«The ongoing wars around the world have led to an ever increasing exodus of refugee populations for resettlement in developed countries, including the ...»
Adolescents who returned signed consent and assent forms took the three research instruments: the SPPA, the SSSC, the AAQ, and the demographic questionnaire form (see Appendices). The principal researcher and the director conducted the recruitment (Appendix A) explaining the purpose of the study, the minimal risks and benefits for participation in the study, and instructions for completion of the research instruments.
Participants also were reminded that participation was voluntary and they had the option of withdrawing from the study at any time without any penalties. The instrument administration took place in the rooms provided at the community center and it took on average 45 minutes to one hour to complete. The researcher responded to the
ensured that all participants were attended to throughout the time of the administration.
Participants were given in a random order the three packets of instruments to be completed. Participants who completed all the questionnaires were given a $5 Wal-Mart gift card.
A pilot study was conducted by the researcher in order to test and determine the appropriateness of using the instruments in studying acculturation and psychosocial adjustment of African adolescent refugees in the U.S. Participants in the study were African adolescent refugees in Greensboro, North Carolina, who were contacted through two refugee resettlement community agencies (i.e., Glen Haven and Avalon). Participants included adolescents from six African countries; Liberia (n = 6), Democratic Republic of Congo (n = 2), Sierra Leone (n = 1), Nigeria (n = 1), Ivory Coast (n = 1), and Central African Republic (n = 1). Two participants were not included in the data analysis due to failure to fully complete the measures. Ages of participants ranged between 14-18 years (M = 15.6 years; SD = 1.49). Participants had resided in the United States at least for one year and no more than ten years. Also, as a requirement, they were enrolled in school from grades 7 through 12. Participants‟ demographic information (See Table 1) as well as the means and standard deviations of measures were analyzed using descriptive statistics
Prior to the study, the researcher contacted the director of Glen Haven and Avalon refugee community centers to determine the number of refugees available to participate in the study. Scheduling a venue for the actual instrument administration also was done.
Additionally, the researcher attended two meetings at both centers to interact and familiarize herself with the potential participants in the pilot study. Also, the researcher interacted with potential participants as a volunteer in translation during the Refugee Health Day at one of the community centers. Consent forms (See Appendix A) were handed out to the participants one week prior to their participation in the study. The investigator contacted the director two days before administration of instruments to determine if the consent forms had been signed and returned or participants needed more time to do so. All consent forms (except one) had been returned and handed out to the director before the day of administration. One parent brought the consent form on the material day because she had not been available the previous week but she wanted her child to participate in the study. Also, the researcher obtained the participants‟ assent (see Appendix A) before their participation.
Participants signed two copies of assent forms, they kept one for their records and present the other copy to the investigator. The assent form included (1) the purpose of study, (2) voluntary participation, and (3) emphasis on confidentiality of the information to be gathered- with a few exceptions. After obtaining participants‟ assent, the researcher provided pencils and handed out the three instruments, the SPPA, AAQ, SSSC, and a
the community center were available to respond to any questions raised by participants during the administration.
Fourteen participants turned up to complete the measures. Among these, two participants‟ questionnaires were discarded because they did not complete the measures.
Some participants also did not respond to some questions. For these participants, the averages of the mean scores were used in the data analysis. Some of the questions that came up included the need for clarity about the boxes to be checked and some words that some participants needed to be explained. Also, some participants were not sure about what they needed to insert in the blank spaces provided on the acculturation attitudes questionnaire. They needed further explanation before they responded. Participants who fully completed all the assessment instruments were given a $5 dollar Wal-mart gift card.
The means and standard deviations for all assessment instruments (see Table 2) as well as reliability (i.e., internal consistencies) estimates for each were computed.
Reliabilities (i.e., Cronbach‟s alpha) of all the subscales were computed to determine their internal consistencies. In comparison to the study conducted by Kovacev and Shute (2004), reliabilities in the present study were slightly higher, except for the peer support
subscale which was lower in the present study. Reliability coefficients were as follows:
psychosocial adjustment subscales: global self-worth α =.76 and peer social acceptance α =.68; social support subscales; parent support α =.69 and peer support α =.78;
marginalization α =.79, and separation α =.85 (see Table 3). Data analyses for the pilot study were conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS Version 18). Correlations among scores on the subscale scales used from each assessment instrument (i.e., SPPA, SSSC, and AAQ) were analyzed using correlation matrix (see Table 4).
Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations of Measures for Pilot Study (N = 12)
**Correlation is significant at the p.01 level (2 tailed) *Correlation is significant at the p.05 level (2 tailed) Note: 1) SSSC_PAR = Social Support Scale for Children_Parent, 2) SSSC_PEER = Social Support Scale for Children_Peer, 3) SPPA_GSW = Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents_ Global Self-Worth, 4) SPPA_PSA = Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents_Peer Social Acceptance, 5) AAQ_INT = Acculturation Attitudes Questionnaire_Integration, 6) AAQ_ASS = Acculturation Attitudes Questionnaire_Assimilation, 7) AAQ_MARG = Acculturation Attitudes Questionnaire_Marginalization, 8) AAQ_SEP = Acculturation Attitudes Questionnaire_Separation
Means and standard deviations for all assessment scores are presented (see Table 2).
