Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Gyda I. Swaney

Commitee Members

Kimberly A. Wallace, Lucian G. Conway, Patrick Weaselhead


University of Montana


Acculturation is a construct that supposes that two or more cultures interact and are in conflict with one another, and an individual can determine which qualities to adhere to from each culture. Acculturation stress is a product of the acculturation process, in which an individual experiences stress as a result of the interaction of the multiple cultures upon the individual. This study examined the effects of acculturation stress on 41 (14 male and 27 female) American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) university students in an effort to determine whether this stress is related to level of acculturation, years lived on an Indian reservation/Alaska village, gender, and the distance they are from their family while attending The University of Montana. The Social, Attitudinal, Familial, and Environmental (S.A.F.E.) acculturation stress scale; the Native American Acculturation Scale (N.A.A.S.), and a demographic questionnaire were employed to test these hypotheses. Reliability coefficients obtained for the N.A.A.S. and S.A.F.E. were .87 and .90 respectively. Multiple bivariate regression analyses were implemented to measure which predictors possessed significant relationships to acculturation stress. An independent samples ttest was employed to distinguish a gender difference in mean acculturation stress reports. No gender difference in reported acculturation stress scores were found with this sample (t(39) = - 1.68, p = .10). The number of years lived on a reservation/village did not significantly relate with acculturation stress scores (F(1,38) = 1.78, p = .19). Years lived on a reservation/village did relate significantly with cultural identification on the N.A.A.S. (F(1,38) = 27.40, p = .0001). Scores in cultural identity from the N.A.A.S. did appear to possess a significant, negative relationship with reported acculturation stress scores from the S.A.F.E. (F(39) = 12.09, p = .001). The predictor, distance from family, did not appear to possess a significant relationship with reported acculturation stress scores from the S.A.F.E. (F(1,39) = .47, p = .49). In summary, students who lived more years on a reservation/village significantly identified more closely with their cultural traditions. In addition, as students identified more closely with their cultural traditions they reported significantly higher levels of acculturative stress.



© Copyright 2007 Michael Brian Trahan