Predictors of acculturation outcomes amongst members of the South African Police in Gauteng
Molokoane, Davey Hank
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Acculturation is a phenomenon which results when groups of individuals with different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact with each other, with subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups. What an individual does when he or she comes into contact with a second culture is assumed to have an effect on his or her sense of emotional well-being. It has been hypothesized that how one copes with that contact will affect such socio-emotional factors such as self-esteem, social adjustment and academic performance and mental health. Furthermore, it has been hypothesized that the strategies an individual uses to cope with second culture contact will have an effect on that individual's academic or job performance, sense of social competence, and psychological well-being. From the available literature, various models are used in acculturation studies, namely the Unidimensional model, Bidimensional model and Interactive Acculturation Model. It is from the latter models that three groups of variables were addressed in this study: at the group level, acculturation context variables include characteristics of the society of settlement (work) and characteristics of the society of origin, at the individual level, acculturation conditions include characteristics or factors that act as moderators prior to acculturation and during acculturation and acculturation outcomes refers to the consequences of the frequent contact between people from different cultural backgrounds in terms of how well they function (do) and feel. The general objective of this research is to analyse the acculturation process and to determine the impact of acculturation context and individual variables on acculturation outcomes of members of the SAPS. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A random sample (n = 153) was taken of members of the SAPS in the Pretora Arca. Instruments used in previous acculturation research were adapted to measure Mainstream Domain, Ethnocultural Domain, Individual variable and Socio Cultural Acculturation Outcomes. The results indicated that acculturation context and individual coping styles of members of the SAPS did impact on acculturation outcomes variables explaining 29% and 35% of the variance in physical and psychological (ill) health respectively and 26% and 33% of the variance in perceived (work success) effectiveness and efficiency at work and perceived status and recognition that you receive at work (for being successful) respectively. Although 14% and 13% of the variance in perceived commitment from the organisation to its employees and perceived commitment of the individual to its organisation, only one of the models used in the hierurchicul regressions were found to be statistically significant, with none of the predictors being statistically significant contributors. Limitation for the present study and recommendations for the organisation and future research are also provided.