Acculturation and Life Satisfaction Among Immigrant Mexican Adults


  • Flavio F. Marsiglia
  • Jaime M. Booth
  • Adrienne Baldwin
  • Stephanie Ayers



Acculturation, Mexican-American, life satisfaction, resilience


The numbers of Mexican Americans living in the United States, many of whom are first generation immigrants, are increasing. The process of immigration and acculturation can be accompanied by stress, as an individual attempts to reconcile two potentially competing sets of norms and values and to navigate a new social terrain. However, the outcomes of studies investigating the relationship between levels of acculturation and well-being are mixed. To further investigate the dynamic of acculturation, this article will address the impact of acculturation and familismo, on reported life satisfaction and resilience among Mexican American adults living in the Southwest (N=307), the majority (89%) of which are immigrants. The findings indicate that bilingual individuals report significantly higher levels of life satisfaction and resilience than their Spanish-speaking counterparts do. Speaking primarily English only predicted higher levels of resilience but not life satisfaction. Implications for social work practice with Mexican American immigrants are discussed.