acculturation, midlife women's health, Soviet immigrants



  1. Miller, Arlene Michaels
  2. Chandler, Peggy J.


Background: A growing body of literature has demonstrated that demographic factors and acculturative stress contribute to depression in recent immigrants from many countries. Few studies examine potentially protective personality factors, such as resilience, for dealing with the challenges related to the early postmigration transition period.


Objectives: The purpose of this analysis is to examine relationships among demographic characteristics, acculturation, psychological resilience, and symptoms of depression in midlife women from the former Soviet Union who recently immigrated to the United States.


Method: Data for this analysis are from a larger cross-sectional study that explored the impact of immigration during midlife on women's health. The volunteer sample included 200 women from the former Soviet Union, 45-65 years old, who had lived in the U.S. fewer than 6 years. This analysis involves measures of acculturation, demands of immigration, resilience, and depressed mood.


Results: Findings include very high scores on the depression scale compared to U.S. norms. Older women, and those reporting greater demands of immigration, had higher scores on the depression scale. However, lower depression scores were found for women reporting greater English usage and resilience.


Discussion: The results corroborate previous studies that suggest high levels of depression in immigrant women, but additional validation is suggested to differentiate symptoms of depressed mood from clinical depression in this culture. Findings also suggest that interventions that encourage use of English language and enhance resilience may help decrease symptoms of depression in midlife women who are recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union.