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

Doucerain, Marina M., Varnaamkhaasti, Raheleh S., Segalowitz, Norman, & Ryder, Andrew G. (2015) Second language social networks and communication-related acculturative stress: The role of interconnectedness. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, Article 1111.

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Abstract

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.

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ID Code: 86228
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social networks, acculturation, acculturative stress, intercultural communication, cultural adaptation
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01111
ISSN: 1664-1078
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Multicultural Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies (200209)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Doucerain, Varnaamkhaasti, Segalowitz and Ryder
Copyright Statement: This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission.
Deposited On: 20 Aug 2015 23:49
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2015 21:52

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