Relationship between Ethnic Identification and Acculturation Attitudes of Immigrants with Level of Their Socio-Economic Adaptation



This article describes the construction and testing of theoretical model of socio-economic adaptation (SEA) of immigrants considering psychological factors as the basic ones. In the analysis of previous studies acculturation attitudes of immigrants were identified as key psychological factors of SEA for the construction of the theoretical model; length of stay in the country and language skills were used as control variables; the characteristics of ethnic identity were used as predictors of acculturation attitudes. We carried out the survey of Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium for verification of our model. Next we used path analysis for test¬ing of the model on the data obtained. According to the study, we found that (1) acculturation attitudes of immigrants associated to their level of SEA themselves regardless of length of stay in the country and their lan¬guage skills; (2) high level of SEA of immigrants is positively associated with orientation to the host society (integration and assimilation), and negative associated with orientation to their ethnic group (separation); (3) strong ethnic identification may facilitate the orientation of immigrants to their ethnic group and prevent assimilation.

General Information

Keywords: socio-economic adaptation, acculturation of migrants, migrants, ethnic identity, attitudes

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Grigoryev D.S. Relationship between Ethnic Identification and Acculturation Attitudes of Immigrants with Level of Their Socio-Economic Adaptation . Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2015. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 71–85. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2015110109. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1.  Grigor'ev D.S. Vliyanie vyrazhennosti etnicheskoy identichnosti na vybor migrantami ikh akkul'turatsionnoy ustanovki [Influence of the Salience of Ethnic Identity on Choice Migrant's Acculturation Attitude]. Izvestiya Saratovskogo universiteta. Novaya seriya. Seriya: Akmeologiya obrazovaniya. Psikhologiya razvitiya. [Izvestiya of Saratov University. New Series. Series: Educational Acmeology. Developmental Psychology], 2015, no. 1 (in press)
  2.  Grigor'ev D.S. Faktory sotsioekonomicheskoy adaptat­siya migrantov [Factors of Socio-Economic Adaptation of Migrants]. In Gritsenko V.V. (ed.) Teoreticheskie problemy etnicheskoy i kross-kul'turnoy psikhologii [Theoretical Problems of Ethnic and Cross-Cultural Psychology]. Smolensk: Publ. Smolenskiy gumanitarnyy universitet, 2014, pp. 70—73.
  3.  Grigor'ev D.S. Etnosotsial'nyy kapital migrantov kak faktor ikh sotsioekonomicheskoy adaptatsii [Ethnic Social Capital of Migrants as a Factor of Their Socio-Economic Adaptation]. Psikhologo-ekonomicheskie i etnokul'turnye resursy uluchsheniya mezhnatsional'nykh otnosheniy v rossiyskikh regionakh. [Psychological, economic, and ethnocul­tural resources to improve international relations in the Russian regions]. Irkutsk: Publ. IGU, 2014, pp. 408—413.
  4. Grigor'ev D.S. Yazykovye navyki migrantov kak fak­tor ikh sotsioekonomicheskoy adaptatsii [Language Skills of Migrants as a Factor of Their Socio-Economic Adaptation]. Pozitivnyy opyt regulirovaniya etnosotsial'nykh i etnokul'turnykh protsessov v regionakh RF. [The Positive Experience of Regulation of Ethno-Social and Ethno-Cultural Processes in the Regions of the Russian Federation]. Kazan: Publ. Institut istorii im. Sh. Mardzhani AN RT, 2014, pp. 362—366.
  5.  Lebedeva N.M. Teoreticheskie podkhody k issle­dovaniyu vzaimnykh ustanovok i strategiy mezhkul'turnogo vzaimodeystviya migrantov i naseleniya Rossii [Theoretical Approaches to the Study of the Mutual Attitudes and Strategies of Intercultural Interaction of Migrants and the Population of Russia]. Strategii mezhkul'turnogo vzaimod­eystviya migrantov i naseleniya Rossii [Strategy of Intercultural Interaction of Migrants and the Population of Russia]. Moscow: Publ. RUDN, 2009, pp. 10—63.
  6.  Lepshokova Z.Kh. Vzaimosvyaz' kharakteristik etnich­eskoy i grazhdanskoy identichnosti s akkul'turatsionnymi strategiyami migrantov [Interconnection between Ethnic and Civic Identity Characteristics and Acculturation Strategies of Migrants]. In Gritsenko V.V. (ed.) Teoreticheskie problemy etnicheskoy i kross-kul'turnoy psikhologii [Theoretical Problems of Ethnic and Cross-Cultural Psychology]. Smolensk: Publ. Madzhenta, 2012, pp. 107—111.
