Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Adolescence

pp 263-274


Bicultural Stress

  • Andrea J. RomeroAffiliated withFamily Studies & Human Development, Mexican American & Raza Studies, University of Arizona Email author 
  • , Kali Van CampenAffiliated withFamily Studies & Human Development, University of Arizona


Central to the experience of many adolescents is how they navigate between multiple cultural contexts in a pluralistic environment (Garcia Coll et al. 1996; Romero and Roberts 2003a; Stanton-Salazar and Spina 2003). Today’s youth may be encountering individuals from different cultures on a firsthand basis at earlier ages than ever before, given the globalized environments that youth are exposed to via transnational media and worldwide immigration (Arnett 2002; Zagefka and Brown 2002). When adolescents encounter bicultural contexts, they may experience unique and interesting new social interactions and fusions; however, these multiple cultural contexts also shape the experience of stress. Bicultural contexts will impact adolescents’ types of stress, appraisal of stress, and coping mechanisms (Aldwin 1994; Donnelly 2002; Walters and Simoni 2002). The bicultural context of stress describes how different cultural environments may be subjectively perceived by individuals to ...

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