Date of Conferral
Hispanic students often suffer from acculturative stress as they adapt to U.S. college environments; however, few scholars have examined the acculturative stress relationship among undocumented versus documented Hispanic college students. In this quantitative, correlational study design, adaptation levels related to acculturative stress between both statuses were examined. The theoretical foundations of this study are based on the social cognitive career theory. This investigation focused on determining how adaptation levels predict Hispanic college students' acculturative stress and whether this realtionship differ between documented and undocumented college students. The I-Adapt measure was used to measure participants' level of adaptability and the social, attitudinal, familial and educational or the Social, Attitudinal, Familial and Educational (S.A.F.E) measurement was used to measure their acculturative stress levels. The sample consisted of 165 Hispanic college students recruited from a private northeastern university. Contrarily to the main hypothesis, Regression analysis revealed that higher levels of cultural and crisis adaptability predicted lower levels of acculturative stress while higher levels of work stress adaptability predicted higher levels of acculturative stress. Future research should focus on further examination differences in adaptation toward acculturative stress and the aftermath of acculturative stress adaptation methods between documented and undocumented college students. The findings of this study can contribute to social change by informing immigration laws to adopt in order to protect college educated, skilled and productive immigrants.