The Relation between Acculturation Attitudes and Depression among Japanese People in Brazil


We focused on depression in Japanese people living in Brazil and a bidimensional model of acculturation considering orientation toward home and Brazilian culture. We also assessed the relevance of Berry��s four-cell typology of acculturation (integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization). We predicted that mental health would be more stable if individuals maintained contact with both cultures. As another strategy for acculturation, we contrived a reversible method, ��switching,�� or consciously choosing one��s thoughts and attitudes to be dependent on the other party (i.e., compatriot, Japanese-Brazilian, or Brazilian). We hypothesized that using switching would reduce exposure to cross-cultural stress and protect mental health. Participants (55 male, 61 female) were all born in Japan and had been exposed to their own culture before moving. A questionnaire survey was conducted. Results showed that individuals who orientated toward Brazilian culture showed significantly lower rates of depression. Individuals who orientated toward their own culture did not show any relation with depression. Comparing across the four acculturation strategies, the integration group participants had the lowest rate of depression, followed by the assimilation group. The separated and marginalized groups had the highest rates of depression. Switching one��s thoughts or attitudes dependent on the other party was not related to mental health. However, individuals who preferred switching could be categorized into two groups: those in Brazil for a short period (less than 5 years) and those for a very long period (over 50 years). These individuals also had the lowest rates of Brazilian-culture orientation compared to other groups.

Author Information
Koyuri Sako, Okayama University, Japan
Tomoko Tanaka, Okayama University, Japan
Junghuims Lee, Kanagawa Dental University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2015
Stream: Mental Health

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon