Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Viven Marcow Speiser


As immigrant families settle in their host culture, acculturative stress occurs affecting an individuals’ identity development, as well as the family dynamic. The task of maintaining their heritage culture and navigating through the host culture challenges many first generation American and immigrant adolescents, often unsure which culture, or possibly both, best aligns with their identity. Both parent and child alike experience the acculturation process, although children acculturate into the host culture faster than their parents do. This difference in acculturation speed creates a gap that ultimately affects the family dynamic and the parent-child relationship. However, it is the opinion of this author that with the opportunity to share stories can minimize the familial conflicts could be better served. Parents could feel empowered by sharing stories of their heritage and through those stories; children could feel grounded in their ethnic identity. Sharing family narratives could also aid in developing the family identity. Overall, this literature review explores the acculturation challenges and (a) its effects on individual identity development, (b) its effects on the family dynamic, and (c) the effects sharing family narratives has on identity development and the family dynamic.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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