Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mediating Effect of Acculturation Strategy on the Relationship between Acculturation Stress Factors and Global Psychological Distress: A Path Model
by Ha, Jennifer T., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2021, 148; 28152492
Abstract (Summary)

U.S. ex patriates are vulnerable to psychological distress due to challenges of living outside the U.S. that may contribute to decreased overall psychological and functional well-being with potentially long-term harmful consequences (Truman, Sharar & Pompe, 2011). However, there is scant evidence in the literature describing the acculturation process of this important population. Informed by Berry’s (1997) acculturation model, evidence in the literature then suggests a potential path model in which acculturation strategy (assimilation, separation, integration, and marginalization) mediates the relationship between the acculturative stress factors of perceived discrimination, linguistic challenges, and perceived social support and global psychological distress (Aichberger et al., 2015; Cokley et al., 2017; El Khoury, 2019; Luciano, Straussner, Jones, & Tosone, 2012). The researcher used a concurrent nested mixed-methods design to address the several gaps identified in the relevant literature related to the difficulties experienced by U.S. ex patriates. Measures were Everyday Discrimination Scale (EDS; William, Yu, Jackson & Anderson, 1997), host-country language ability items from Selmer (2006); The Index of Sojourner Social Su p port (ISSS; Ong & Ward, 2005), the Acculturation Index (AI; Ward & Rana-Deuba, 1999) and the De pression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale Version 21 (DASS-21; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995). Measures were completed by 169 participants. Quantitative analysis was done through SPSS and MPlus to address the research question: What is the indirect effect of acculturation strategy on the direct effect of perceived discrimination, linguistic challenge, and perceived social support on global psychological distress? Results for each of the hypotheses were: (1) (assimilation) the direct effects of LC (std. est = .45, p = .00) on PD was statistically significant; (2) (separation), the direct effects of D (std. est = .43, p = .00) and SS (std. est = −.35, p = .02) on PD were statistically significant; (3) (integration), the direct effects of D (std. est =.09, p = .00) and LC (std. est = .08, p = .00) on PD were statistically significant; and (marginalization), the direct effects of D (std. est =.26, p = .01) and LC (std. est = .2, p = .00) on PD were statistically significant. No significant results were found for indirect effects demonstrating only partial support for each hypothesis. This was followed by open-ended qualitative questions related to experiences of discrimination based on race, discrimination based on gender, privilege, linguistic challenges, and social support to support and add detail to the quantitative results. Findings indicated the following themes: discrimination based on race: verbal abuse, stereotypes, unfair treatment due to skin color, suspicion/fear, and racism against Black individuals; discrimination based on gender: workplace discrimination, pay disparity, harassment, and assumption of a lack of competency; privilege: were preferential social treatment and increased economic status; linguistic challenge: understanding slang and understanding different dialects/accents; and social support: loneliness from lack of friends and family and lack of social life. Results demonstrated a lack of conclusive evidence of the universality of Berry’s model. Implications for the counseling profession and health care policy are explored. Limitations and future direction of research are also explored.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marotta-Walters, Sylvia
Commitee: Garcia, Jorge, Attia, Mina, Sanness, Kelli, Chan, Christian
School: The George Washington University
Department: Counseling
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Acculturation, Privilege, Expatriate, Global psychological distress, Multicultural counseling
Publication Number: 28152492
ISBN: 9798691284816
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