  7.  Ryabichenko T.A. Svyaz' individual'nykh tsennostey i strategiy akkul'turatsii etnicheskikh men'shinstv [Relationship between Individual Values and Strategies of Acculturation of Ethnic Minorities]. Na perekrestke migratsii: ot teoreticheskikh modeley k prakticheskim resheniyam. [At the Crossroads of Migration: From Theoretical Models to Practical Solutions]. Moscow: Publ. MGPPU, 2013, pp. 81—83.
  8.  Tatarko A.N., Lebedeva N.M. Metody etnicheskoy i krosskul'turnoy psikhologii. [Methods of Ethnic and Cross-Cultural Psychology]. Moscow: NIU VShE, 2011, 238 p.
  9.  Alba R.D., Nee V. Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration. Cambridge. MA: Harvard University Press, 2003, 359 p.
  10.  Arends-Toth J.V., van de Vijver F.J.R., Poortinga Y.H. The Influence of Method Factors on the Relation between Attitudes and Self-Reported Behaviors in the Assessment of Acculturation. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 2006. Vol. 22, pp. 4—12.
  11.  Aycan Z., Berry J.W. Impact of Employment-Related Experiences on Immigrants'Psychological Well-Being and Adaptation to Canada. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 1996. Vol. 28, pp. 240—251.
  12.  Benish-Weisman M., Shye S. Life Quality of Russian Immigrants to Israel: Patterns of Success and of Unsuccess. Social Indicators Research, 2011. Vol. 101, no. 3, pp. 461—479.
  13.  Besevegis E., Pavlopoulos V. Acculturation Patterns and Adaptation of Immigrants in Greece. Psychosocial Stress in Immigrants & in Members of Minority Groups as a Factor of Terrorist Behavior, 2008. Vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 23—34.
  14.  Berry J.W. Contexts of Acculturation. In Berry J.W. , Phinney L.S., Sam D.L., Vedder P. (eds.) Immigrant Youth in Cultural Transition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Asso­ciates, 2006, pp. 27—42.
  15.  Berry J.W. Immigration, Acculturation, and Adapta­tion. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 1997. Vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 5—68.
  16.  Berry J.W., Kim U. Acculturation and Mental Health. In Dasen P., Berry J.W., Sartorius N. (eds.) Health and Cross-Cultural Psychology: Towards Applications. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1988, pp. 207—236.
  17.  Berry J.W., Phinney J.S., Sam D.L., Vedder P. Immig­rant Youth: Acculturation, Identity, and Adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 2006. Vol. 55, pp. 303—332.
  18.  Berry J.W., Poortinga Y.H. Segall M.H., Dasen P.R. Cross-Cultural Psychology: Research and Applications (2nd Ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 626 p.
  19.  Borjas G.J. Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants. Journal of Labor Economics, 1985. Vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 463—489.
  20.  Constant A.F., Zimmermann K.F. Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behavior. Journal of the European Economic Association, 2008. Vol. 6, no. 2—3, pp. 424—433.
  21.  Dovidio J.F., Esses V.M. Immigrants and Immigration: Advancing the Psychological Perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 2001. Vol. 57, pp. 375—387.
  22.  Esser H. Does the New Immigration Require a New Theory of Intergenerational Integration? International Migration Review, 2004. Vol. 38, pp. 1126—1159.
  23.  Forsander A., Salmenhaara P., Melegh A., Kondrate­va E. Economy, Ethnicity and International Migration: The Comparison of Finland, Hungary and Russia. Finnish Yearbook of Population Research, 2007. Vol. 43, pp. 85—113.
  24.  Georgas J., Papastylianou D. Acculturation and Ethnic Identity: The Remigration of Ethnic Greeks to Greece. In Grad H., Blanco A., Georgas J. (eds.) Key Issues in Cross-Cultural Psychology. Lisse, Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1998, pp. 114—127.
  25.  Guthrie G.M., Tanco P.P. Alienation. In Triandis H.C., Draguns J.G. (eds.) Handbook of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon Inc., 1980, pp. 9—61.
  26.  Haberfeld Y., Semyonov M., Cohen Y. Ethnicity and Labour Market Performance among Recent Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to Israel. European Sociological Review, 2000. Vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 287—299.
  27.  Hou F., Beiser M. Learning the Language of a New Country: A Ten-Year Study of English Acquisition by South-East Asian Refugees in Canada. International Migration, 2006. Vol. 44, pp. 135—165.
