Acculturative stress and coping among migrant workers: A global mixed-methods systematic review

Andrian Liem, Andre M.N. Renzaho, Kevin Hannam, Agnes I.F. Lam, Brian J. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

No existing review has synthesized key questions about acculturation experiences among international migrant workers. This review aimed to explore (1) What are global migrant workers’ experiences with acculturation and acculturative stress? (2) What are acculturative stress coping strategies used by migrant workers? And (3) how effective are these strategies for migrant workers in assisting their acculturation in the host countries? Peer-reviewed and gray literature, without time limitation, were searched in six databases and included if the study: focused on acculturative stress and coping strategies; was conducted with international migrant workers; was published in English; and was empirical. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. Three-layered themes of acculturation process and acculturative stress were identified as: individual layer; work-related layer; and social layer. Three key coping strategies were identified: emotion-focused; problem-focused; and appraisal-focused. These coping strategies were used flexibly to increase coping effectiveness and evidence emerged that a particular type of acculturative stress might be solved more effectively by a specific coping strategy. Migrant workers faced numerous challenges in their acculturative process. Understanding this process and their coping strategies could be used in developing research and interventions to improve the well-being of migrant workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-517
Number of pages27
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • acculturation
  • cultural adaptation
  • global mental health
  • health disparities
  • healthcare access
  • migrant health

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