Acculturation and Anger Expression Among Iranian Migrants in Germany

Frontiers in Psychology 13 (2022)
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Abstract

Cultural and biographical influences on the expression of emotions manifest themselves in so-called “display rules.” These rules determine the time, intensity, and situations in which an emotion is expressed. To date, only a small number of empirical studies deal with this transformation of how migrants, who are faced with a new culture, may change their emotional expression. The present, cross-sectional study focuses on changes in anger expression as part of a complex acculturation process among Iranian migrants. To this end, Iranian citizens in Iran, German citizens, and Iranian migrants in Germany were compared in terms of anger expression behavior and acculturation strategy was assessed among the migrants, using the Frankfurt Acculturation Scale. A questionnaire developed in a preliminary study was used to measure anger expression via subjective anger experience and anger expression within 16 hypothetical situations. Multivariate Analyses of Variance revealed that Iranians and Iranian migrants reported higher anger experience ratings than Germans and directed their anger more often inward. Further findings suggest that transformation processes may have affected Iranian migrants in terms of suppressed anger : Iranian migrants with a higher orientation toward German culture reported lower average anger-in scores. These results suggest that there was different emotional expression among Iranian migrants, depending on their acculturation. The results provide new insight into socio-cultural and individual adjustment processes.

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