Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 91, Issue 5, pp 357–360 | Cite as

Negative Consequences of Acculturation on Health Behaviour, Social Support and Stress among Pregnant Southeast Asian Immigrant Women in Montreal: An Exploratory Study

  • Ilene Hyman
  • Gilles Dussault


It is frequently assumed that migrant status constitutes a health risk because migration is inevitably associated with a period of significant adjustment and stress. This paper describes the role of acculturation in understanding the relationship between migration and low birthweight (LBW). Psychosocial and behavioural risk factors for LBW were explored using semi-structured interviews with 17 pregnant Southeast Asian women who represented different levels of acculturation. Findings suggested that acculturation had negative consequences for immigrant women. Higher levels of acculturation were associated with dieting during pregnancy, inadequate social support and stressful life experiences.


On présume souvent que l’immigration pose un risque pour la santé en raison du stress intense et de l’adaptation énorme qu’elle implique. Cet article examine le rôle de l’acculturation dans l’incidence des cas d’insuffisance de poids à la naissance chez les immigrants. À l’aide d’entrevues semi-structurées auprès de 17 femmes enceintes ayant immigré de l’Asie du Sud-Est et ayant atteint divers niveaux d’acculturation, on y explore les facteurs de risques psychosociaux et comportementaux associés à l’insuffisance de poids à la naissance. Les conclusions suggèrent que l’acculturation nuit à la situation des femmes immigrantes. On a observé un lien entre les niveaux élevés d’acculturation et l=alimentation durant la grossesse, le manque de soutien social et les expÈriences stressantes de la vie quotidienne.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Health Network Women’s Health Program, Culture, Community and Health Studies Program - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of Toronto, Toronto General HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Departement d’administration de la santéUniversité de MontréalCanada

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