By the year 2050 the United States population will experience a great change in the ethnic/racial demographics and most will be former minorities comprising over 45% racial minorities (U.S. Census, 2005). Thus, it becomes more important for counselor educators and other helping professionals to understand how to adequately assess the “Latino” and be culturally sensitive — especially since Central American immigrants come from diverse backgrounds, and although they may be labeled “Hispanic”, there is diversity within groups of ethnic minorities.

This dissertation examined the research hypotheses: There is a relationship between acculturation level and PTSD among Central American immigrants in the United States. In addition, there are predictive relationships among the demographic variables. The null hypotheses presented are: There is no relationship between acculturation level and PTSD among Central American immigrants in the United States and additionally, there are no predictive relationships among the demographic variables. A Pearson correlation design was done to assess statistical significance (both positive and negative), and to examine if there was a relationship between acculturation level and PTSD. The alpha level was set at a significance level of .05. A standard Multiple Regression design was utilized to assess predictive relationships among the demographic variables with PTSD severity: migration reason, age, gender, migration year, and marital status. The sample of participants was n = 63 out of 100 participants who volunteered to participate in the study.

The results show that there was a relationship between acculturation level and PTSD among Central American immigrants. Several instruments were utilized for this dissertation research to assess both acculturation level and prevalence or lack of PTSD severity. The AMAS-ZABB (Abbreviated Multidimensional Acculturation Scale) and the PCL-C (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Civilians) were utilized in this study.

The results showed a positive correlation between acculturation level (U.S. identity, r = .289), Latino identity (r = .281), and PTSD. At an alpha level of α .01, age was positively correlated (r = .684) and acculturation level (English language) was negatively correlated with PTSD (r = -.465). Multiple R for regression was statistically significant when examining the demographic variables of age, acculturation level (English Language) and migration reason. The results were also statistically significant in predicting PTSD severity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Robinson, Mona
Commitee: Brooks, Gordon, Delgado-Costa, Jose, Pillay, Yegan
School: Ohio University
Department: Counselor Education
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Latin American history, Mental health, Education, School counseling, Psychology, Ethnic studies, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Acculturation, Acculturation level, Central americans, Latinos, Mental health, Ptsd
Publication Number: 10834921
ISBN: 9780355947014
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