Examining the Lived Experiences of Acculturation Among Haitian Immigrants Living in the United States: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling
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The United States has the largest immigrant population compared to other countries around the world (Thaker, 2013). As the United States experiences unprecedented migration by foreign-born individuals, Haitian immigrants continues to grow as a cultural group. Haitian immigrants are the second largest minority groups of Afro-descent to migrate to the United States (Belizaire & Fuertes, 2011). Despite the increasing number of Haitian immigrants living in the United States, there remains a paucity in the literature pertaining to Haitian’s acculturation experiences and the impact migration has on their mental health. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the lived experiences of acculturation among Haitian immigrants living in the United States, utilizing an interpretative phenomenological analysis. The aim of this study was to provide professionals working with Haitian immigrants a better understanding of the multifaceted process of acculturation among Haitian immigrants and the factors impacting this population. Twelve Haitian immigrants participated in the study. Results from this study revealed five categorical themes: Progression, Forced Migration, Culture Maintenance, Assimilation, and Oppression. This study demonstrated the value and importance Haitian immigrants placed on advancing in the American culture. It also showed the importance they placed on maintaining the Haitian heritage while integrating with the American culture. Lastly, this research study also identified the challenges faced by Haitian immigrants living in the U.S. and the resiliency that Haitian immigrants maintained through challenges.