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Immigrant Acculturative Stress and Mental Health

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Recorded on Thursday, November  17, 2022

Presented by Fangfang Ma, M.A, Doctoral candidate & Dr. Shelby Forbes, Ph.D

When attended in full, offers 1.0 CEs for Psychologists, 1.0 IL CEUs for Social Workers, 1.0 BBS CEUs for Counselors and Social Workers, 1.0 SHRM PDCs for Human Resource Professionals, or 1.0 CPDs for School Psychologists.

Workshop Description:

This program will examine the role of acculturative stress on individuals’ mental health. It will distinguish the acculturative stress that people experience due to limited linguistic proficiency from the stress that they incur as a result of having to navigate a new culture, with a different set of norms, customs, ideologies, and even practices for interacting with a healthcare system and its representatives. Acculturative stress will be thoroughly defined, and relevant examples will be provided. The populations most susceptible to acculturative stress will also be presented. The presenter will use her own experiences as an immigrant who has experienced acculturative as a lens for discussing best practices for ameliorating the acculturative stress of immigrants, and for improving their mental health outcomes. The presenter will also incorporate opportunities for attendees to reflect on their own immigrant story, if relevant, as a means for exploring some of the concepts discussed.

This program will use Bandura’s (1978) social cognitive theory, specifically the notion of self-efficacy, as the theoretical framework for understanding acculturative stress and its impact on immigrants’ psychological well-being. The presentation will focus on two key context where acculturative stress may exert the most profound negative effects: work and school.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this introductory level program, participants will be able to:

  1. Define and recognize acculturative stress in their practice,
  2. Implement methods for attenuating or resolving clients’/patients’ acculturative stress within their own practice.

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.1: Program content focuses on application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that have overall consistent and credible empirical support in the contemporary peer reviewed scientific literature beyond those publications and other types of communications devoted primarily to the promotion of the approach

This program meets APA’s continuing education Goal 2: Program will enable psychologists to keep pace with the most current scientific evidence regarding assessment, prevention, intervention, and/or education, as well as important relevant legal, statutory, leadership, or regulatory issues.

Presenter Biographies:

Fangfang Ma, M.A., Doctoral candidate: Fangfang Ma is a doctoral candidate in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. Her doctoral research examines the effects of acculturative stress among Chinese international students. She holds a graduate certificate in Mind, Brain and Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. She is also an instructor at Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, and the University of Maryland, where she teaches global business courses. Prior to entering Academia, she worked in one of the world’s largest HR firms, before establishing her own multicultural business consulting firm.

Shelby Forbes, Ph.D.: Dr. Forbes holds a doctorate in communication from the University of South Florida. Her doctoral work examined the social construction of disability, and her publications likewise explore the social side of medicine, with a special emphasis on historically marginalized populations. She has taught health communication and interpersonal courses at the collegiate level for over 10 years. Her article, “Measuring Disability: The Agency of an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Diagnostic Questionnaire,” is published in the journal Discourse Studies. She is also a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Disability Studies and the Encyclopedia of Health & Human Services.


d’Abreu, A., Castro-Olivo, S., & Ura, S. K. (2019). Understanding the role of acculturative stress on refugee youth mental health: A systematic review and ecological approach to assessment and intervention. School Psychology International, 40(2), 107-127.

Fang, C. Y., Handorf, E. A., Rao, A. D., Siu, P. T., & Tseng, M. (2021). Acculturative stress and depressive symptoms among Chinese immigrants: The role of gender and social support. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 8(5), 1130-1138.

Franco, M., Hsiao, Y. S., Gnilka, P. B., & Ashby, J. S. (2019). Acculturative stress, social support, and career outcome expectations among international students. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 19(2), 275-291.

Interiano-Shiverdecker, C. G., Foxx, S. P., & Flowers, C. (2019). Acculturation domains and counselor self-efficacy. Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory & Research, 46(1-2), 48-63.

Kuo, B. C., Huang, S., Li, X., & Lin, D. (2021). Self-Esteem, Resilience, Social Support, and Acculturative Stress as Predictors of Loneliness in Chinese Internal Migrant Children: A Model-Testing Longitudinal Study. The Journal of Psychology, 155(4), 387-405.

Urzúa, A., Caqueo-Urízar, A., Henríquez, D., & Williams, D. R. (2021). Discrimination and health: the mediating effect of Acculturative stress. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(10), 5312.

Workshop Pricing:

General Admission: $55

Continuing Education:

Target Audience: All mental health disciplines.

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.0 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to [email protected] There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

Social Workers. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.0 hours of continuing education. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to provide continuing education programming for social workers. License Number: 159.001036

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 1.0 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.

Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.