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«PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCULTURATION AND ADAPTATION AMONG RUSSIAN-SPEAKING IMMIGRANT ADOLESCENTS IN FINLAND Helsinki 2000 ii Sosiaalipsykologisia tutkimuksia ...»

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Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti

PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCULTURATION AND

ADAPTATION AMONG RUSSIAN-SPEAKING

IMMIGRANT ADOLESCENTS IN FINLAND

Helsinki 2000

ii

Sosiaalipsykologisia tutkimuksia

Socialpsykologiska studier

Social psychological studies

Kustantaja / Publisher:

Helsingin yliopiston sosiaalipsykologian laitos /

Department of Social Psychology, University of Helsinki

Toimituskunta / Editorial Board:

Klaus Helkama, puheenjohtaja / chair person Karmela Liebkind Rauni Myllyniemi Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman Kari Mikko Vesala Maaret Wager Copyright  Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti ja Helsingin yliopiston sosiaalipsykologian laitos PL 4 (Fabianinkatu 28) 00014 Helsingin yliopisto Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti and Department of Social Psychology of the University of Helsinki PO. Box 4 (Fabianinkatu 4) FIN-00014 University of Helsinki ISBN 951-45-9151-8 (PDF version) Design: Riitta Nieminen Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut, Helsinki 2000 iii Jasinskaja-Lahti Inga, PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCULTURATION AND ADAPTATION

AMONG RUSSIAN-SPEAKING IMMIGRANT ADOLESCENTS IN FINLAND

ABSTRACT

This study considered both state and process facets of psychological acculturation among Russian-speaking immigrant adolescents (N = 170) in Finland. It commenced with the introduction of the theoretical framework for the study of acculturation - definitions, measurement and previous empirical results. The phenomenon of acculturation was considered with special reference to ethnic identity, changes over time, the actual degree of acculturation, and predictors of successful adaptation during the process. Particular emphasis was placed on specific features of the acculturation of immigrants with a returnee background.

Measures (self-rating questionnaires) were either specifically developed or taken directly or with modification from existing scales for the purpose of a larger ICSEY (International Comparative Study of Ethnocultural Youth) project. The Russian-speaking adolescents studied were compared with their native Finnish peers (N = 190) and with immigrant adolescents from other cultural backgrounds (i.e., Somalian, Vietnamese and Turkish) in Finland (N = 418).

The relationships found in this study showed the complexity and dynamic nature of the acculturation process among young Russian-speaking immigrants in Finland. In particular, the results showed the psychological importance of cultural contact orientation, and language- and family-related variables, in multiple ethnic identity. Immigrant adolescents were also shown to continually work at the meanings they give to their own ethnic belonging. In addition, the study demonstrated the importance of identifying and analysing separately the distinctive components of the acculturation process for an accurate understanding of the actual degree of immigrant acculturation. It also provided an empirical model of factors threatening or promoting psychological adjustment in terms of acculturative stress. The benefits of using multiple measures of psychological well-being (i.e., acculturative stress, self-esteem, sense of mastery, behavioural problems and life satisfaction) when studying the outcomes of acculturation among young immigrants were apparent. These outcomes could not be understood without close scrutiny of experiences of parental support and degree of adherence to traditional family-related values. Furthermore, a comparison of different immigrant groups in the study on psychological well-being pointed towards some group-specific variations which needed culture-sensitive and contextual explanations. The theoretical and practical relevance of the findings for the further development of acculturation research, as well as for educational and social workers and others responsible for immigrant integration, was evaluated in the discussion.

Key words: Psychological acculturation, adaptation, immigrant adolescents, remigration, Russia, former Soviet Union.

iv Jasinskaja-Lahti Inga, VENÄJÄNKIELISTEN MAAHANMUUTTAJANUORTEN

PSYKOLOGINEN AKKULTURAATIO JA SOPEUTUMINEN SUOMESSA

TIIVISTELMÄ Tässä tutkimuksessa käsiteltiin venäjänkielisten maahanmuuttajanuorten (N = 170) psykologisen akkulturaation tilaa ja prosessia Suomessa. Aluksi esiteltiin akkulturaatiotutkimuksen teoreettinen viitekehys: määritelmät, mittausmenetelmät sekä aiemmat empiiriset tulokset. Akkulturaatiota käsiteltiin erityisesti etnisen identiteetin, sen muutosprosessin, todellisen akkulturaatioasteen ja onnistuneen sopeutumisen näkökulmasta.

