The role of acculturation on sense of fairness of the division of family labor and marital quality among Brazilian immigrants in the U.S.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Maria Cristina F. Lima (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
J. Scott Young

Abstract: Over 1 million people are admitted into the United States each year with the status of legal permanent residents. Brazilian immigrants in the US are a relatively small population; however, their numbers are growing to approximately 800,000 to 1 million. Among immigrant couples, partners may acculturate using different attitudes and at different paces. Also, acculturation involves changes in many domains, including the perceptions of fairness in the division of family labor, which may have implications for marital quality. The current study aimed to evaluate the relationships among acculturation, sense of fairness of the division of family labor, and marital quality among Brazilian immigrants in the US. An additional purpose of this study was to address this growing and yet under studied population. Results suggest that there is a significant relationship between sense of fairness of the division of family labor and marital quality among Brazilian immigrant married women, in that perceptions of unfairness in the division of labor contribute to decrease marital quality. However, the associations involving acculturation were not confirmed. There are two possible explanations for these non-significant findings. First, it is possible that Brazilian women are more similar to their American counterparts in regards to sense of fairness than previously thought. Therefore, being more or less acculturated would not be predictive of sense of fairness among this particular sample. Second, the findings of the current study also point to the need to look more closely at the instrumentation used to measure acculturation, to review its concept and indicators. It is recommended that instruments measuring acculturation among Brazilian immigrants should be specifically designed to address the uniqueness of this specific population. In addition, acculturation measure should be updated to assess the possibility that remote acculturation may occur by mean of mass communication between geographically separated groups. It is important for counselors who work with Brazilian immigrant couples to be knowledgeable of the demographic realities these couples face (e.g., decreased career mobility and lower rates of domestic help), as well as marital dynamics involving partners sense of fairness with changing expectations of the division of family labor and marital quality.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Acculturation, Brazilians, Family labor, Immigrants, Marital quality, Sense of fairness
Acculturation $z United States
Brazilian Americans $x Social conditions
Immigrant families $z United States $x Social conditions
Marital quality $z United States
Sex role $z United States
Man-woman relationships $z United States

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