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Acculturative stress among Iranians in Perth Western Australia

Fialho, Malcolm (1992) Acculturative stress among Iranians in Perth Western Australia. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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The present study investigated the experience of acculturative stress through the adoption of a holistic experiential approach. It was premised on the notion that refugees are a distinct cultural group owing to the involuntary nature of their decision to settle in Australia, the status conferred on them in accordance with United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) conventions and Australian Governmental initiatives.

The major aim of the study was to further understanding of the relationship between the process of migration and resettlement on an individual's mental health through an examination of the cultural, social and individual variables involved. The conceptual foundation of this study involved the integration of a central theory (Berry & Kim's theory of acculturative stress) with three ancillary ones (Kunz's theory on refugee adaptation. Kessler & Neighbors coping model and Tajfel & Turner's theory of social identity). The present study responded to Berry and Kim's (1987) call for further comparative studies which examine acculturative phenomena across a variety of cross-cultural dimensions. The elaborated version of Berry and Kim's model was utilised to account for and explain the differences and similarities in the psychological adjustment process between Iranian migrants (Muslim) and refugees (Baha'i) in Western Australia. A cross-sectional research design utilising the survey technique was adopted. The theoretical constructs were assessed using a battery of tests for which reliability and validity data have been presented.

Results indicated that there were no significant differences between the refugee and migrant sample on the experience of acculturative stress. There were, however, differences between the set of predictors of acculturative stress for the refugee. migrant and the total sample. Cultural, emotional and material factors together with self-esteem were the most important predictors of acculturative stress. Social support and mode of acculturation were positively correlated with acculturative stress but failed to make a significant contribution to the explained variance in stress scores. Policy implications for migrant services delivery for refugee populations per se and other small ethnic minorities have also been discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Walker, Iain
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