Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Anne Westhues

Advisor Role

Dissertation Supervisor


Various aspects of social support appear to interact with acculturative stress, depression, and life satisfaction for Japanese post-war immigrant women. This study examined 1) the acculturation and level of stress experienced by Japanese immigrant women, 2) the mental well-being in relation to bouts of depression, 3) the life satisfaction, 4) the social support networks, and 5) the degrees to which perceived social support work to moderate the acculturative stress and depression and enhance life satisfaction in Canada. One hundred and twenty-one Japanese immigrant women, who immigrated to Canada after World War II, and living in Southern Ontario, were taken as the study sample. Multiple regression analysis was employed to predict levels of acculturative stress, depression, and life satisfaction based on the demographic and immigration-related variables. The results of the analysis showed that two variables, levels of English proficiency and current feelings about the decision to immigrate, were significant predictors for acculturative stress, depression, and life satisfaction. Perceived social support and communication with husbands were tested and revealed to be a significant buffering effect on acculturative stress, depression, and life satisfaction. Analysis of social networks revealed that about half of the study sample had only friends of Japanese cultural background. English proficiency appeared to be a recurring theme affecting the process of acculturation and levels of partnership with husband, other family members, and individuals of the broader social network. It was also a critical key to achieving upward mobility in occupations, expanding social networks, and obtaining greater life satisfaction in Canada. Research results suggest needs for bilingual counselling and referral services to deal with women’s physical and mental health problems, and their family affairs related to acculturation. For future human services, information on availability of counselling and referral services both in Japanese and English need to be circulated among Japanese speaking community.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons