Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

This article reports on the results of research which assessed adverse acculturation conditions in the workplace. Acculturation conditions such as racism, discrimination, segregation and separation were evaluated as predictors to ascertain how they affect acculturation outcomes such as intentions to quit and ill-health, both physical and psychological, of workers in the workplace. A convenience sample (N = 327) was taken from various sectors, for example retail, banking, mining, police service, and the municipality. The study aimed to test the mediating role of separation in the relation between adverse acculturation conditions and wellbeing as measured by ill-health and intentions to quit. The results indicated that racism, discrimination, segregation and separation, ill-health and intentions to quit were positively related. The hypothesized model was confirmed in a structural equation modelling analysis. This meant that more mainstream segregation demands, discrimination, and subtle racism, coupled with a dominant ethnic separation acculturation strategy and co-ethnics demanding that their members keep to themselves at work (with limited or no intercultural contact), were associated with the experiences of higher physical and psychological ill-health, and frequent thoughts of intentions to quit. In addition, mainstream segregation demands, compared to subtle racism and discrimination, were much more strongly associated with ethnic preference to separate. Blacks reported higher segregation demands and discrimination experiences at work (conditions), an individual separation acculturation strategy and physical ill-health at work (outcomes) compared to Whites, although the effects were relatively small. Recommendations for future research are provided.

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