Adaptation of Young Immigrants
A Developmental Perspecitve on Acculturation Research
Recent approaches in studies on young immigrants show that it is important to disentangle normative developmental and immigration-related processes in the understanding of their psychosocial development. In this presentation, I will describe different ways in which development and acculturation have been combined in past research with immigrant youth. Outcomes studied are depressive symptoms, delinquency, victimization, and parent-child-interactions. These studies utilized developmental and acculturation-related changes, predictors, and stages to disentangle both processes. Nevertheless, developmental considerations are often only implicitly implemented in existing acculturation research, particularly understated are the dynamic aspects of development. For this reason, the talk will also reference and expand upon concepts pertaining to the biological, social and psychological changes in pubertal development to highlight ways in which acculturation research can be made more dynamic and less static. For this purpose, the concepts of acculturative timing, tempo, pace, and synchronicity are introduced as a means to systematically study acculturative changes over time in immigrant adolescents. In summary, in this presentation I present a more dynamic and less static understanding of acculturation processes that includes normative developmental aspects for a more complex understanding of immigrant youth’s psychosocial adaptation.