Acculturative Stress Among Immigrants

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According the 2010 census, nearly thirteen percent of the population in the United States was comprised of foreign born immigrants (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Acculturative stress is the psychological impact that individuals experience when attempting to adapt to a new culture. The most prevalent acculturative stressors include economic challenges, language disadvantages, relational conflict brought upon by cultural changes, and the loss of social status. “An undisputed fact related to migration is the extreme levels of stress experienced by the majority of individuals and families before, during, and after their relocation” (Yakushko, 2010, p. 256). Although acculturative stress is often relation to immigration from a foreign country to the United States, it can also occur with local migration as well as situations surrounding attempted assimilation. The reasons behind an individual’s stress can also impact how a counselor approaches the treatment…show more content…
Perhaps the most meaningful conclusions were the emphasis of language barriers on non-English speaking Americans. A 2011 study of Haitian Americans examined the correlation between immigration age and acculturative stress. The results showed that those who relocated to the United States before the age of twelve had significantly lower levels of stress than those who immigrated after twelve years of age. Findings also revealed that the most influential factor of stress among all ages was English fluency (Belizaire & Fuertes, 2011). A later study on elementary school language immersion programs confirmed that children under the age of twelve are extremely successful at learning a second language in a short period of time (Nicolay & Poncelet, 2013).When counseling adults with language limitations, bilingual difficulties may lead to frustration that can be directed towards the counselor and must be dealt with

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