In comparison to the study conducted by Kovacev and Shute (2004), the means and standard deviations were as follows: global self-worth (M = 3.07, SD = 0.62), present
sample (M = 2.85, SD =.75), parental support (M = 3.38, SD = 0.53), present sample (M = 3.04, SD =.59), peer/friend support (M = 3.33, SD = 0.66), present sample (M = 3.16, SD =.67). For acculturation attitudes, present sample integration (M = 4.16, SD =.92), assimilation (M = 3.13, SD = 1.2), separation (M = 2.95, SD = 1.1), and marginalization (M = 2.7, SD = 1.1). Means and standard deviations for acculturation attitudes were not compared to those in the study above because a different acculturation measure was used.
Means on all assessment instruments in the present study were scored in the median range (see Table 3). For psychosocial adjustment, global self-worth had the highest mean while peer support indicated the highest mean scores among social support subscales.
Among acculturation attitudes, integration was highest and assimilation had the lowest mean score. As shown in Table 3, there seems to be more variance in separation and marginalization. Results of the pilot study indicated positive to negative correlations between assessment instruments.
Correlations between psychosocial adjustment subscales (i.e., global self-worth and peer social acceptance) were as follows; global self-worth and peer social acceptance indicated a moderate relationship r(10) =.69, p.01. The same moderate relationship was found to exist between global self-worth and one of the social support subscales (i.e., global self-worth and parental support, r(10) =.69, p.01. The relationship between peer social acceptance and parental support was moderate, r(10) =.68, p.01 while peer social acceptance and peer support indicated a strong relationship r(10) =.77, p.00 There was a strong relationship among social support subscales. The correlation
acculturation attitudes subscales indicated moderate to very high relationships. There was a very high relationship between separation and marginalization r(10) =.92, p.00, a strong relationship between separation and assimilation r(10) =.79, p.00, and a moderate relationship between marginalization and assimilation r(10) =.66, p.01.
Results from the pilot study indicated that the adolescent refugee participants tended to favor separation and marginalization in comparison to integration and assimilation attitudes. The adolescents supported separation (i.e., tend to maintain original culture) and marginalization (i.e., lack of involvement in either original or host country culture).
This finding was different from research findings which have consistently indicated a leaning towards integration (i.e., participation in both original and host majority culture) and assimilation (i.e., rejection of original in favor of host culture) as the two attitudes providing successful adjustment. Results from the present study may partly be explained by the differences in the sample used in comparison to other studies, where participants have ranged from immigrants vs. refugees and also different cultural backgrounds.
Some limitations of the pilot study included a discrepancy in country and gender representation. Even with the small sample of participants, some countries were more highly represented (e.g., Liberia) than others. Also, other countries the investigator anticipated to be represented were not included in the study due to lack of participants.
This may be due to a low representation of some countries of origin of African adolescent refugees in Greensboro. Because of these differences in country and gender representation, the findings need to be interpreted with caution. Correlations among
participants took a longer time to complete the instruments than initially anticipated.
Taking longer time was observed among participants who had resided in the U.S. for one to one and a half years. Participants who had resided in the U.S. for more than two years were able to complete the instruments within the expected time period. Besides, some participants were confused with the number of boxes to be checked on the instruments (see Appendix B). They needed some explanation before they eventually were able to respond.
Also, the instruments administered in the study had yet to be used with an African adolescent refugee sample anywhere. Therefore, there may have been some slight variations in the interpretation of the items on the questionnaires, which then led to some taking a longer period of time. Additionally, some questions on the instruments were challenging and some participants took more time to think about the possible meanings before they responded. Some of the participants wanted to ask questions during the administrations but were afraid to do so (i.e., as evidenced from the brief conversations with the investigator after completion) because they did not want their peers to think they did not understand the questions. Another observation from the director was that there were many adolescents who were not present because of other commitments. She suggested that handing out the instruments individually (i.e., different days and times)
For the main study, a number of changes were needed. First, the time allocated to complete the instruments needed to be different for participants depending on the duration of residence in the U.S. Those who have resided in the U.S. for less than two years were given more time to complete the instruments. Also, it was necessary to work in collaboration with the directors of the communities from which the sample was derived to determine the participants who might need to complete the instruments individually. This may alleviate the problem of some participants not being available during certain days of the week, and also in case any of them may need to ask questions that they may otherwise not do so in the company of their peers. In addition, because some participants were not sure whether they needed to check one or two boxes, the boxes were dropped. Also, a clear example was given at the top of each instrument for
In Chapters I, II, and III, an introduction and purpose of the study, an overview of the literature, and methodology for this study designed to examine the relationship among acculturation, social support, and psychosocial adjustment of African adolescent refugees in the U.S. were presented. In this chapter, the results of the study are presented including descriptive statistics, Pearson Correlation analyses, Multiple and Univariate Regressions, and Factorial ANOVA using SPSS Statistics Version 18.0. First, a detailed description of the participants in the study including demographic information is presented. Descriptive statistics for participants‟ age, grade level, gender, country of origin, and length of stay in the U.S. are described. General descriptive statistics for study measures showing means and standard deviations are presented.