In the present study, we examined factors that may impact immigrants’ anxiety and depressive symptoms, focusing on the role of acculturation attitudes and social support. The participants of the present study were first generation Indian immigrants residing in Crete, Greece (N=114). Our first hypothesis was that Indian immigrants will choose two acculturation attitudes, namely integration and separation, as these may enable them maintain certain aspects of their culture of origin given their distinct differences from Greeks in religion, cultural values, and physical appearance. It was also hypothesized that integration and separation will be positively related to social support. Social support was also expected to mediate the negative relationship of separation and integration to anxiety and depression. Furthermore, social support was expected to act protectively for Indian immigrants who chose integration and separation, minimizing the levels of anxiety and depression (i.e., a moderation effect). Using specific measures for anxiety, depression, social support, and acculturation attitudes, the results showed that Indian immigrants report a greater preference for integration and separation. Separation was the only acculturation attitude positively related to social support and negatively to depression through social support from friends and family. Moreover, higher levels of social support seemed to protected immigrants who choose integration from depression and medium and high levels of social support protected immigrants who choose assimilation from anxiety. These findings indicate that both integration and separation are preferred by Indian immigrants in Greece. Moreover, it seems that in the case of Indian immigrants in Greece, separation could be related to more immigrants’ social support than other acculturation attitudes, ending in turn to less depression symptoms. These findings demonstrate that different acculturation attitudes (i.e. assimilation, integration, separation) may have different effects on distinct psychological indices. Moreover, immigrants’ social support is a protecting factor in the relationship between acculturation attitudes to anxiety and depression. The present study suggests that the increase of the immigrants’ social networks could prove helpful for their adaptation to the Greek society.
Key words: Acculturation, anxiety, depression, social support, Indian immigrants.
E.V. Kateri, G. Tsouvelas, E.C. Karademas (page 311)