Adverse acculturation conditions and wellbeing in the workplace : the mediating role of separation
De Koker, Dudley Gustav
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Objectives: To assess the mediating role of ethnic separation in the relationship between adverse acculturation conditions and wellbeing in the workplace. The analysis entails establishment of how acculturation conditions, such as segregation demands, racism and discrimination, affect employees’ intentions to quit and their physical and psychological health. In addition, it aims to determine the mediating role of ethnic separation between adverse conditions and wellbeing. Design: The convenient sample covers most sectors, such as the retail sector, banking sector, mining sector, police service, municipality, and individuals between 18 and 60 years living in South Africa. A total of 327 participants were eligible to complete an acculturation questionnaire during 2011. Results: The study showed that racism, discrimination, segregation and separation, affect acculturation outcomes, with intentions to quit having a particularly adverse effect. Racism and discrimination affect people’s physical and psychological health. Furthermore, results showed that employees, who experience some sort of mainstream segregation, racism and discrimination, are more likely to choose to distance themselves and prefer separation. Conclusions: The article concludes that racism, discrimination, segregation and separation affect acculturation outcomes adversely. As a result, employees’ preferred acculturation strategy is to separate from those who discriminate and/or are racist.