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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: As the title aptly states, this book is a comprehensive exploration of the topic of acculturation. The editors state: "...acculturation is important in considering the behavior and beliefs of members of ethnic groups in any multicultural society." It includes material pertinent to African Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos.
Purpose: According to the editors, the purpose is to put theoretical and empirical issues regarding acculturation in one book. It brings together recent developments in the field and shows how acculturation relates to other constructs such as ethnic identity and individual and family processes. The book also addresses the impact of acculturation on mental and physical health. The editors meet these worthy objectives.
Audience: The book is written for "those who study diverse ethnic and cultural groups," according to the editors. In my judgment, both graduate students and professionals will benefit greatly from this book. The authors of each chapter are credible authorities in the subject matter.
Features: The book covers both theoretical and empirical issues in the explanation of acculturation. The authors apply this construct to understanding individual and family processes. They also address the relationship between acculturation and physical and mental health. The book is good because it covers four major minority groups in America. In addition, it explores both theoretical and applied areas such as substance use/abuse and psychological distress. The only shortcoming is that one can get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture because some chapters are not easy to read. This can occur in any edited book with many contributors.
Assessment: I like this book because so many elements of the construct of acculturation are in one book. It sheds light on four significant minority groups and presents both theoretical and research material. The book gives the reader a thorough understanding of this complex issue.