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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2014 Mar;60(2):175-7. doi: 10.1177/0020764013477018. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Explaining the 'immigration advantage' and the 'biculturalism paradox': an application of the theory of demoralization.

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1
Yale University School of Medicine, Cheshire, CT, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent immigrants have better mental health than the natives ('immigration advantage'). Biculturals have better mental health than the monoculturals ('biculturalism paradox').

MATERIAL:

Mexican immigrants have lower rates of psychopathology than the U.S. population. This is less true for Cubans and not true for Puerto Ricans. The 'advantage' also occurs in other groups. Biculturals have better mental health and endorse both cultures.

DISCUSSION:

The theory of demoralization predicts that borrowing values from both cultures and applying them judiciously are more conducive to mental health than indiscriminately subscribing to either culture.

CONCLUSION:

The findings are consistent with the theory of demoralization.

KEYWORDS:

Immigration advantage; acculturative stress; biculturalism paradox; cultural minorities; demoralization; mental health

PMID:
23463802
DOI:
10.1177/0020764013477018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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