Huomiota kiinnitettiin myös paluumuuttajataustan omaavien maahanmuuttajien akkulturaation erityispiirteisiin.

Tutkimuksessa käytettiin ICSEY (International Comparative Study of Ethnocultural Youth) projektia varten kehitettyä kyselylomaketta, joka koostui joko projektin tarpeisiin kehitetyistä tai jo olemassaolevista ja/tai muokatuista mittareista. Tutkimukseen osallistuneita venäjänkielisiä nuoria verrattiin sekä Suomessa syntyneisiin suomalaisiin ikätovereihin (N =

190) että muihin (somalialaiset, vietnamilaiset ja turkkilaiset) Suomessa asuviin samanikäisiin maahanmuuttajanuoriin (N = 418).





Tutkimuksen tulokset osoittivat akkulturaatioprosessin monimuotoisuuden ja dynaamisen luonteen. Tulokset osoittivat mm. kulttuurisen suuntautumisen, kielellisten ja perheeseen liittyvien tekijöiden psykologisen merkityksen maahanmuuttajanuorten etnisen identiteetille.

Tutkimustulosten mukaan maahanmuuttajanuorten omalle etnisyydelleen antamansa merkitykset myös muuttuvat ajan myötä. Tämän lisäksi tutkimus osoitti, että maahanmuuttajanuorten todellisen akkulturaatioasteen ymmärtämisen kannalta on tärkeää tunnistaa akkulturaatioprosessin erilaisia komponentteja ja analysoida niitä erikseen. Tutkimus tarjosi myös empiirisen mallin akkulturaatiostressinä ilmenevään psykologiseen sopeutumiseen vaikuttavista tekijöistä. Mitä tulee maahanmuuttajanuorten sopeutumisen tasoon, tutkimustulokset osoittivat, että on tärkeää mitata erilaisia psykologisen hyvinvoinnin osaalueita (akkulturaatiostressi, itsetunto, pystyvyyden tunne, käyttäytymisongelmat sekä tyytyväisyys elämään). Tulosten mukaan nuorten kokemukset vanhempien tuesta sekä perinteisiin perhearvoihin sitoutumisen aste auttavat ymmärtämään paremmin heidän eri tavoin ilmenevää hyvinvointia. Tämän lisäksi erilaisiin maahanmuuttajaryhmiin kuuluvien nuorten psykologisen hyvinvoinnin vertailu toi esille joitakin spesifejä ryhmienvälisiä eroja, joiden tulkintaan tarvittiin kulttuurisesti ja sosiaalisesti sensitiivejä lähestymistapoja.

Tutkimuksen diskussio-osassa arvioitiin tulosten teoreettista ja käytännöllistä merkitystä sekä akkulturaatiotutkimuksen jatkokehityksen että kasvatus-, sosiaali- ja muiden alojen maahanmuuttajien integraatiosta vastaavien viranomaisten kannalta.

–  –  –

First and foremost, I would like to thank Professor Karmela Liebkind (Department of Social Psychology, University of Helsinki) for the privilege of having been influenced and impressed by her and her work, for being involved in a project which made this study possible, and for her great dedication in supervising the doctoral dissertation at hand and the other aspects of my post-graduate life.

My very deep gratitude is also due to Professor Klaus Helkama (Department of Social Psychology, University of Helsinki) for commenting on this study, as well as for his friendly advice and encouragement, sometimes so desperately needed.

I am also grateful to the anonymous reviewers of the separate articles of the study, and to the two reviewers of this dissertation, Professor Charles Westin (Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic relations, Stockholm University) and Dr. Raija-Leena Punamäki-Gitai (Department of Applied Psychology, University of Helsinki). Their constructive criticism and helpful suggestions have considerably improved the study.

My special thanks go the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Helsinki which, under the leadership of Professor Rauni Myllyniemi, has provided me with a highly functioning and supportive working environment.

