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Acculturation and psychological distress among adolescent immigrants from the former Soviet Union: exploring the mediating effect of family relationships.

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Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.


The present study investigated the potential mediating effect of adolescents' perceptions of family relationships using a structural equation modeling approach. The sample consisted of 226 immigrant adolescents from the former Soviet Union resettled in a suburban county in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. who were selected at random from the local public schools. The study included independent assessment of acculturation to the host (American) and native (Russian) culture. Results confirm the mediational role of family relationships on the impact of Russian acculturation on reduced distress. In addition, family relationships partially mediated the link between American acculturation and reduced psychological distress for these youth. The findings suggest that for this immigrant population native acculturation was related to less distress only when linked to positive familial relationships, whereas American acculturation was related to less distress directly, as well as through its positive impact on familial relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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