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Acculturative Stress And Specific Coping Strategies Among Immigrant And Later Generation College Students

Francisco J. Mena, Amado M. Padilla, Margarita Maldonado

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Acculturative stress and specific coping strategies were assessed in a group of 214 multicultural college undergraduates of both sexes who were divided into four generational status groups: early immigrants (immigrated before 12 years of age) and late immigrants (immigrated after age 12), second-generation and third-generation. Also explored was the relationship of acculturative stress to self-esteem, locus of control and loyalty to American culture. The self-administered questionnaire contained the short version of the Padilla SAFE Acculturative Stress Measure, a loyalty toward American culture scale, Rotter's Internal/External Locus of Control scale, and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. Findings revealed that late immigrant students experienced greater acculturative stress than the other groups. Also, late immigrants coped with stress more frequently by taking a direct, planned action (individualistic) approach, while secondand third-generation groups more often coped by talking to others about the problem (social network). Early immigrants employed both coping strategies.