Psychological adaptation and development under acculturative stress: Toward a general model

David Omar Born

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37 Scopus citations


Psychological stresses affecting individuals from tradition-oriented societies who are subjected to acculturative pressures from western, modernized societies are examined. A cognitive construct, the mazeway, is used as a psychological frame-of-reference because of its adaptability to several sociocultural approaches to behavior theory. Primary stress is seen to derive from relative deprivation and, in particular, withdrawal of status respect. Adaptation to socially-induced stress approximates four modes: Retreatism, Reconciliation, Innovation and Withdrawal. Innovation and Withdrawal are seen to be improbable in the tradition-oriented society. Both Retreatism and Reconciliation can lead to successful psychocultural adaptation; several case studies lend support to this theoretical framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-547
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1970
Externally publishedYes


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