20 SES 08 B, The Impact of Migration and Cultural Diversity on Learning
Schools and schooling processes support youth optimum adjustment. One of the factors previously researched related to adjustment is life satisfaction, social support and self-esteem (Park, 2004). In fact, those factors are also related to subjective well-being and play an important role in positive development of adolescents’ adaptation. In general, life satisfaction and positive affect may mitigate the negative effects of stressful life events and work against the development of psychological and behavioral problems among youth. Studies of children and adolescents consistently find that demographic variables such as age, grade, gender, intelligence, and parental occupation have at most a weak relationship with measures of youth life satisfaction (for reviews, see Huebner 1997; Gilman and Huebner 2003). However, intrapersonal and interpersonal environmental variables account for a greater amount of variance in youth life satisfaction (Huebner 1991a, 1991b).
Regarding interpersonal variables, intercultural competences have shown to enhance students cultural adaptation. According to Ward´s model (2001), adaptation may be meaningfully divided into two domains: 1) Psychological domain (emotional/affective) and 2) Sociocultural (behavioral) domain related to the ability to “fit in'' to acquire culturally appropriate skills and to negotiate interactive aspects of the host environment. In the present study, we aim to demonstrated the relevance of the five intercultural competences of the Multicultural Personality Model (Van Oudenhoven & Van der Zee, 2001), to subjective psychological well-being determined by life satisfaction, self-esteem and social support among high school students in cultural diverse groups. We stand for the need to develop intercultural competences among native and immigrant background students to provide a better self-adaptation. These five key competences: cultural empathy, openmindedness, emotional stability, social initiative, and flexibility have been related to physically and emotionally adjustment with sojourners and exchange students in different countries (Van Oudenhoven & Van der Zee, 2002; Leong, 2007). However research is needed to explore intercultural competences among adolescents. Therefore, we expect that these five competences will be equally important for native and students with cultural background to explain psychological adaptation among adolescents. However, we consider differences related to factors as parent’s cultural background, gender, and length in the country related to intercultural competences.
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