پریشانی مهاجرت، سلامت روان و مقابله در میان مهاجران جوان: مطالعه پیگیری یک ساله
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|34059||2008||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10748 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 32, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 371–384
The current study explores the relationship between psychological difficulty following immigration, and well-being and coping with age-related tasks among emerging adults. In-depth interviews were conducted with 68 young immigrants (19–25 years) from the Former Soviet Union in Israel, focusing on the immigration experience and its related distress. One year later, levels of functioning were assessed (levels of psychological symptoms, reaction to and coping with stressful life events and achievement of developmentally appropriate tasks). Results showed that emotional distress from the immigration experience affected later functioning. However the impact was not uniform. Among emerging adults with initially lower psychological health, experienced immigration distress significantly impacted in a negative way on coping and on the level of independent decision making. Emerging adults with an initially overall healthy psychological organization, while also experiencing immigration distress, were less likely to be negatively affected by it. Results also suggest that a premature tendency to try to cope with cultural ambivalence during the first years following immigration had a negative impact on individuals’ coping and functioning.
This study aims to examine individual differences among emerging adults in the immigration experience, during the first few years following their move to the new country. It focuses on the relationship between the internal experience, as measured by feelings of subjectively experienced distress and the efforts to integrate a bi-cultural identity, and external functioning, as measured through mental health, coping with stressful life events and the achievement of developmentally appropriate tasks (independent decision making, consolidation of their outlook on the world and practical independence, Arnett, 2000; Shulman & Ben-Artzi, 2003). A short longitudinal framework was employed in order to assess the role immigration-related internal experiences impact on subsequent functioning. 1.1. Immigration as a potentially positive or negative experience The process of transition involved in immigration has been described as a potentially positive experience, representing the opportunity for personal growth and self-development (Adler, 1975 and Aronowitz, 1984). For example, recent research (Berry, Phinney, Sam, & Vedder, 2006) on immigrant adolescents in 13 countries, found that immigrant youth were just as well adapted as their national peers and, on the whole, even reported slightly fewer psychological problems, better school adjustment and fewer behavioral problems as compared with non-immigrant adolescents. However, at the same time immigration is also a potentially risk-laden, negative experience which can endanger one's identity. This latter phenomenon has been described as ‘culture shock’ (Garza-Guerrero, 1974 and Ticho, 1971) or a ‘crisis’ (Grinberg & Grinberg, 1989) that occurs as a result of sudden loss of the ‘average expectable environment’ (Hartmann, 1950) and the move to a strange and unpredictable one. Of note, when very major difficulties are experienced, the immigrant is at risk of developing more severe problems, or “psychopathology” (Berry, 1997). 1.2. Immigration and stress Stress following immigration is expressed in the difficulties that the individual faces in the new country, such as economic hardship, language and cultural gaps, discrimination, and a loss of social, familial and support networks. Quite consistently, adverse impacts of immigration have been found across a variety of domains such as mental health and psychological well-being (e.g. Fenta, Hyman, & Noh, 2004; Ryan, Leavey, Golden, Blizard, & King, 2006), developmental processes (Berry et al., 2006; Walsh, Shulman, Feldman, & Maurer, 2005), educational achievement (Fuligni, Witkow, & Garcia, 2005; Rumbaut, 2000), and family and social relationships (Fuligni, Yip, & Tseng, 2002; Kwak, 2003; Phinney, Ong, & Madden, 2000; Portes, 1997) among many others. Based on Oberg's (1960) term of ‘culture shock’, Furnham (1990) describes six common aspects that characterize immigration-related stress: (1) strain due to the effort required to make necessary psychological adaptations; (2) a sense of loss and feelings of deprivation in regard to friends, status, profession and possessions; (3) being rejected by and rejecting members of the new culture; (4) confusion in role, role expectations, values, feelings and self-identity; (5) surprise, anxiety, disgust and indignation after becoming aware of cultural differences; and 6) feelings of impotence due to not being able to cope with the new environment. However, stress is not only the result of experiencing loss of the old culture and rejection by the new one. Realization of the cultural gaps between the old and the new culture and anticipation of the extent of required change can also become a source of stress (Berry, Trimble, & Olmedo, 1986; Phinney, 1990). Berry, 1997 and Berry, 1998 in looking at this “acculturation” process identifies a continuum of psychological acculturation involving differing levels of difficulty for the individual. At one end are psychological changes which can be considered to be relatively non-conflictual and easy to accomplish. Referred to as “behavioral shifts” or “culture learning”, psychological adaptations to acculturation are a matter of learning a new behavioral repertoire appropriate for the new cultural context. When more conflict occurs, “culture shock” or “acculturative stress” can be considered to take place. While this may be stressful for the individual, the efforts the immigrant makes to cope with acculturative stress also have the potential for growth and future adaptation. 1.3. Immigration, stress and internal processes The process of transition involved in immigration is not only limited to the experience of actual difficulties such as economic hardships or the loss of social ties, and “cultural shifts” (Berry, 1997). Immigration-related stress can be also conceptualized through its impact on the inner world of the immigrant. Research and theory has examined the adverse impact on sense of self (Grinberg & Grinberg, 1989), levels of subjectively experienced immigration distress, vicissitudes in identity (Garza-Guerrero, 1974; Schwartz, Montgomery, & Briones, 2006), and damage to feelings of self-continuity and consistency, and immigration-related ambivalence (Akhtar, 1999) as the immigrant tries to construct a new identity based on a sense of connection to the heritage and new cultures. According to Akhtar (1999) stressful experiences lead to alternating between idealizations and devaluations of the former and new country until the representations can be brought together to form integrated representations of heritage and receiving lands. This ambivalence has also been explored through research and theorizing on acculturative strategies (Berry, 1997 and Berry, 1998) which examines the attempt of the immigrant to make sense of his or her connection to two cultural milieu, that of the heritage country and that of the receiving country. Research