Acculturation Gaps among Afghan Refugee Families in Canada: Implications for Family Relationships, Adaptation Outcomes and Subjective Wellbeing of Emerging Adults

Soltan, Hajar
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University of Guelph

The present study applied and extended the acculturation gap-distress model to a sample of Afghan emerging adults and their parents living in Canada. Using two different methods to operationalize the “gap”, the impact of acculturation gaps on family relationships, adaptation outcomes and subjective wellbeing of Afghan emerging adults were examined. Acculturation was evaluated with regard to both Canadian and Afghan cultures, and independently for the language, identity, and behavioural domains of acculturation. Three themes emerged in the results : a) emerging adults’ proficiency in Farsi language and higher identification with Afghan culture are important factors behind their family relationships, adaptation outcomes and subjective wellbeing b) parents’ identification with the Canadian culture is an important factor behind emerging adults’ psychological adaptation and subjective wellbeing c) The parent-emerging adult gap in Canadian identity acculturation was the only type of gap associated with emerging adults’ lower reports of family cohesion.

Acculturation Gap, Afghan Migrants, Emerging Adults