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J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Jun;15(3):540-52. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9752-x.

Gender differences in acculturation, stress, and salivary cortisol response among former Soviet immigrants.

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School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Post-immigration adaptation is characterized by chronic and acute acculturative stressors. Salivary cortisol is a commonly used hormonal marker of stress, but few studies have investigated its use as an indicator of acculturative stress and adjustment in immigrants. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among predictors of adjustment (environmental and language mastery), self-reported stress outcomes (depressive symptoms, perceived stress, alienation), and salivary cortisol response in immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The sample included 137 married men and women aged 42-80 who lived in the U.S. for 1-13 years. Results indicated that while men and women had similar values for cortisol response, relationships among adjustment measures, stress outcomes, and cortisol differed by gender. Among men, environmental mastery significantly reduced depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and cortisol response. Among women, environmental mastery also reduced depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and alienation, but language mastery increased cortisol response and decreased alienation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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