Acculturation gap -distress hypothesis applied to Armenian Americans in Glendale, California

Alina Gorgorian, Fordham University


The present study explored the applicability of the acculturation gap-distress hypothesis to Armenian families in Glendale, California. In this preliminary study, the author sought to examine whether differing levels of acculturation among Armenian parents and adolescents engendered intergenerational conflict. Adapted versions of the revised Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans (ARSMA-II) and the Issues Checklist (IC-Abridged) allowed the researcher to quantify the relationship of these variables. Additionally, the study included an open-ended question to capture qualitative aspects of this phenomenon. Analysis of Variance, multiple regression, and linear regression models provided insight into the relationship between the acculturation gap and intergenerational conflict. Multiple regression and linear regression models helped the investigator explore within-group differences according to gender and age. Nonetheless, no significant relationships appeared between acculturation gap and conflict. Thus this study failed to find support for the acculturation gap-distress hypothesis among this particular sample of Armenians. In fact, intergenerational conflict was notably low throughout the sample, with minimal variability. The researcher conducted a theme analysis in order to assess outcomes of the open-ended question, "If your parents grew up in a different country, what is it like for you to grow up in America?" Seven major themes emerged from the participants' responses, including: (a) opportunity, (b) lifestyle, (c) mentality, (d) misunderstanding, (e) ease, (f) freedom, and (g) appreciation. Though these diverse themes revealed themselves clearly through the open-ended question, they were not pronounced enough to justify any conclusive statements. As a result of the findings, the author suggests some avenues of future research and certain clinical implications for medical and mental health professionals.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Ethnic studies

Recommended Citation

Gorgorian, Alina, "Acculturation gap -distress hypothesis applied to Armenian Americans in Glendale, California" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3361354.