Nursing and Acculturation

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AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NURSING

Concept Analysis of Acculturation in Filipino Immigrants Within Health Context Reimund Serafica, MSN, RN Reimund Serafica, MSN, RN, is a Doctoral candidate in Nursing (Research & Education) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Keywords Acculturation, Filipino immigrants, concept analysis Correspondence Reimund Serafica, MSN, RN, School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822. E-mail: reimund@hawaii.edu

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Although acculturation has been widely used as a health research variable among other immigrant populations, it is nonexistent to the Filipino immigrant population. Accurate assessment, measurement, and exploration of acculturation of Filipinos in the United States can help improve the overall health care of this population. The work of Walker and Avant is used as a guide to analyze and clarify the operational definition of acculturation of this group within the context of health.

Introduction The U.S. Census Bureau determined that in 2000, Filipino Americans (FAs) numbered 1,850,314 and are the second largest Asian ethnic group (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002) in the United States. This is a 32% increase from 1990 and a 137% increase from 1980 (Chung et al., 2007). These waves of immigration from the Philippines can be characterized as a search for economic opportunity and family reunification (de Castro, Gee, & Takeuchi, 2008; Kataoka-Yahiro, Ceria, & Yoder, 2004). As the FA population continues to rapidly increase, it is important to understand the process of acculturation that occurs in this population and its potential to affect their lifestyle choices and health status. Selection of Concept The concept of acculturation is central to immigrant population. Acculturation has been widely used as a research variable to measure the effects of cultural beliefs and values on health and to study how those effects may change as individuals integrate some of the values of the mainstream culture (Aruguete, Edman, Sanders, & Yates, 2007; Hunt, Schneider, & Comer, 2004). Although the concept of acculturation has been utilized by several disciplines, including medicine, soci128 © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Nursing Forum Volume 46, No. 3, July-September 2011

ology, psychology, and nursing, inconsistencies exist in the definitions. Researchers who have measured acculturation often failed to define it under the assumption that acculturation is a known concept (Hunt et al., 2004). Many of the scales developed to measure acculturation focus on language and length of residency in the United States as the only variables, without taking into consideration the sociocultural context of the ethnicity of the given culture (Hunt et al., 2004). Although language abilities and length of residency in the United States are important aspects of acculturation, there are several cultural factors that may have a significant impact on health status of Filipino immigrants.

Aims of Analysis The purpose of this concept analysis is to analyze and clarify the operational definition of the concept of acculturation in the Filipino population. Although acculturation is frequently used as a variable in studies relating to immigrant health, there is a noticeable lack of information regarding how Filipino immigrants acculturate in their host culture. This concept analysis also intends to illuminate the role of acculturation in exploring lifestyle choices of Filipino immigrants. Incorporating acculturation issues into nursing and health care can assist in achieving one of the main

R. Serafica
goals of Healthy People 2020 in eliminating health disparities (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2010). Methodology Concept analysis is a critical step for the development of nursing theory and practice (Rodgers & Knalf, 2000). It is a process of operationalizing a phenomenon so that it can be used for theory development and/or research measurement (Duncan, Cloutier, &...
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