  28.  Hu L.T., Bentler P.M. Cutoff Criteria for Fit Indexes in Covariance Structure Analysis: Conventional Criteria Versus New Alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 1999. Vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1—55.
  29.  Jasinskaja-Lahti I. Long-term Immigrant Adaptation: Eight-year Follow-up Study among Immigrants from Russia and Estonia Living in Finland. International Journal of Psychology, 2008. Vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 6—18.
  30.  Jasinskaja-Lahti I., Horenczyk G., Kinunen T. Time and Context in the Relationship between Acculturation Attitudes and Adaptation among Russian-Speaking Immigrants in Finland and Israel. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2011. Vol. 37, no. 9, pp. 1423—1440.
  31.  Kanungo R.N. The Concepts of Alienation and Invol­vement Revisited. Psychological Bulletin, 1979. Vol. 86, pp. 119—138.
  32.  Kogan I. Labor Market and Economic Incorporation among Recent Immigrants in Europe. Social Forces, 2006. Vol. 85, pp. 697—721.
  33.  Kuhlman T. The Economic Integration of Refugees in Developing Countries: A Research Model. Journal of Refugee Studies, 1991. Vol. 4, pp. 1—20.
  34.  Laroche M., Kim C., Hui M., Tomiuk M. Test of a Nonlinear Relationship between Linguistic Acculturation and Ethnic Identification. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1998. Vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 418—433.
  35.  Leong C.H. Social Markers of Acculturation: A New Research Framework on International Adaptation. Interna­tional Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2014. Vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 120—132.
  36.  Levanon A. Economic Adaptation of Immigrants: A Comparative Approach. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, CA, USA, 2009, 166 p.
  37.  Logan J., Richard R., Alba D., Stults B.J. Enclaves and Entrepreneurs: Assessing the Payoff for Immigrants and Minorities. International Migration Review, 2003. Vol. 37, pp. 344—388.
  38.  Mak A. From Elites to Strangers: Employment Coping Styles of Hong Kong Immigrants. Journal of Employment Counseling, 1991. Vol. 28, pp. 144—156.
  39.  Maertz C.P. Jr., Hassan A., Magnusson P. When Learning is Not Enough: A Process Model of Expatriate Adjustment as Cultural Cognitive Dissonance Reduction. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2009. Vol. 108, pp. 66—78.
  40.  Model S., Lapido D. Context and Opportunity: Minorities in London and New York. Social Forces, 1996. Vol. 75, pp. 485—510.
  41.  Naumann L.P., Benet-Martinez V., Espinoza P. Predictors of Political Orientation among US-born Mexican Americans: Cultural Identification, Acculturation Attitudes and Socioeconomic Status. GRITIM-UPF Working Papers, 2013. pp. 1—27.
  42.  Navas M., Garcia M.C., Sanchez J., Rojas A.J., Pumares P., Fernandez J.S. Relative Acculturation Extended Model (RAEM): New Contributions with Regard to the Study of Acculturation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2005. Vol. 29, pp. 21—37.
  43.  Nesdale D., Mak A. Ethnic Identification, Self-Esteem and Immigrant Psychological Health. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2003. Vol. 27, pp. 23—40.
  44.  Nguyen A.-M.D., Benet-Martinez V. Biculturalism is Linked to Adjustment: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Cross-cul­tural Psychology, 2013. Vol. 44, pp. 122—159.
  45.  Portes A., Rumbaut R.G. Immigrant America: A Portrait. (3rd Ed). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006, 496 p.
  46.  Portes A., Zhou M. The New Second Generation: Segmente Assimilation and Its Variants. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1993. Vol. 530, pp. 74—96.
  47.  Potocky-Tripodi M. The Role of Social Capital in Immigrant and Refugee Economic Adaptation. Journal of Social Service Research, 2004. Vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 59—91.
  48.  Pugh S.D., Groth M., Hennig-Thurau T. Willing and Able to Fake Emotions: A Closer Examination of the Link between Emotional Dissonance and Employee Well-Being. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2010. Vol. 96, pp. 377—390.
  49.  Richmond A.H. Aspects of the Absorption and Adaptation of Immigrants. Ottawa: Manpower and Immigration, 1974, 51 p.
  50.  Richmond A.H. Caribbean Immigrants: A Demo-Economic Analysis. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1989, 85 p.
  51.  Samnani A.-K., Boekhorst J.A., Harrison J.A. Acculturation Strategy and Individual Outcomes: Cultural Diversity Implications for Human Resource Management. Human Resource Management Review, 2012. Vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 323—335.
