Acculturation stress can occur when individuals who are born in a non-dominant culture attempt to navigate through the dominant culture. Whether someone is born in the U.S. or they are born in another country, many of these individuals identify with more than one culture. Individuals often experience stress related to adjusting to the dominate U.S. culture such as attempting to uphold the values and customs of each culture and struggling to fit in to each culture. This can be stressful and lead to depression, anxiety, low self-worth, isolation and identify confusion. Acculturation stress can also lead to generational conflicts as individuals manage their parents’ and grandparents’ cultural expectations and customs. Parents and grandparents may struggle as they attempt to adjust to a new culture and adjust to their children and grandchildren differentiating from their cultural norms.
I know this story all too well. I was raised by immigrant parents who were born and raised in Mexico. I was born in the U.S. and I identify as bicultural. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to navigate through two different cultures and two different sides of myself. Individuals can experience acculturation stress as they try and make sense of the world they were raised in their family homes and the outside world in the dominant culture. The process of developing your cultural identify is a journey that is so personal and unique. Each person’s cultural identify is shaped by so many factors and may continue to shift over time. This process can often times be confusing and isolating. I am here to be a part of your journey, to walk alongside you and hold space for any emotions that arise in the process.
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