Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Takako Suzuki, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Irena Stern, PhD


The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of acculturation differences on psychological distress and family functioning in non-Jewish Russian immigrant families. Potential mediating effects of social support and parenting style and moderating effect of the child’s gender were investigated using regression analysis. The sample consisted of 80 Russian immigrant mother-child dyads residing in the northeast region of the U.S. The study included independent assessment of acculturation to American and Russian cultures. Results confirm the presence of associations between acculturative differences, psychological distress, and family problems. A mediational role of social support and parenting style on the impact of acculturation differences was not found; however, the child’s gender moderated the impact of acculturation differences on psychological distress. In addition, the child’s gender partially moderated the link between acculturation differences and greater mothers’ psychological distress. The findings suggest that acculturation differences have deleterious effects on mental health and family functioning of Russian immigrants.