My post-graduate colleagues, especially Anna Kajanne, Jukka Lipponen and Jukka Tontti, deserve special thanks for their unfailing support, friendship and enjoyable company during these years.

In addition, the advice I have received over the years from Dr. Lauri Tarkkonen (Department of Statistics, University of Helsinki) and Dr. Pertti Keskivaara (Department of Applied Psychology, University of Helsinki) has been very valuable.

The conducting of this study has been made financially possible by the 350-Anniversary Foundation of the University of Helsinki, the Ministry of Education, the Chancellor of the University of Helsinki, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, and the Academy of Finland, all of which are gratefully acknowledged.

The study would not have been possible without the contribution of the pupils and teachers at secondary schools in the greater Helsinki area, and the parents of these pupils. I am grateful to them for their interest and participation.

Last, but not least, my greatest debt of gratitude is owed to my dear husband Jari Lahti, to my mother Lydia Vihko, and to my sister Marina Venäläinen and her family for their love, patience and support, and for being there.

January, 2000 Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti vi CONTENT LIST OF ORIGINAL PUBLICATIONS __________________________________________ 1

1. INTRODUCTION __________________________________________________________ 2

1.1. Immigrants in Finland ____________________________________________________________2 1.1.1. An Overview_________________________________________________________________________2 1.1.2. Remigration Policy and Russian-Speaking Immigrants in Finland_______________________________3

1.2. Acculturation - Conceptual and Methodological Background_____________________________6 1.2.1. Definitions and Conceptual Distinctions ___________________________________________________6 1.2.2. Models of Acculturation ________________________________________________________________8

1.3. Developing Acculturation Research_________________________________________________10 1.3.1. Acculturation and Orthogonal Ethnic Identification _________________________________________10 1.3.2. Factors Influencing Multiple Ethnic Identification __________________________________________13 1.3.3. The Dynamic Nature of Acculturation ____________________________________________________15 1.3.4. The Interactive Nature of Acculturation __________________________________________________18 1.3.5. Acculturation and Adaptation __________________________________________________________19 1.3.6. The Actual Degree of Acculturation among Young Immigrants________________________________20 1.3.7. Acculturation, Stress and Psychological Adaptation among Young Immigrants ___________________22 1.3.8. Conclusions - The Necessity of Theoretical Integration and Methodological Clarification in Studies on the Acculturation of Young Immigrants _____________________________________________________28

1.4. Summary of the Aims of the Present Study___________________________________________29

2. METHODS_______________________________________________________________ 31

2.1. Outline of the Present Study_______________________________________________________31

2.2. Participants ____________________________________________________________________31 2.2.1. Sample of Russian-Speaking Immigrant Adolescents ________________________________________31 2.2.2. Comparison Groups __________________________________________________________________31

2.3. Procedure______________________________________________________________________32

–  –  –

3. MAIN RESULTS __________________________________________________________ 37

3.1. Study I: Content and Predictors of the Ethnic Identity of Russian-Speaking Immigrant Adolescents in Finland _______________________________________________________________37 3.1.1. What are the specific ethnic and linguistic self-identifications of Russian-speaking immigrant adolescents in Finland? (aim no. 1) ___________________________________________________________37 3.1.2. What are the structure and content of the ethnic identity of Russian-speaking immigrant adolescents?

(aim no. 2) ______________________________________________________________________________37 3.1.3. Do different ethnic and linguistic self -identifications of Russian-speaking immigrant adolescents reflect some actual differences between them in their Russian and Finnish language usage and proficiency and in the degree of their Russian and Finnish identity? (aim no. 3) _________________________________37 3.1.4. What factors predict the degree of Russian and Finnish identity among Russian-speaking immigrant adolescents in Finland? (aim no. 4) ___________________________________________________________38

3.2. Study II: Exploration of the Ethnic Identity of Russian-Speaking Immigrant Adolescents in Finland _________________________________________________________________________39 3.2.1. Do the ethnic self-identification of Russian-speaking immigrant adolescents on the one hand, and the degree of their Russian and Finnish identity on the other, change over time during their residence in Finland?



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