Acculturation and adaptation: health consequences of culture contact among circumpolar peoples

Arctic Med Res. 1990 Jul;49(3):142-50.


An overview is presented of the processes of acculturation and adaptation. Research with a variety of acculturating groups (including Refugees, Immigrants, Sojourners, Native Peoples and Ethnic Groups) shows that satisfactory adaptations are possible given appropriate conditions in the host or settlement countries. These conditions are largely under the potential control of policy makers and programm developers, and hence healthy outcomes are within reach. When these findings and conclusions are applied to Native Peoples in Circumpolar regions, some particular experiences stand out, resulting in the potential for difficult social and psychological adaptations. However, the literature shows that like all other acculturating groups, successful adaptations are possible for Circumpolar peoples, especially when they are in a position to understand and control the process.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological