Factors affecting immigrants' acculturation intentions: A theoretical model and its assessment among adolescent immigrants from Russia and Ukraine in Israel

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Abstract

In this study, a new acculturation intentions model (AIM) was formulated to help explain immigrants' preferences for different acculturation strategies and their further emigration intentions, i.e. their plans to either remain in the host country, return to their country of origin, or emigrate to a third country. The AIM applies the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) to the case of immigration. In the present study, the AIM was assessed among high-school adolescents who immigrated from Russia and Ukraine to Israel as part of an educational program (n=151). The adolescents completed questionnaires twice: half a year before and three years after their immigration. In accordance with the theoretical model, attitudes towards the country of origin and the host country and perceived environmental constraints (including perceived discrimination as well as perceived social support from parents, peers, and teachers) affected the immigrants' acculturation intentions. In contrast with what was hypothesized in this study, immigrants' psychological resources were not related to their acculturation intentions. The significance of these findings for both the immigrants and the host society are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Acculturation strategies
  • Adolescent immigrants
  • Attitudes towards a country
  • Further emigration intentions
  • Israel
  • Perceived discrimination
  • Perceived social support
  • Russia
  • The acculturation intentions model (AIM)
  • The theory of planned behavior
  • Ukraine

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