School of Psychology, HSE University, Moscow, Russia
Background. Perceived discrimination is an acculturative stressor that negatively predicts psychological and socio-cultural adaptation, partially mediated by the individual’s acculturation attitudes. However, despite being under similar conditions of high perceived discrimination, some African immigrants in Russia appear to adapt more successfully than others. Why the individual differences? Neuroticism is a trait that intensifies the experience of negative emotions and sensitivity to stress. Perhaps it amplifies the reaction to acculturative stressors (e.g., perceived discrimination) in terms of acculturation attitudes, with significant implications on adaptation.
Objective. This study sought to determine whether the personality trait of neuroticism influences how African immigrants in Russia react to perceived discrimination in terms of their acculturation attitudes and how this may relate to adaptation.
Design. A moderated mediation analysis was carried out, investigating neuroticism as a moderator in the relationship between perceived discrimination, acculturation attitudes, and adaptation of African immigrants in Russia (N=157).
Results. Perceived discrimination was found to be strongly associated with poor psychological and sociocultural adaptation, which was partially mediated by the integration attitude; neuroticism strengthened this indirect negative association.
Conclusion. When highly neurotic African immigrants perceived elevated levels of discrimination, they were more averse to adopting a positive attitude toward integration, and as a result, were more maladapted. This result suggests that the differences in the levels of adaptation among African immigrants in Russia under similar conditions of high perceived discrimination may be partially due to their levels of neuroticism.
Keywords: perceived discrimination/ neuroticism/ acculturation attitudes/ psychological adaptation/ sociocultural adaptation/ African immigrants/ Russia