Jeitinho as a Coping Strategy Used by Brazilian International Students for Acculturative Stress

Keywords: acculturative stress, Brazilian, coping, jeitinho

Abstract

This mixed-method study examined whether Brazilian students in the US use an indigenous problem-solving practice, jeitinho, as a coping strategy for acculturative stress. Forty-two participants answered an online survey, which was a culmination of demographic information, the Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students, BriefCOPE, jeitinho questionnaire, and three open-ended questions about how Americans may perceive jeitinho. Results showed that a negative dimension of jeitinho was associated with nonadaptive coping strategies, but it was not a significant predictor of acculturative stress. Qualitative themes highlighted the multidimensionality of jeitinho, which could help in students’ adjustment (positive) or reinforce stereotypes and prejudices (negative) against Brazilians. Findings elucidate the complexity of jeitinho Brazilian students can be mindful about and when to use it to avoid stereotyping.

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Author Biographies

Silvia Alves Nishioka, Teachers College, Columbia University

SILVIA ALVES NISHIOKA, MA, is a doctoral student in Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests lie in the area of preventive interventions, adaptation of evidence-based interventions, and multiculturalism.

Defne Akol, Teachers College, Columbia University

DEFNE AKOL, PhD, is a lecturer at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests lie in the area of substance use disorders, eating disorders, the effects of mental and physical illness on families, and professional identity development.

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Published
2019-08-15
How to Cite
Alves Nishioka, S., & Akol, D. (2019). Jeitinho as a Coping Strategy Used by Brazilian International Students for Acculturative Stress. Journal of International Students, 9(3), 815-833. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v0i0.675
Section
Research Articles