Perceived cultural distance and acculturation among exchange students in Russia

I. Suanet, F.J.R. van de Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relations of perceived cultural distance, personality, acculturation orientations and outcomes were studied among exchange students (N = 187) in Russia who came from various countries in Asia, sub‐Saharan Africa, Latin America and the former Soviet Union. The hypothesis was supported that a larger perceived cultural distance between mainstream and immigrant culture is associated with less psychological (homesickness and stress) and sociocultural (behaviour with Russian students and behaviour with co‐nationals) adjustment. The statistical relations between perceived cultural distance, personality and sociocultural adjustment were much stronger for host domain behaviour than for home domain behaviour. Adjustment was higher for participants with more cultural empathy, openmindedness and flexibility. Adjustment showed statistically stronger associations with cultural distance than with acculturation orientations. It is concluded that cultural distance may be more salient than acculturation orientations in studies of heterogeneous groups of immigrants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-197
JournalJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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