Cross-cultural psychology has demonstrated important links between cultural context and individual behavioural development. Given this relationship, cross-cultural research has increasingly investigated what happens to individuals who have developed in one cultural context when they attempt to re-establish their lives in another one. The long-term psychological consequences of this process of acculturation are highly variable, depending on social and personal variables that reside in the society of origin, the society of settlement. and phenomena that both exist prior to, and arise during, the course of acculturation. This article outlines a conceptual framework within which acculturation and adaptation can be investigated, and then presents some general findings and conclusions based on a sample of empirical studies. Applications to public policy and programmes are proposed. along with a consideration of the social and psychological costs and benefits of adopting a pluralist and integrationist orientation to these issues.
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