Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

Department

Social Work Policy Planning and Administration

First Advisor

Brandi Wilson

Second Advisor

Dr. Roslyn A. Harper-Arnold

Third Advisor

Dr. Vimala Pillari

Abstract

The study examined the socio-cultural identity and adjustment process of Ethiopian immigrants in Atlanta, Georgia. One hundred and sixty-two randomly selected Ethiopian immigrants, aged 15 and above, were interviewed by using a self-reporting survey questionnaire. The survey was designed to assess if there was a relationship between psychological problems and adjustment process, socio-cultural identity crises among Ethiopian immigrant parents and their children who live in Atlanta, and to explore if Ethiopians are integrating or assimilating with the American culture. The results indicated that the majorityof respondents felt that life in America is stressful, and more than half of the respondents said they have not experienced psychological problems. The majority of the respondents keep and use their culture, and prefer integration over assimilation. The results also show that Ethiopian immigrants prefer to be identified as “Ethiopian” and “Ethio-American” by their nationality, instead of “black” and “African American.” Even though Ethiopian immigrants agree living in America is stressful, most of the respondents deny that their adjustment process affects their psychological well-being. Ethiopians are new immigrants in the new world. This study introduces the Ethiopian culture and identity to the entire community to minimize the cultural barrier. The findings from this study may also have practical significance for Ethiopian immigrants in the United States.

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