Acculturation and cross-cultural adaptation : the moderating role of social support

Ting Kin NG, Wan Ching, Kitty WANG, Wai CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous studies have consistently demonstrated the beneficial impacts of the acculturation strategy of integration and the detrimental impacts of the acculturation strategy of marginalization on adaptation outcomes. This study attempts to extend the existing literature by examining the potential moderating role of social support in the relationships between acculturation strategies and cross-cultural adaptation. Specifically, it was hypothesized that social support from family, local friends, and non-local friends would enhance the positive effects of the integration strategy and buffer the negative effects of the marginalization strategy on sociocultural and psychological adaptation. Participants were 188 Mainland Chinese sojourning university students in Hong Kong. Consistent with our predictions, social support from local friends was found to significantly moderate the effects of the integration and marginalization strategies on sociocultural and psychological adaptation. Unexpectedly, it was shown that social support from non-local friends significantly weakened the positive effect of the integration strategy on psychological adaptation. In addition, further analyses on the potentially domain-specific effects of acculturation strategies and social support on psychological adaptation showed that social support from local friends and non-local friends and acculturation strategies of integration and marginalization interacted to influence only one specific domain of psychological adaptation (mutual trust and acceptance). Implications of this study and possible explanations for the discordant findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume59
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Integration
  • Marginalization
  • Psychological adaptation
  • Social support
  • Sociocultural adaptation

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