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Second language social networks and communication-related acculturative stress: the role of interconnectedness


Second language social networks and communication-related acculturative stress: the role of interconnectedness

Doucerain, Marina M., Varnaamkhaasti, Raheleh S., Segalowitz, Norman and Ryder, Andrew G. (2015) Second language social networks and communication-related acculturative stress: the role of interconnectedness. Frontiers in Psychology, 6 . ISSN 1664-1078

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01111


Although a substantial amount of cross-cultural psychology research has investigated acculturative stress in general, little attention has been devoted specifically to communication-related acculturative stress (CRAS). In line with the view that cross-cultural adaptation and second language (L2) learning are social and interpersonal phenomena, the present study examines the hypothesis that migrants' L2 social network size and interconnectedness predict CRAS. The main idea underlying this hypothesis is that L2 social networks play an important role in fostering social and cultural aspects of communicative competence. Specifically, higher interconnectedness may reflect greater access to unmodified natural cultural representations and L2 communication practices, thus fostering communicative competence through observational learning. As such, structural aspects of migrants' L2 social networks may be protective against acculturative stress arising from chronic communication difficulties. Results from a study of first generation migrant students (N = 100) support this idea by showing that both inclusiveness and density of the participants' L2 network account for unique variance in CRAS but not in general acculturative stress. These results support the idea that research on cross-cultural adaptation would benefit from disentangling the various facets of acculturative stress and that the structure of migrants' L2 network matters for language related outcomes. Finally, this study contributes to an emerging body of work that attempts to integrate cultural/cross-cultural research on acculturation and research on intercultural communication and second language learning.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Doucerain, Marina M. and Varnaamkhaasti, Raheleh S. and Segalowitz, Norman and Ryder, Andrew G.
Journal or Publication:Frontiers in Psychology
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01111
Keywords:acculturation; acculturative stress; cultural adaptation; intercultural communication; social networks
ID Code:982240
Deposited On:17 Mar 2017 20:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54


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