  52.  Sanders J.M., Nee V. Limits of Ethnic Solidarity in the Enclave Economy. American Sociological Review, 1987. Vol. 52, pp. 745—773.
  53.  Scott W.A., Scott R. Adaptation of Immigrant and Native Australians. Australian Psychologist, 1991. Vol. 26, pp. 43—48.
  54.  Sellers R.M., Smith M.A., Shelton J.N., Rowley S.A.J., Chavous T.M. Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity: A Reconceptualization of African American Racial Identity. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1998. Vol. 2, pp. 18—39.
  55.  Starr P.D., Roberts A.E. Community Structure and Vietnamese Refugee Adaptation: The Significance of Context. International Migration Review, 1982. Vol. 16, pp. 595—609.
  56.  Swan N., Auer L., Chenard D., dePlaa A., deSilva A., Palmer D., Serjak J. Economic and Social Impacts of Immigration. Ottawa: Economic Council of Canada, 1991, 100 p.
  57.  Tartakovsky E. Cultural Identities of Adolescent Immigrants: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study Including the Pre-Migration Period. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 2009. Vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 654—671.
  58.  Tartakovsky E. Factors Affecting Immigrants' Acculturation Intentions: A Theoretical Model and its Assessment among Adolescent Immigrants from Russia and Ukraine in Israel. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2012. Vol. 36, pp. 83—99.
  59.  Thomas D. Immigrant Integration and Canadian Identity. Ottawa: Employment and Immigration Canada, 1990, 28 p.
  60.  Thomas D. The Social Integration of Immigrants in Canada. In Globerman S. (ed.) The Immigration Dilemma. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1992, pp. 211—260.
  61.  Ting-Toomey S., Yee-Jung K.K., Shapiro R.B., Gar­cia W., Write T.J., Oetzel J.G. Ethnic/CIS and Conflict Styles in Four US Ethnic Groups. International Journal of Intercul­tural Relations, 2000. Vol. 24, pp. 47—81.
  62.  van Tubergen, F. The Integration of Immigrants in Cross-National Perspective. Ph.D. dissertation, Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology. Utrecht, Netherlands, 2004.
  63.  van Tubergen F., Maas I., Flap H. The Economic Incorporation of Immigrants in 18 Western Societies: Origin, Destination, and Community Effects. American Sociological Review, 2004. Vol. 69, pp. 704—727.
  64.  Verkuyten M., Yildiz A.A. National (Dis) Identifica­tion and Ethnic and Religious Identity: A Study among Turkish-Dutch Muslims. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2007. Vol. 33, pp. 1448—1462.
  65.  Waldinger R. Still the Promised City? African Americans and New Immigrants in Postindustrial New York. Cambridge. MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.
  66.  Ward C. Acculturation and Social Cohesion: Emerging Issues for Asian Immigrants in New Zealand. In Leong C.-H., Berry J.W. (eds.) Intercultural relations in Asia: Migration and Work Effectiveness. Singapore: World Scientific, 2009, pp. 3—24
  67.  Ward C. Probing Identity, Integration and Adapta­tion: Big Questions, Little Answers. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2013. Vol. 37, pp. 391—404.
  68.  Ward C., Bochner S., Furnham, A. The Psychology of Culture Shock (2nd Ed.). Hove. UK: Routledge, 2001, 367 p.
  69.  Ward C., Kus L. Back to and Beyond Berry's Basics: The Conceptualization, Operationalization and Classification of Acculturation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2012. Vol. 36, pp. 472—485.
  70. Ward C., Rana-Deuba R. Acculturation and Adaptation Revisited. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1999. Vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 422—442.
  71.  Winter-Ebmer R. Motivation for Migration and Eco­nomic Success. Journal of Economic Psychology, 1994. Vol. 12, pp. 269—284.
  72.  Wong W.K.F., Chou K.L., Chow, N.W.S. Correlates of Quality of Life in New Migrants to Hong Kong from Mainland China. Social Indicators Research, 2012. Vol. 107, no. 2, pp. 373—391.
  73.  Wong K.F.E., Yik M., Kwong J.Y.Y. Understanding the Emotional Aspects of Escalation of Commitment: The Role of Negative Affect. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2006. Vol. 91, pp. 282—297.

Information About the Authors

Dmitry S. Grigoryev, PhD in Psychology, Research Fellow, Center of Socio-Cultural Research, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 3491
Previous month: 4
Current month: 7


Total: 2080
Previous month: 4
Current month: 1