Author

Joo-Hyun Lee

Date Approved

4-28-2013

Date Posted

9-19-2013

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Tamara Loverich, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Heather C. Janisse

Committee Member

Thomas A. Schmitt

Abstract

Cultural context is fundamental in cross-cultural conceptualizations of risk factors for mental health status among ethnic minorities. Existing studies indicate that acculturation level predicts psychological adjustment, but findings remain inconclusive. This study, consisting of university students of Asian descent, evaluated the relationship between acculturation level and internalizing/externalizing problems via the incorporation of more proximal measures of risk factors associated with acculturation (e.g., acculturative dissonance and acculturative stress). In addition, the predictive values of non-culture specific risk factors, such as emotion dysregulation and experiential avoidance, were examined. Acculturation-related stressors and difficulties with emotion regulation increased risk for maladjustment within the study’s sample. Furthermore,experiential avoidance and emotion dysregulation mediated and moderated the relationship between acculturative stress and psychological distress, respectively. The findings suggest that acculturation influences psychological adjustment through a number of factors, including acculturation-related stressors as well as emotion regulation difficulties.

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