Acculturation Style Is Associated with Stress and Tobacco Use among East African Immigrants

Motohiro Nakajima, Abdul Sero, Shamso Jama, Sara Habte, Sartu Taha, Hileena Habte, Gemechu Mekonnen, Iman Geleto, Stephan Bongard, Mustafa al’Absi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While tobacco use rates are relatively high among East African immigrants in the U.S., factors contributing to this high rate are largely unknown. Acculturation is associated with stress and substance use. Whether acculturation styles are related to stress and current tobacco use has not been tested among this population. We conducted a cross-sectional study that included 376 East African adults who provided information on demographic background, acculturation style, acculturative stress, depressive symptoms, and tobacco use. Multivariate analysis indicated that individuals who were distant to both the culture of the host country and the culture of origin (marginalization style) had greater levels of acculturative stress than those who adopted both cultures (integration style; p <.001). Marginalized people were four to eight times and assimilated people were three to four times more likely than integration people to be a current tobacco user (p <.04). This relationship did not change after controlling for demographic information and stress. In this study, acculturation style was associated with perceived stress and current tobacco use among East African immigrants. Research focused on characterizing integrated individuals may guide efforts to develop culturally-relevant strategies to reduce tobacco-related disparities among East African individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by The Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship Program (GIA), Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota. The funder had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Acculturation
  • biculturalism
  • mental health
  • stress
  • tobacco

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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