Acculturation: Impact Of Cultural Change On Depression

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We will utilize the one-shot case study pre-experimental design with Afghan males to find out whether the level of acculturation has an effect on their level of depression in their first five years of arrival to the United States. According to Rubin and Babbie (2018), the one-shot case study pre-experimental design is performing studies on a specific group only one time right after the treatment has been enacted and caused some changes. In our research proposal, we explain the independent variable (level of acculturation) as changes that take place as a result of contact with culturally dissimilar people, groups, and social influences, and the dependent variable (level of depression) as a common but serious mood disorder. In order to collect data, we would use two different scales to find out the level of depression and the level of acculturation from low to high.

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Participants would take one questionnaire for 1) the level of acculturation and 2) the level of depression. The first scale we will be using is the Short Acculturation Scale (SAS). It consists of twelve items that determine the individual´s acculturation status. The Short Acculturation Scale has three sub-scales: 1) Language, 2) Media, 3) Ethnic social relations. The responses are collected from 1-5 points. Participants who score close to 5 would be considered to have a high level of acculturation and close to 1 would be considered less acculturated. The score below 2.99 would be used to define the less acculturated person and above 2.99 would consider more acculturated individuals (Marin et al., 1987).

The Short Acculturation Scales was created and implemented on multicultural and multigenerational immigrants’ samples from whom 363 participants were Hispanic and 228 were non-Hispanic white between the ages of 15-75 years old. Both groups shared the same social characteristics – the level of education for Hispanics was 12.3 years and for non-Hispanics 14.7 years. The samples also focused on gender; Hispanic women were 62% and non-Hispanic women 57%. The scale showed the “ability to capture social and historical characteristics of respondents” in Hispanic populations regarding acculturation (Marin et al., 1987). In addition, the Short Acculturation Scale in Koreans (SAS-K) proved the reliability and validity of the scale. SAS-K is an appropriate measurement to find out the level of acculturation among Koreans. The short form of SAS-K scale and the easiness of conducting this scale made it very easy for healthcare providers and researchers to quickly assess the acculturation level of immigrants and it is a helpful tool for future immigrants´ interventions (Choi et al., 2011). The Short Acculturation Scale has been a trustful tool for measuring immigrant’s acculturation since 1987. Moreover, it has been implemented through different periods in which immigrants entered the United States. It has also been translated and counter translated to multiple languages and provided the same result as the Hispanic study.

The second scale we will be using is The Center of Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). CES-D would be used to find out the level of depression among Afghan male immigrants who moved to the United States within the last five years. The CES-D scale has been used since 1977 in different population studies of depression including mental health problems among minorities. CES-D has been applied to assess depressive symptomatology in 11 of 31 studies on mental disorders in ethnic and racial minorities (Noh et al., 1998). We will utilize the CES-D scale because of its simplicity and short structure and the reliability and validity it has among mental health researchers. The CES-D scale was designed to assess the severity of symptomatology via measures of the number of symptoms experienced and the duration of each symptom over the preceding 2 weeks. For each symptom item, responses were scored on a 4-point scale: 0= never or rarely, 1=sometimes or occasionally (1 or 2 days a week), 2= frequently (3 or 4 days a week), 3= all the time or almost always (5 days or more a week) (Noh et al., 1998).

By conducting the CES-D questionnaire among different immigrants it will show the level of depression after entering the United States. The CES-D scale has been also used in measuring depression in African American cancer survivors. There was a total of 246 African American cancer survivors in the CES-D study. These participants were recruited from different parts of the United States. There were 37% men and 63% of women involved in the study (Conerly et al., 2002). In the end, only 30 participants were excluded because they were not able to complete the questionnaire which shows that the CES-D scale was applicable for the majority of the participants. By looking at these research studies that have been conducted with other groups, it is satisfactory to use the CES-D scale in our research paper.

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