About Dr. Safdar

Research Interests

 My research interests lie broadly within the area of cross-cultural psychology. To date, my work has primarily examined a wide range of factors  that could help to understand adaptation processes of immigrants and international students, including studying resilience, acculturation  strategies, and ethnic and national identity. I have a commitment both to the theoretical and the applied aspects of cross-cultural psychology. An  essential characteristic of my research activities, as a cross-cultural psychologist, is that studies are conducted across cultures or across  different ethnic groups within a culture. In a series of studies using samples from Canada and elsewhere, I have developed a theoretical  framework, the Multidimensional Individual Differences Acculturation (MIDA) model. Building on the original study (Safdar, Lay, & Struthers,  2003), I subsequently tested the MIDA model in three countries, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands (Safdar, Struthers,  & van Oudenhoven, 2009) and in Canada with rural and urban Eastern European samples (Safdar, Rasmi, Dupuis, & Lewis, 2009). The  examination of the model across culture and within Canadian society has continued with Indian and Russian immigrants in Canada (Safdar,  Calvez, & Lewis, 2012), as well as an examination of the model using longitudinal data (Rasmi, Safdar, & Lewis, 2009) and has led to it being an increasingly recognised contribution to the literature on acculturation. I have also written a review paper comparing the MIDA model with other contemporary acculturation models (Safdar, Chuong, & Lewis, 2012). 

In addition, I am interested in studying the psychological meanings of clothing across cultures. In my recent works, I have examined the relation between clothing, ethnic identity, and acculturation. 


I teach both undergraduate and graduate courses. At the undergraduate level, I have taught Applied Social Psychology, Psychology of Gender, Introduction to Social Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology and at the graduate level, I have taught Applied Social Psychology, Culture, & Community. 

The unifying goal of my approach, whether teaching small or large classes, is to facilitate students’ successful learning in a flexible climate that is safe and supportive, while taking into consideration the diversity of students’ learning preferences.

Additionally, I have taught at various universities outside of Canada, including University of New Dehli and Banaras Hindu University in India, University of Gdansk in Poland, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Kazakhstan, and University of Barcelona in Spain. 


I have held academic positions in various universities outside of Canada, including:

2016/04-2016/07    Visiting Professor    Department of Philosophy & Educational Science, University of Valencia, Spain
2016/01-2016/03    Visiting Professor    Psychology Department, University of Barcelona, Spain
2015/09-2015/12    Visiting Professor    Psychology Department, San Francisco State University, U.S.A.
2012/04-2012/05    Visiting Scholar       Psychology Department, Banaras Hindu University & University of New Dehli, India 
2009/01-2009/06    Visiting Professor    Psychology Department, University of Bordeaux, France
2008/09-2008/12    Visiting Scholar       School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, U.K.


2002    PH.D.    Social Psychology/ York University    
1998    M.A.    Social Psychology/ York University    
1996    B.A. Honours    Psychology/ McMaster University 

Selected Publications

Only selected publications since 2012 have been included. 


Safdar, S. & Kosakowska, N. (Editors, 2015). Gender Through the Lens of Culture: Theories and Applications.  New York: Springer Publisher.

Sanderson, C., & Safdar, S. (2012). Social Psychology (1st Canadian ed.). Toronto: Wiley.

Journal Articles and Chapters

Chuong, K.H. & Safdar, S. (in press). (De)Constructing multiculturalism: A discourse analysis of immigration and refugee system in Canadian media. International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Congress Proceeding.

Hekiert, D., Safdar, S., Boski, P., Krys, K., & Lewis, J.R. (in press). Culture display rules of smiling and personal well-being: mutually reinforcing or compensatory phenomena? Polish-Canadian comparisons. International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Congress Proceeding.

Litchmore, V.H. & Safdar, S. (in press). The meanings of Hijab: Views of Canadian Muslim women. Asian Journal of Social Psychology

Litchmore, R. & Safdar, S. (2016). Young, female, Canadian and Muslim: Identity negotiation and transcultural experience. In C.H. Mayer & S. Wolting (Editors). Purple Jacaranda: Narrations on Transcultural Identity Development (59-67). Munster, Germany: Waxmann Publishers.

Safdar, S. & Berno, T. (2016). Sojourners: The experience of expatriates, students, and tourists (Chapter 10). In D.L. Sam & J.W. Berry (Editors). The Cambridge Handbook of Acculturation Psychology (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (expected publication date: 2016

Gui, Y., Safdar, S., & Berry, J. (2016). Mutual intercultural relations among university students in Canada. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, XXVII, 17-32.

Scott, C., & Safdar, S. (2016). The Inclusion of Culture in Canadian Social Psychology Textbooks: A Content Analysis of Introductory Texts. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 11(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1141 

Litchmore, R., Safdar, S., & O’Doherty, K. (2015). Ethnic and racial self-identifications of second generation Canadians of African and Caribbean heritage: An analysis of discourse. Journal of Black Psychology, 1-34. DOI: 10.1177/0095798414568454

Scott, C., Safdar, S., Desai Trilokekar, R., & El Masri, A. (2015). International Students as ‘Ideal Immigrants’ in Canada: A disconnect between policy makers’ assumptions and the lived experiences of international students. Comparative and International Education. Vol. 43(3), Article 5.

Litchmore, V.H. & Safdar, S. (2014). Perceptions of discrimination as a marker of integration among Muslim-Canadians: The role of religiosity, ethnic identity, and gender. International Migration & Integration. DOI 10.1007/s12134-014-0337-5

Safdar, S., Choung, K., & Lewis, J.R. (2013). A review of the MIDA model and other contemporary acculturation models (213-230). In E. Tartakovsky (Ed.), Immigration: policies, challenges and impact. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publisher.

Safdar, S., Calvez, S., & Lewis, J.R. (2012). Multi-group analysis of the MIDA model: acculturation of Indian and Russian immigrants in Canada. International Journal of Intercultural Relation, 36(2). 200-212.

Rasmi, S., Chuang, S., & Safdar, S. (2012). The relationship between perceived parental rejection and adjustment for Arab, Canadian, and Arab Canadian youth. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43, 84-90. Doi: 10.1177/0022022111428172