Acculturative Stress among Amerasian Refugees: Gender and Racial Differences

By Nwadoria, Emeka; McAdoo, Harriette | Adolescence, Summer 1996 | Go to article overview

Acculturative Stress among Amerasian Refugees: Gender and Racial Differences


Nwadoria, Emeka, McAdoo, Harriette, Adolescence


Definition of Terms

Acculturative Stress: Stress due to the acculturation process between two cultures. Psychocultural stress due to cultural differences found between a host culture and an incoming culture marked by reduction in the physical and mental health status of individuals or groups undergoing acculturation.

Acculturation: Cultural change which results from the continued firsthand contact between two distinct cultures. It is marked by physical and psychological changes due to the adaptation required in diet, climate, housing, interactional styles, norms, and values to a new culture.

Amerasians: Individuals or groups of persons born of American servicemen and Vietnamese or Cambodian women during the Vietnam War.

Amerasian Homecoming Act: A law passed by Congress in 1987 permitting all Amerasians and their immediate families, including wives, half-siblings, and mothers, whether married or single, to immigrate to the United States as refugees but with full citizenship rights and obligations.

Refugee: A person fleeing or leaving his or her country of birth, seeking haven in another country.

Variables

Dependent Variable: Acculturative Stress

Independent Variables: Gender, race, employment, spoken English, and length of stay in the United States.

This study of Amerasian refugees was designed to assess the psychocultural well-being of this subgroup of refugees by investigating the extent to which they experience acculturative stress as they attempt to adjust to a new culture. Specific focus was placed on the effect of employment, effective spoken English, length of stay in America, gender and race, and their impact on the level of acculturative stress.

Theories of Acculturative Stress

Berry (1987) points to acculturative stress as the phenomenon individuals or groups experience in their adjustment to a new culture. It is manifested as a reduction in the psychological, somatic, and social balance of individuals or groups. The variation in and intensity of this stress rests heavily on the similarities or dissimilarities between the host culture and that of the new entrants, including personal characteristics, amount of exposure, level of education and skills, sex, age, language, race, and psychological and spiritual strengths, as well as the host culture's political and social attitudes, especially toward the newcomers. The more radical and different the host culture is in comparison to the newcomers native cultures, the more acculturative stress will be experienced (Cox, 1987).

Amerasians in Vietnam

Acculturative stress among Amerasians has to be considered on the basis of the negative experiences they faced in their country of birth and their current psychosocial adjustment to challenges in their new country. Another source of stress is their mixed racial background ranging across African, European, Asian, and Latino. In the Vietnamese culture an individual's sense of seif and identity is formed through the generational patriarchy (Hitchcock, 1988). Abandoned by their American fathers and considered the children of prostitutes, Amerasian children of United States servicemen and Vietnamese women were known as "doi-doi," meaning, "the children of the dust." Perceived as half-breeds and social outcasts in Vietnam, they constituted a permanent reminder of the enemy of Vietnam who killed millions of Vietnamese people (United States Catholic Charities; USCC, 1985).

After the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam in 1975, fear and anxiety were the norm for the children and their families. Economic hardship and deprivation, terror and outright ostracism, malnutrition, and other forms of physical, social, and psychological abuse became their lifestyle. A study conducted by the USCC in 1985 noted that the property of a significant number of Amerasian families was confiscated. An overwhelming number were moved to areas where conditions were extremely difficult. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Acculturative Stress among Amerasian Refugees: Gender and Racial Differences
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.