What is it about?

Different studies have shown that children of immigrant families often acculturate faster than their parents. This difference in the speed of acculturation may create a gap known as the acculturation gap. The acculturation gap may lead to family conflicts and stress, which may ultimately deteriorate family functioning. So far, various studies have linked the acculturation gap with conduct problems, adjustment issues, substance abuse, mental health problems such as depressive symptoms, etc. among Hispanic children/adolescents. Emerging adulthood (18-25 years old) is a unique developmental phase. Even though emerging adults are legally adults, in some families, parents may continue to consider them children; thus, they are often caught in between roles. This period of life is marked by various events (e.g., new relationships, education, job) that often leave a lifelong impact on their identity across adulthood. For the most part, the unstable nature of the emerging adulthood years makes them more vulnerable to negative health outcomes. In addition to the challenges of this developmental phase, Hispanic emerging adults face additional socio-cultural stressors such as acculturation gap, ethnic discrimination, etc., that may further put them at risk for negative health outcomes. So this study aimed to examine whether acculturation gap does impact Hispanic emerging adult's perceived health status.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Self-rated health is a measure of perceived health status that is a valid indicator of chronic diseases and objective health status. However, no studies before examined the direct association between acculturation gap conflicts and self-rated health among Hispanics, including Hispanic emerging adults. This study is the first that investigated the relationship between the acculturation gap and self-rated health among Hispanic emerging adults. Findings from this study suggests that acculturation gap is in fact a stressor that impacts perceived health of Hispanic emerging adults. The study findings underscore the importance of further investigations to identify modifiable resources (e.g., distress tolerance, resilience, family cohesion, etc.) that can help Hispanic emerging adults overcome acculturation gap conflicts and improve their overall health.


It is vital to identify cultural stressors that can impact the lives of emerging adults who are already navigating through difficult times. Identifying such stressors can help trigger investigations to detect potential coping resources and incorporate those into intervention programs that can help this population overcome the negative impacts resulting from specific stressors.

Abir Rahman
Cabell-Huntington Health department

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Acculturation gap conflicts and self-rated health among Hispanic emerging adults., Families Systems & Health, August 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/fsh0000726.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page