Publication Date

2009-07-17

Availability

Open access

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2009-06-11

First Committee Member

Amy Weisman de Mamani - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Robert McMahon - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Sheri Johnson - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Jutta Joormann - Committee Member

Fifth Committee Member

Frank Penedo - Committee Member

Abstract

The preponderance of evidence from large-scale studies shows a detrimental association between greater acculturation (to mainstream U.S. values and beliefs) and mental health. Prior research also suggests that greater acculturation may be associated with a breakdown of adaptive behaviors and values (e.g., religiosity/spirituality) thereby negatively impacting mental health. In addition, literature generally suggests that enculturation (retention of culture of origin customs and values) is associated with better mental health. However, few studies have examined potential mediators between acculturation/enculturation and mental health; and research on this topic with patients with schizophrenia is particularly scarce. Using a sample of 44 Hispanic and African-American patients with schizophrenia, this study evaluated whether higher acculturation and lower enculturation would be associated with more symptoms of schizophrenia. Religiosity/spirituality, family cohesion, and religious coping were evaluated as potential mediators of these relationships. As hypothesized, greater family cohesion (measured by the Family Environment Scale) was associated with fewer schizophrenia symptoms (measured by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale). However a meditational model was not supported. Contrary to hypotheses, when examining the total sample, neither acculturation nor enculturation (measured by the Abbreviated Multidimensional Acculturation Scale) were associated with schizophrenia symptoms. Ethnic subgroup analyses were conducted and will be discussed along with study implications, limitations, and directions for future research.

Keywords

Mediators; Ethnic Minority; Enculturation; Schizophrenia; Acculturation

Share

COinS