has showed that the ability to form a multi-faceted identity which incorporates a connection to both identities (“integration”—Berry, 1997) is linked to higher levels of both mental and physical health (Berry & Kim, 1988; Phinney & Devich-Navarro, 1997; Virta, Sam, & Westin, 2004). Interestingly, recent research (Vedder, van de Vijver, & Liebkind, 2006) has stressed the importance of ethnic orientation, over and above integration, as being important in both psychological and socio-cultural adaptation. In fact, an overly large cultural gap between the heritage and receiving cultures may lead to considerable distress on the part of the individual who attempts to combine both in their identity and risks potential rejection from both cultures (Akhtar, 1999; Rudmin, 2003; Schwartz et al., 2006). Research has also examined the impact of immigration on one's sense of self. Ben-David (1996), looking at the impact of immigration among Russian immigrants in Israel, found that immigrants showed fewer feelings of confidence in the predictability and explicability of the environment, together with fewer feelings of confidence in one's inner resources. Walsh and Horenczyk (2001) examining English speaking immigrants in Israel, describe the loss of feelings of competence and a sense of belonging. Eleftheriadou (1997) in a study of a young Arab female living in England illustrates the feelings of loss and inner confusion experienced after moving from a familiar cultural framework and the careful exploration needed before a person can feel able to relate to the new context and to him/herself again. McIntyre and Augusto (1999) in their analysis of the ‘Martyr adaptation syndrome’, amongst Portuguese speaking immigrant women, discuss a two-phase process whereby an initial ‘super-coping’ phase is replaced by a ‘collapse’ phase. A pervasive loss of sense of self leads to an inability to negotiate an identity in the new culture. Taken together, stress related to actual experienced hardships is paralleled by internal experiences of loss, distress and efforts to accommodate to the new culture. As suggested above, while inner experiences of loss and distress may be negative, efforts for cultural adaptation, albeit stressful, carry with them the potential for adaptation over time (Akhtar, 1999 and Berry, 1997). While much theoretical literature has been written on the impact of the immigration process on internal processes (e.g. Akhtar, 1999 and Garza-Guerrero, 1974; Grinberg & Grinberg, 1989), this literature has been little tested empirically. In addition, the impact of conceptualized internal immigration-related processes on adaptation and functioning has not been examined. This study is an attempt to take theoretical concepts (such as immigration stress and efforts to integrate cultural ambivalence) and operationalize them through research. It is also a first attempt to connect inner experience of the immigrant with external functioning, to explore not only whether the theoretical terms are of relevance but also the extent to which inner feelings impact on external coping and functioning. In contrast with previous empirical literature on the impact of immigration on the self it also uses a short longitudinal framework. Fuligni (2001) reflects that most of the research on immigration, to date, has been cross-sectional and suggests that it is only through longitudinal research that we can move to a better investigation and understanding of the changes and the process of the individual immigrant over time. 1.4. Immigration and emerging adulthood This work is looking at the immigration experience of emerging adults. Emerging adulthood is a unique age whose conceptualization has begun in the past few years (Arnett, 2000). It is a period of experimentation and exploration in love, work and the young person's worldview (Arnett, 2000; Arnett, Ramos, & Jenson, 2001). The young person is both preparing for adulthood and also experimenting with different possibilities. In preparation for adulthood, the young person is involved in a process of consolidation of a sense of self or identity in the various areas of his or her life. Love relationships are experimented with and gradually become more serious. Work experiences become more focused on preparation for adult work roles over time. Emerging adulthood is a time of both challenges and instability. As such, emerging adult immigrants are simultaneously challenged by the instability caused by immigration, together with the instability inherent in the developmental process. Immigration, for emerging adults, can be an arena for exploration of new life styles. It might be reasonable to assume that age-related exploration would facilitate young people's ability to adapt and make the required “behavioral shifts” (Berry, 1997) and internal maneuvers needed for successful acculturation. It would seem possible that for emerging adults who are already going through a process of re-negotiation or consolidation of their sense of self, the reorganization of self due to the immigration could blend together with the developmental process. As stated above, previous research on immigration has highlighted both the potential for growth and development as well as the potential for damage to a sense of self due to the immigration experience. The impact of experienced damage may thus affect not only general adaptation but also the attainment of age-related tasks. Moreover, emerging adulthood is also characterized by instability when young people oscillate between different roles, residence, and periods of employment–unemployment (ERGIS, 2001). Distress experienced by immigrants, may enhance the sense of instability. On the other hand, emerging adulthood is also a stage of identity exploration (Arnett, 2000). Navigating successfully between different expressions of oneself has the potential to lead to more favorable outcomes. In this vein, efforts to integrate components of the old and the new culture may become a means for better identity achievement. To summarize, internal immigration-related experiences are of relevance for the understanding of coping and adaptation among emerging adult immigrants. Elevated experienced distress may lead to increased difficulties in coping and adaptation. In contrast, efforts to integrate old and new cultures experiences, while being stressful on the short run, exemplify movement toward integration and as such can contribute to better coping and adaptation of the emerging adult immigrant in the long run.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study suggests that the internal experience and process (as shown through levels of distress and attempts to integrate a cultural identity) that emerging adults are going through following immigration impacts on their ability to cope with life events and to achieve some developmental age appropriate tasks, mainly in the case of those with early poorer mental health. The results point both to the resilience of many emerging adult immigrants for whom psychological health buffers the immigration experience and allows them to continue to function and develop despite the difficulties and also to the vulnerability of those with early lower mental health status. The results have implications on both a clinical and social level and emphasize the importance of longitudinal research which includes the examination of internal processes in addition to external functioning.