Understanding Acculturation: An Exploratory Study of Tibetan-American High School Students


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Pa Der Vang


The purpose of this research study was to understand how acculturation affects Tibetan-American high school students’ ability to develop a new identity considering many variables and how that identity relates to different parts of their life and issues related to that both at home with parents and other significant relationships in life. The aspects explored are the rate of acculturation, age of arrival, familial relationship, community involvement, and level of cultural practice at home. This research paper will integrate past studies about different Asian American communities and specific issues affecting youth in an attempt to understand the current group of Tibetan American high school student’s experience with acculturation. Factors such as cultural integration, defining Tibetan cultural identity, managing family roles and expectations, and managing two identities emerged from the data as primary themes. These findings support some of the past research studies about Asian American youths, yet it also shows the differences in cultural specific issues affecting immigrants and refugee populations within same racial background. The major findings indicate the need for further research to assess and understand the needs of cultural specific communities in order to provide effective assessment, service delivery, treatment planning, interventions and resources.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.