International Laboratory for Social Integration Research, 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
When acculturation strategies of migrants and acculturation expectations of a host society do not coincide, psychological outcomes for members of the groups in contact can differ significantly. Berry (2013) proposed that intercultural relations can be understood on the basis of three hypotheses: the multiculturalism hypothesis, the integration hypothesis, and the contact hypothesis. Our goal was to test these three hypotheses in Russian majority and Asian minority groups. Migrants from Central Asia (N = 168; 88 ethnic Uzbeks and 80 ethnic Tajiks) and ethnic Russians (N = 158) were surveyed using a self-report questionnaire that included measures developed by the Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies project. Data processing was carried out using Structural Equation Modeling with the Russians and the migrants separately. We found significant and positive relationships between perceived security and multicultural ideology in both groups. We found a positive relationship between intercultural contacts and the integration strategy among the migrants from Central Asia. Intercultural contacts in the group of Russians was positively related to the expectation of integration and negatively related to the expectation of assimilation. The integration strategy of the migrants was positively related to their self-esteem, while the assimilation strategy was positively related to their sociocultural adaptation and life satisfaction. Among the Russians, the integration expectation promoted their better life satisfaction and self-esteem. The multiculturalism hypothesis was partially supported with both the migrants from Central Asia and the Russians: perceived security promoted an acceptance of multicultural ideology but didn’t promote ethnic tolerance. The contact hypothesis was partially supported in both groups: interethnic contacts were positively linked to the integration strategy of the migrants and the integration expectations of the Russians. The integration hypothesis was fully supported in the sample of Russians and partially supported in the sample of migrants. The migrants’ adoption of the assimilation strategy promoted their life satisfaction and sociocultural adaptation.
Keywords: acculturation, adaptation, assimilation, integration, intercultural relations, multiculturalism, well-being