Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Department

Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

T. Scott Perkins

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Richard Beck

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Cherisse Y. Flanagan

Abstract

Refugees are entering the United States in increasing numbers. Identifying factors that promote successful acculturation is an important task for those working to help refugees. As religiosity and social support have previously been linked to better mental health outcomes in refugees, they should be considered when examining acculturation. Using the Duke University Religious Index, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and the Acculturation Attitudes Scale, this study examined the relations between religiosity, perceived social support, and acculturation strategies. Additional variables examined were number of migrations, language of religious services currently attended, and religious services demographics. Hypotheses were that scores on religiosity and social support measures would correlate positively with the strategy of integration and negatively with the strategy of marginalization. An increased number of migrations was hypothesized to be associated with increased utilization of the strategies of marginalization and separation and decreased utilization of the strategies of assimilation and integration. Attending religious services in one’s original language and at a place of worship that is predominantly made up of people from one’s home country was hypothesized to be associated with higher scores on the separation subscale, while attending religious services in a second language and at a place of worship that is predominantly made up of people from the host community was hypothesized to be associated with higher scores on the assimilation and integration subscales. Analyses provided supported the hypothesis that a significant negative correlation would be seen between religiosity and marginalization. The second hypothesis was not evident in the current data set; instead, increased social support was found to be significantly positively correlated with separation. Number of migrations was found to have significant associations with separation and integration. The fourth hypothesis related to language of services and religious services demographics was not found to be supported. Exploratory analyses were completed to examine regional differences for the first three hypotheses. Limitations of the current project, directions for future research, and implications for practice and community programming are discussed.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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