ACCULTURATION AS CONGRUENCE-DISCREPANCY BETWEEN FRAMES OF REFERENCE: POLYNOMIAL REGRESSION AND RESPONSE SURFACE ANALYSIS
Kivlighan, Dennis M
Miller, Matthew J
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The primary aim of this study was to apply the Self-Discrepancy Theory (Higgins, 1987) to the examination of acculturation orientations for Asian/Asian American populations in the Unites States. This theoretical application defines one’s acculturation orientation as cognitive representations of cultural participation and value adoption on actual, ideal and normative planes. Actual acculturation is an individual’s perception of their current cultural orientation; Ideal acculturation is the cultural orientation someone ideally would like to have; Normative acculturation is the cultural orientation that one believes one should have based on expectations of mainstream society and one’s ethnic community. I further postulated that the discrepancy between actual/ideal and actual/normative acculturation orientations would predict psychological outcomes including depressive symptoms, life satisfaction and belongingness. A 16-item scale, the Measure of Ideal and Normative Acculturation (MINA) was developed to measure acculturation on ideal, actual and normative planes. Polynomial regression and response surface analysis was used to comprehensively examine the relationship between acculturation orientation congruence-discrepancy and psychological outcomes. The main findings suggest that a) discrepancy between acculturation planes was prevalent among participants; c) Under conditions of congruence, higher ethnic culture orientation predicted lower depressive symptoms and higher belongingness; d) Discrepancy between actual and ideal ethnic culture orientations predicted negative outcomes including depressive symptoms, lower life satisfaction and lower belongingness; e) Discrepancy between actual U.S. orientation and perceived normative expectation by one’s ethnic community predicted depressive symptoms, whereas congruence predicted belongingness; f) Greater discrepancy between ideal/actual U.S. culture orientations was associated with both positive (higher belongingness) and negative (higher depressive symptoms) psychological outcomes. Implications and limitations were discussed.