For the most part behaviorism grew not by conversion of the well-established but by acculturation of the young. There seems little doubt that Watson's popular introductory text-built as it was around a futuristic vision of the amelioration of human maladjustment through principles of behavioral prediction and control-played a key role in this acculturation process. What student in 1919, contemplating a career in psychology, could have resisted the invitation implied in Watson's closing words to join those who were learning how to make individuals "over from a reaction standpoint" so that they might take their "normal place in society."
The impact of social support and psychological distress on the acculturation adjustment of Cambodian refugees.
Strober-S-B. Catholic Univ. of America, DSW Dissertation, May 1990.
This article focuses on Vietnamese refugees and is based on a descriptive study designed to assess their adjustment patterns. More specifically, the study examines variations between subgroups (e.g., men and women, age groups, etc.) in terms of their acculturation attitudes and mental health. The data derived from this study will help social workers begin to conceptualize part of the process underlying the Vietnamese refugee experience and provide a necessary step in the development of a knowledge base to guide further research, or practice and policy development.
A study of Vietnamese refugees who had been living in the United States for four years hypothesized that (1) the adaptational patterns, attitudes, and adjustment problems of Vietnamese refugees are similar to those of earlier Asian immigrant groups, (2) the attitudes of this refugee group toward life in the United States and mental problems vary according to demographic differences, and (3) pre- and ostevacuation experiences account for varying degrees of mental health problems and differential attitudes toward acculturation among refugees. Findings indicated that the adjustment patterns of Vietnamese refugees were similar to those of previous Asian American groups in terms of cultural conflict and the acquisition of employment and a new language, thereby supporting the first hypothesis. Like immigrant parents before them, many Vietnamese parents had aspirations for the success of their children’s generation, in addition to a concern about their children’s ability to retain traditional values. Some support also emerged for the second hypothesis. Expected differences in some measures of adjustment were found. Problems related to adjustment were most prevalent among older age groups, nonmarried people, educated people, members of Eastern religious groups, religious people in general, and ethnic Vietnamese (versus Chinese). Although sex differences emerged, they were inconsistent. Finally, data failed to support the third hypothesis.
The impact of environmental social support and psychological distress on the acculturation adjustment of a Cambodian refugee population was determined from a structured interview schedule administered to a random sample of 102 refugees. The data indicated that 50 percent of the variance in acculturation adjustment was explained by the combination of education, length of time in the country, and psychological distress. In addition, there was a strong relationship between acculturation adjustment and lack of psychological distress, and a weak relationship between perceived social support and acculturation adjustment. Finally, perceived social support was not significantly related to psychological distress. These results suggest that decreased psychological distress promotes acculturation adjustment, and that traditional family and community supports cannot be counted on to alleviate emotional problems for Cambodian refugees. The development of culturally sensitive educational and mental health services is recommended, and specific characteristics of these services are identified.
Gender, values and the work place: considerations for immigrant acculturation.
Itzhaky-H; Ribner-D-S. School of Social Work, Bar-Ilan Univ., Ramat Gan 52900, Israel. . 42(2): 127-138, Apr. 1999.
A theoretical model of predictors of refugee economic adaptation was tested using data from a telephone survey of a random sample of Hmong, Somali, and Russian refugees resettled in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The study examined the relative influence of demographic characteristics, flight-related characteristics, host-related characteristics. residency characteristics, acculturation characteristics, and adaptation stresses upon refugees’ employment status and estimated earnings. Although previous studies have extensively examined demographic and residency characteristics, the relative influence of the other factors has not been comprehensively investigated. Multivariate analyses indicated that across the different refugee groups, the model explained 34-44% of the variance in employment status and 12-26% of the variance in estimated earnings. Consistent with previous findings, demographic characteristics, in particular, education, gender, and household composition, had the largest effects on the indicators of economic adaptation. The remaining factors had relatively small effects. The implications for refugee resettlement theory, policy, practice, and future research are discussed in light of these and previous findings.
A group of some 200 refugees, forced to leave a totalitarian, fundamentalist, Middle Eastern regime, took part in a transitional program in a European city before their eventual move to a Western country. Part of their activities during this 11-12-month period revolved around a community center created for this population, which offered, in part, various non-skilled occupational activities. Study findings indicated that women had significantly higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to the work place than did men. Implications for refugee acculturation were also noted.
The poll taken at random among 102 Cambodian refugees (May to August of 1989) served to determine the extent of environmental social support and refugee characteristics in the process of acculturation. Fifty percent of the variation is explained by education, the time spent in the country, and the impact of psychological decline. In addition, the data showed that there was a slight correlation between the observed social support and acculturation adjustment, and that there was a strong correlation between the latter and the lack of psychological decline. Furthermore, there was no significant correlation between the observed social support and psychological collapse. Result suggests that the observed family and community support does not promote acculturation, but rather a lower incidence of psychological decline. In addition, it suggests that traditional family and community support does not count when it comes to alleviating emotional problems. Social work, education, psychological collapse, conjugal support and, the amount of time spent in the country offer usable information in the application of social work to the task of reducing emotional problems of these people.
A theory-based model of factors influencing refugee economic status was tested using nationally representative samples of Soviet/East European (n = 4241), Southeast Asian (n = 4748), and Cuban (n = 4707) working-age refugees resettled in the United States. Census data on individuals and households were combined with data on metropolitan areas to assess the relative effects of demographic characteristics, residency characteristics, acculturation characteristics, and community characteristics upon refugees’ employment status, public assistance utilization, and household income. The data were analyzed using regression analysis with hierarchical entry of blocks. Across the three groups, the model explained 26-31% of the variance in employment status, 32-39% of the variance in public assistance utilization, and 28-35% of the variance in household income. Demographic characteristics had the largest effect on economic status. Residency characteristics, acculturation characteristics, and community characteristics all had small and relatively equal effects. The most important individual determinants of economic status were education, gender, disability, and household composition. Implications for refugee resettlement theory, policy, and practice are discussed.