From Monocultural to Multicultural

Adaptation of Iranian Immigrant Adolescents in Malaysia

Khatereh Arbabi, Christine Jean Yeh, Zuria Mahmud, Amla Salleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Migration to a new country can be very difficult for adolescents as they are also experiencing a critical transition into adulthood. The current study investigates cross-cultural transition issues facing Iranian immigrant adolescents living in Malaysia. Data were gathered from individual interviews with 100 Iranian adolescents (ages 14-18 years), who have lived in Malaysia for between 2 months and 5 years. Descriptive phenomenology qualitative research was used to explore the impact of the migration process on Iranian adolescents. Analysis revealed five major themes regarding participants’ life experiences in Malaysia: (a) initial expectations; (b) differences in ethnicity, religion, and beliefs; (c) communication barriers; (d) differences in personal evaluations; and (e) psychological issues. The results of this study clearly show that migration for Iranian adolescents in Malaysia is a time of unexpected challenges that may not be experienced by other migrant adolescents in other countries. Our findings contribute to the literature on the unique experiences of Iranian adolescents living in Malaysia and also build on the current research on adolescents who have recently immigrated. In addition, our results further uncover the process of immigration for individuals who are moving from a monocultural society (such as Iran) to a multicultural context (such as Malaysia).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-402
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Fingerprint

Malaysia
immigrant
adolescent
migration
communication barrier
Communication Barriers
Qualitative Research
Life Change Events
Emigration and Immigration
Religion
phenomenology
Iran
adulthood
qualitative research
immigration
experience
ethnicity
migrant
Interviews
Psychology

Keywords

  • adjustment
  • immigration
  • Iranian adolescents
  • Malaysia
  • multiculturalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

From Monocultural to Multicultural : Adaptation of Iranian Immigrant Adolescents in Malaysia. / Arbabi, Khatereh; Yeh, Christine Jean; Mahmud, Zuria; Salleh, Amla.

In: Journal of Adolescent Research, Vol. 32, No. 3, 01.05.2017, p. 371-402.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Arbabi, Khatereh ; Yeh, Christine Jean ; Mahmud, Zuria ; Salleh, Amla. / From Monocultural to Multicultural : Adaptation of Iranian Immigrant Adolescents in Malaysia. In: Journal of Adolescent Research. 2017 ; Vol. 32, No. 3. pp. 371-402.
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