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Stress & Coping Framework


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(based on Ward)

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Stress & Coping Framework

  1. 1. Stress, Coping and Adjustment•Affective components of intercultural contact•Psychosocial rather than medical models•In contrast to psychopathology, current approaches discuss intercultural contact and change in terms of dealing with stress
  2. 2. The Stress & Coping FrameworkHighlights life changes duringcross-cultural transition, theappraisal of these changes, andthe selection and implementationof coping strategies to deal withthem
  3. 3. Core Assumptions• Experience of intercultural contact and change occurs in an economic & sociopolitical context and is influenced by both societies (origin & settlement)• Changes are seen as precipitating stress that result in affective, behavioral and cognitive coping responses
  4. 4. Berry’s Framework (pg. 72, Ward)•Acculturative experience is major life event characterized by stress that demands cognitive appraisal of the situation and requires coping strategies•Processes and psychological outcomes are influenced by both societal and individual level variables
  5. 5. Societal Level Variables•Social, political and demographic factors•Berry also distinguishes between variables prior to and during acculturation.
  6. 6. Factors affecting Stress, Coping and Adjustment•Life changes: series of stress provoking life changes that tax adjustive resources and necessitate coping strategies•Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS): a functional index of life changes•Cultural Readjustment Rating Scale
  7. 7. Appraisal and Coping Styles•potential stressors may be seen as challenging or threatening.•Appraisals influenced by individual, cultural, situational and social factors•Appraisals and coping strategies vary due to differences in expectations
  8. 8. Expectations•Overmet: situations in which experiences are more positive than expected•Undermet: situations in which experiences are more negative than expected•Coping styles are related to coping satisfaction
  9. 9. Psychological Adjustment Over Time•U-curve•Stress & Coping literature: in contrast to ‘entry euphoria,’ sojourners and immigrants suffer the most severe adjustment problems at the initial stages of transition when the number of life changes is highest and coping resources lowest
  10. 10. Personality• Authoritarianism, rigidity and ethnocentrism• Extraversion and sensitivity or ‘universal communicator’• Extensive theorizing but few documented investigations of how personality affects adjustment• ‘cultural fit’ hypothesis
  11. 11. Social Support•Predicts both psychological adjustment and physical health•Family, Friends, Acquaintances•Marital satisfaction-dissatisfaction and adaptive-maladaptive coping may be associated in many ways
  12. 12. Friends & Acquaintances•Co-national vs. host national support•‘Comparable Others’ are those undergoing similar experiences who may offer knowledge or information about coping•‘Sinking Ship Morale’
  13. 13. Relationships with host nationals• Having host nationals as friends is associated with a decrease in psychological problems in immigrants• Comfort and satisfaction with local contact is associated with greater general life satisfaction in foreign students• Prerequisite for sojourner adjustment and learning cultural-specific skills
  14. 14. Social Support Scale for Sojourners•Highlights the availability of social support and asks respondents to indicate if there are persons who would offer a variety of supportive behaviors-see page 89, Ward
  15. 15. Knowledge & Skills•Provide the foundation for effective intercultural interaction•Facilitate psychological adaptation to new sociocultural environments (prior experience, training and educational programs)
  16. 16. Knowledge & Skills•Adequate communication may be the key component to intercultural effectiveness•Inverse relationship also observed•Social skills very significant for adjustment
  17. 17. Modes of Acculturation•Acculturation is related to both more and less stress and depression.•Research supports ‘integration’ over ‘assimilation’
  18. 18. Acculturation of groups•Berry compared level of acculturative stress in groups within a multicultural society; native peoples and refugees experienced highest levels of acculturative stress; immigrants and ethnic groups, the lowest level; sojourners intermediate.
  19. 19. Demographic factors•Stress and coping research is mixed and ambiguous on gender differences, age and adaptation across generations. (page 94, Ward)
  20. 20. Cultural Distance•Link between cultural distance and psychological disturbance•Greater cultural distance is associated with increased intensity of life changes during transition and more acculturative stress
  21. 21. Prejudice and Discrimination• A number of researchers speculate that attitudes held by members of the dominate culture strongly influence patterns of immigrant, sojourner and refugee adaptation.• Racism is the most serious risk factor for immigrants• ‘Perceived discrimination’ also a factor