Acculturative stress in English language learners, predicting psychological well-being and buffered by social support

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Dwan O’Reilly, Maeve
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study examined acculturative stress in a sample of English language learners. It was hypothesised that acculturative stress would significantly predict psychological well-being, that acculturative stress would differ significantly across demographic variables, and that social support would act as a buffer. This study adopted a cross sectional and correlational design. Data was collected through a survey featuring demographic questions, the Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students, the Index of Sojourner Social Support and the Psychological General Well-Being Index. Analysis indicated that acculturative stress was predictive of psychological wellbeing. Acculturative stress was significantly higher in learners from South American countries, it increased significantly with longer residency, and was significantly higher in learners in their mid-20s to early 30s. It was also found that perceived social support acted as a moderate buffer. The results highlight groups of learners at risk of psychological distress and has implications for learner support services.