Examined is the hypothesis that the psychological response to social change would vary as a function of both the acculturative pressures brought to bear on a community, and the traditional cultural and behavioural features that characterize the community. By sampling from communities of Amerindian peoples, across an eco-cultural range, evidence was presented which indicated that the greater the cultural discontinuities across cultures, then the greater the acculturative stress; within Amerindian communities, levels of psychological differentiation were negatively related to acculturative stress. Specific cultural and individual differences must be taken into account when attempting to understand relationships between culture contact and acculturative stress; its course is not universal.
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