Symptoms of culture shock: overview and classification



The contribution analyzes the phenomenon of culture schock and its symptoms in historical context. It describes the content of such notions as “culture schock” and “acculturation” which are used for indication of experience of adaptation to a different cultural environment in Russian and foreign ethnical and cross-cultural psychology. The article presents a review of foreign researches dedicated to studying the symptoms of culture shock. It also proposes a classification of symptoms of culture shock based on the stress theory and the concept of integrative psychic formations: they are divided into behavioral, somatic and psychological symptoms. Psychological symptoms of culture shock are differentiated on the basis of affective, regulative, communicative and reflexive psychic formations. This classification can be used both in further researches aimed at studying the symptoms of culture shock and in individual and group counseling work in educational and social institutions for citizens going abroad in order to optimize their integration into new cultural environment.

General Information

Keywords: ethnical psychology, cross-cultural psychology, culture shock, acculturation, symptoms of culture shock, classification

Journal rubric: Interdisciplinary Researches

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Smolina T.L. Symptoms of culture shock: overview and classification [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2012. Vol. 4, no. 3 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tatiana L. Smolina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of Human Psychology, Deputy Dean for International Activities of the Faculty of Psychology and Education, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:



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