Psychological and Sociocultural Adaptation: Acculturation, Depressive Symptoms, and Life Satisfaction Among Older Iranian Immigrants in Canada

Amir Moztarzadeh, Norm O’Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Informed by Ward’s (1996) theory of psychological and sociocultural adaptation, this study identified links between acculturation and the mental health of older Iranian immigrants living in Canada (N = 103). According to Ward and colleagues, both psychological and sociocultural adaptation change at different rates and extend into later life. For this study, participants 50+ years of age and born in Iran completed questionnaires measuring life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, acculturation, and demographic and sociocultural variables (e.g., pre- and post-immigration occupational status). We collected study data anonymously in Persian to obtain responses from long-term residents of Canada as well as more recent immigrants who may not read or write English. We examined both life satisfaction and (the absence of) depressive symptoms as distinct forms of psychological adaptation; these emerged as independent predictors of acculturation. Contrary to theory, acculturation appears to predict life satisfaction, not vice versa; moreover, there seems to be no direct link between depressive symptoms and acculturation. Our findings suggest that integration within Canadian society is associated with higher life satisfaction. In contrast, sociocultural factors are indirectly associated with life satisfaction (except age) and acculturation (except ethnic diversity of social interactions). Involuntary migrants reported higher levels of depression, whereas loss of occupational status is associated with reduced life satisfaction. Implications for future research and health policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-130
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Farsi
  • Iran
  • acculturation
  • depressive symptoms
  • immigrants
  • life satisfaction

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Psychological and Sociocultural Adaptation: Acculturation, Depressive Symptoms, and Life Satisfaction Among Older Iranian Immigrants in Canada'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this