Acculturation Profiles and Perceived Discrimination: Associations with Psychosocial Well-being Among Tunisian Adolescents in Italy

Pasquale Musso, Cristiano Inguglia, Alida Lo Coco


Research usually analyzed the relationships between acculturation or perceived discrimination and immigrants’ well-being, but few studies used an integrative perspective. Framed from a person-oriented approach, the current paper tried to advance the literature examining how acculturation profiles and perceived (group and personal) discrimination were associated with psychosocial well-being in a sample of 348 Tunisian adolescents (females = 48.28%; mean age = 15.72) living in southern Italy. Cluster analytic methods on the scores of acculturation strategies, ethnic and national identities, ethnic and national languages, ethnic and national peer social contacts produced three acculturation profiles: integrated, ethnic, and national. Adolescents of both integrated and national profiles reported higher levels of psychosocial well-being than those of the ethnic profile in terms of self-esteem and socio-cultural competence, whereas Tunisian adolescents of ethnic profile reported higher levels of perceived personal discrimination than the others. Also, the acculturation profile moderated the relationships between perceived discrimination and adolescents’ psychosocial well-being. Specifically, across integration and national profiles perceived group discrimination significantly predicted decreases in psychosocial well-being, but there was no significant association considering the ethnic profile group. The association between perceived personal discrimination and psychosocial well-being was moderated since it was more negative for adolescents of an ethnic profile than the others. Findings are discussed in the light of theoretical expectations, research context, and limitations as well as suggesting implications for the practitioners in the field.


Acculturation profiles; perceived discrimination; psychosocial well-being; person-oriented approach; immigrant adolescents

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